Retrieved from https://m.business-gazeta.ru/article/579007 – January 10, 2023
Editorial Note: Sergey Markov is a former advisor to the Russian President, and a lecturer, a Doctor of Political Science and professor of Public Policy at the Moscow State University. On January 10th, 2023, he offered a realistic, if not pessimistic, interview on the present situation of the Special Military Operation, geopolitical and international affairs as of the start of this year. In our editorial analysis, the Daily Worker board came to the conclusion that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) would be able to overcome any shortcomings and win the conflict. In our analysis, Russia will be carved up into smaller countries dominated by the influence of the United States, EU, NATO, should Russia lose this conflict militarily. For this reason, we have decided to share this interview, which is quite negative, but tells the truth of possible outcomes, should Russia not prevail. The Essence of Time movement, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, the Russian Communist Workers Party, and other Communist organizations in Russia have their own analyses which the Daily Worker board encourages all readers to read.
Sergey Markov: “Russia has already taken several steps towards its defeat”
A well-known political scientist on the likelihood of the liquidation of the Russian state and why the elites are ready to accept any outcome of the special operation.
“If we are defeated in the conflict with Ukraine, then the war may move to the territory of Russia with the threat of occupation of the country, its division into several parts up to the collapse of Russian statehood,” political scientist Sergei Markov predicts a negative development of the situation for the Russian Federation. About why the state system demonstrated a high degree of inadequacy, what were the main mistakes made during the SVO, why there was no consolidation of the elites, how serious the risks of a terrorist attack against the President of Russia and whether a nuclear war between the Russian Federation and the United States is possible, he said in an interview with BUSINESS Online.
“The Russian state system has demonstrated a high degree of inadequacy”
– Sergey Alexandrovich, how do you assess the results of 2022, the determining factor of which was the special military operation (SVO), and what conclusions do you draw from the events that took place during the year?
– I believe that the results of the year are catastrophic. The special military operation, which was planned to be quick and effective, was not quick, did not work out and developed into a long-term military operation. Tens of thousands of deaths have been reported from Ukraine and Russia, but in fact there are apparently hundreds of thousands of deaths. Millions of refugees. In fact, there is a civil war within the Russian people, unleashed by the hands of the United States and the West.
At the same time, Ukraine has seen a huge qualitative shift in attitudes toward Russia. If earlier anti-Russian sentiments in Ukrainian society accounted for 10 percent, then under the influence of propaganda they became 15 percent, and then 20-25 percent, then after the beginning of the SVO they reached about 70-80 percent. There was a consolidation of the Ukrainian political regime on an anti-Russian basis. This is also a catastrophic consequence.
The Russian army has actually lost the status of the second army in the world, if you do not take nuclear weapons. In the eyes of the whole world, it is assessed as exceptionally ineffective and incapable of solving combat missions. I don’t think so, by the way. The problem is not that the Russian army is weak, but that the Ukrainian army has become very strong. The Ukrainian army is unique because it is a Russian soldier (one of the best in the world), a fascist officer (because the US special services have fascized the officer corps, and it is the skeleton of the army) and American and British generals who run the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Even if they are citizens of Ukraine, they usually have second passports and the salary they receive in dollars or pounds sterling.
Who is Sergey Markov?
Sergey Aleksandrovich Markov is a Russian statesman and public figure, diplomat, political scientist. Deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation of the V convocation, member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (2007–2011), member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation of three compositions, confidant of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin (2012). Founder, General Director of the Institute for Political Studies LLC, Candidate of Political Sciences.
Born on April 18, 1958 in dubna, Moscow region. In 1986 he graduated with honors from the Faculty of Philosophy of the Lomonosov Moscow State University. In 1995 he defended his thesis for the degree of Candidate of Political Sciences on the topic “Formation of a multi-party system in Russia”. From 1986 to 1989 he worked as a teacher at the Dubna branch of the Moscow Institute of Radio Engineering, Electronics and Automation (MIREA), from 1989 to 2011 – a teacher, researcher, associate professor of the Department of Public Policy of the Faculty of Philosophy, Faculty of Political Science of Lomonosov Moscow State University, lecturer at the University “Higher School of Economics”, professor at MGIMO at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. At Moscow State University and MGIMO, Markov taught courses “Theory and Practice of the Media”, “Authoritarian Regimes”, “Modern Political Process in Russia”, “Features of Russian and World Political Consulting”.
From 1990 to 1999 he was a fellow, senior researcher at the National Democratic Institute (USA). In 1993, he completed an internship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA). From 1994 to 1997 he worked in the Moscow office of the Carnegie Endowment, from 1997 to 2007 he was director of the Association of Political Consulting Centers.
In 1998, he founded the Institute for Political Studies LLC and headed it as a director, at the same time he became the founder of the annual international expert and political forum “Foros”. From 2000 to 2002, he worked as editor-in-chief, head of the foreign online media service Strana.ru. In 2001, he was appointed editor-in-chief of the Internet media Inosmi.ru. In 2004, he worked in the presidential elections in Ukraine, was the head of the Russian Club in Kiev. He is the founder of the site “Ukraine.ru”.
From 2005 to 2017, during the youth camps “Seliger”, “Mashuk” (Pyatigorsk), “Celias” (Astrakhan), “Baltic Artek” (Kaliningrad), “Territory of Meanings” (Vladimir Region), “Donuzlav” (Crimea), he gave lectures to the participants of the movement on political science and political technologies.
From 2006 to 2007, he was a member of the Public Chamber, Chairman of the Commission on International Cooperation and Public Diplomacy. In 2007, he was elected a deputy of the State Duma of the V convocation on the lists of the United Russia party, was deputy chairman of the Committee on Public Associations and Religious Organizations, a member of the permanent delegation of the State Duma to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
He was a confidant of Putin from 2011 to 2018.
In 2011, he was elected to the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation in 2012–2014, head of the inter-commission working group on international cooperation and public diplomacy
In 2013, he was elected Chairman of the Public Council of the Federal Agency for Tourism. In 2014, he was elected to the Civic Chamber for the third time.
Since 2017 — Secretary General of the Russian-Turkish Public Forum.
Permanent expert and regular guest of socio-political programs on Radio KP, NTV, Rossiya-24 and TV Center channels, a permanent expert on international and political issues in the Parliamentary Gazette, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, as well as in such leading world media as Bloomberg, BBC, CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Financial Times, Sky News, Al Jazeera and others.
In geopolitical terms, we also see not a transition to a multipolar world, but, on the contrary, a reboot of the unipolar world, a significant strengthening of the United States, which has shown its enormous power, efficiency, and ability to control political regimes. Western civilization today is consolidated more than ever around the United States. And Russia was weak. In fact, the Americans defeated the Russian army with the hands of the Ukrainian in many places. The Russian army was forced to leave millions of people and hundreds of settlements in Kiev, Poltava, Sumy, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Kherson regions. Repressions fell on these people, because there is a real terrorist regime in Ukraine.
And Russia was hit by a sanctions storm that affects tens of millions of people. Although our economy has more or less survived, sanctions are still a strong blow that creates huge problems for citizens, especially socially active ones. People have great difficulties in traveling to many countries, hundreds of air routes have been canceled. Attitudes towards Russia have changed dramatically. In the West, everything related to our country is canceled.
And the Russian state system has demonstrated a high degree of inadequacy, since it could not predict the course of development of all these events. A special military operation and political work were carried out very erroneously. What are the words “everything goes according to plan”, which cause hatred of the population. However, the support of the political leadership of Russia turned out to be the same. Maybe even a little more. What is important is not only the support of the political leadership among the population, but also the fact that there is no split in the elite that Americans hoped for.
What else is important? There is a crisis in the global economy. The reset of the unipolar world and the strengthening of US leadership have led to disastrous consequences for Europe. A blow has been dealt to the standard of living, to social life, to business. Europe has shown a complete inability to protect its interests. European countries that claimed to be the bearers of freedom and democracy supported the Kiev junta. And the Kiev junta is an example of anti-Europeanism, anti-democracy, anti-liberalism and directly conducts terrorist activities. The fact that Europe supported this junta testifies to its future collapse, because when a teacher at school decided to join the company of bandits and drink vodka with them, then her career at school will not be set for sure.
“Trouble came not only to Ukrainian families, but also to Russian ones”
— You once wrote in Telegram that this time people in Russia were waiting for the New Year and the miracle more than usual to distract from the nightmare that came to us in 2022.
– Sure. Trouble came not only to Ukrainian families, but also to Russian ones. In addition to those who fought at the front since the beginning of the SVO, another 300,000 people were drafted during the mobilization. Each of them affects 3-4 families. Several hundred thousand left the country. Each of them is also related to 3-4 families. As a result, the disaster affected 10-15 million families. Although according to the poll of VTsIOM, very unexpected results of answers to the question about the main event of 2022 were obtained. It turned out that the CBO became the main event of the year for only 62 percent of our citizens. For another 9 per cent, mobilization is the main event. And the sanctions in general turned out to be the most important only for 3 percent of Russians. That is, only for one person out of 33. You could say it’s a slap in the face to Joe Biden and European leaders.
– However, Putin still miscalculated by starting the SVO?
– I said clearly – the problem is in the state machine. We will not touch Vladimir Vladimirovich. Although the beginning of the SVO was absolutely inevitable. Putin was wrong not to send troops into Ukraine in 2014 or 2015. That was the main mistake. And all the talk that we weren’t ready is just a fairy tale. It was the Ukrainian regime that was not ready for such resistance as it is today. As a result, in 8 years, from a military point of view, we have become stronger, relatively speaking, 3 times, and the Kiev regime – 30 times. We began to prepare for the military conflict in Ukraine from the summer of 2021. And in Kiev — since the summer of 2014. All these years they were processed and pumped up by NATO forces under the leadership of the United States. They were preparing a proxy war against Russia by the hands of the proxy regime of Ukraine.
— What were the main mistakes made during the SVO by the Russian leadership?
– A huge number of mistakes were made. The most important mistake is to start a special operation without prior preparation. We are, in fact, trapped. Another mistake is the lack of bombing, strikes on the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the very beginning. Everyone thought that it would be possible to conclude an alliance with them. We hoped for the support of the population, as it was in Crimea and as it would have been in 2014-2015. But we did nothing for this, did not fight for the consciousness of the people of Ukraine. And the West has been setting Ukrainians up for 8 years that Russia is their enemy.
Citizens of Ukraine could not meet the Russian Federation with open arms and flowers. They are afraid to support us. Everyone knows perfectly well that the Ukrainian state is a terrorist regime, and it will take revenge. Ukrainians would greet us with flowers if Russia defeated the terrorist Kiev junta. But we didn’t defeat it. And in these conditions, hoping that absolutely frightened people will rejoice at the sight of the Russian army is simply amazing naivety.
Serious mistakes were made during the mobilization. Firstly, it should have been carried out in March – April, and not in September – October. Secondly, the mobilization itself was organized so poorly that even many patriots were frightened. When the mobilized are thrown to the front, and relatives buy them everything that the state should provide, and spend tens of thousands of rubles on it, this causes understandable murmurs, discontent and fear.
A huge mistake was the protracted capture of Mariupol. In fact, Russia has fallen into a temporary trap organized on purpose. It was necessary to go further with discharge blows and beat the enemy. But we are stuck in Mariupol.
The Istanbul talks were also a time trap. Then it turned out that the Ukrainian army had simply run out of shells, and they began negotiations to slow down our troops. That is, there were several time traps that the enemy used to conduct a general mobilization and equip his army with new weapons. And after that, the Armed Forces of Ukraine went on a counteroffensive.
The abandonment of a real war and a catastrophic delay in making the necessary decisions led to the surrender of Kherson, which was Russia’s biggest defeat. As a result of all these mistakes, the Kiev regime, with the help of the United States and NATO, killed hundreds of thousands of Russians with Ukrainian passports and tens of thousands of Russians with Russian passports.
“The Kiev regime is a terrorist regime, and it is a successful terrorist regime”
– Why were the enemy’s forces not objectively assessed, they did not calculate that the collective West would rush to help Kiev on such a large scale?
“The fact that the collective West would help Ukraine was clear. But, despite this support, they wanted to solve the Ukrainian issue quickly. It could not be solved quickly. Moscow hid from the Ukrainian challenge for 8 years and in 2022 could not cope with it. In relation to russia’s enemies, it is necessary to act tougher. Because the Kiev regime is a terrorist regime, and it is a successful terrorist regime. Practice has shown that such regimes as the Taliban*, Daesh*, the Kiev junta are very successful.
People are really afraid. Put yourself in the shoes of a pro-Russian family that lives, say, in the Zaporozhye region. You have to choose whether to live under the control of Ukraine or Russia. For example, it is necessary to solve the most important question – where to send their children to receive education – in a Ukrainian school or a Russian one. If you send a child to a Ukrainian school, he will study calmly, because Russia does not arrange terrorist attacks. And if a child goes to a Russian school, the Ukrainian authorities there will commit terrorist acts, since the authorities are terrorist. Naturally, you will send children to where it is safer. And there are a huge number of such cases on various parameters. And Russia could not oppose them.
— And conclusions, work on mistakes is made or not?
– Sure. Mobilization done? Did. True, with a huge delay, unlike Ukraine, but they did. Did you see what was going on with the mobilized? Saw. They connected the public and fixed everything. Realized that there are not enough drones? Understand. Did Putin say that we should overwhelm our army with drones? Said. They began to buy them and produce them themselves. So, the conclusions are drawn correctly. But whether the conclusions are sufficient is another matter.
– The appointment of Sergei Surovikin is also the result of certain conclusions?
– The public considers one general good, the other bad. It’s all from a lack of information. In fact, all the generals are about the same. Of course, from time to time they need to be changed and so on. But it doesn’t really matter. It is good that with the appointment of Surovikin, public disputes and criticism of the generals by the same Ramzan Kadyrov and Yevgeny Prigozhin ceased. They fully supported the difficult decision to surrender Kherson, realizing that it was already a military necessity.
– You wrote that now they are creating a new PMC. Is this done in order to reduce prigozhin’s influence?
– Prigozhin has no influence. It’s all fairy tales. Where it is not necessary, there is no influence. He has influence where it is needed when it comes to military action. According to Bakhmut, he definitely has influence. And the new PMC is not created in order to reduce the influence of Prigozhin. He’ll still be on his own. He had tasks in the CAR, Syria, Mali, and they were well executed. Now tasks are being carried out in Ukraine, in the area of Donetsk, Donbass. Prigozhin does an excellent job, better than other units. But Prigozhin has little political influence, except for the issues that arise at the front. And the new PMC is being created because the experience of the Wagner PMC has shown that this is a very good thing.
– Why were referendums held urgently and new subjects admitted to Russia?
– The logic here is extremely simple. Russian people live there, and they have always wanted to go to Russia. Those who are against Moscow left the regions earlier. And those who remain want to speak Russian language, celebrate Victory Day on May 9 and live with big Russia. As the Russian army began to retreat, there was a huge fear among the population. People became afraid to support the Russian Federation, fearing that the Russian army would leave, and they would be repressed, and Russia would not protect them. But when the referendums took place, Russia said: “Do not be afraid, we will protect you. You are Russian citizens.” In joining the Russian Federation, the inhabitants of these territories saw salvation.
“There is a feeling that our Ministry of Culture is acting in the interests of Russia’s enemies”
– Does the Russian Federation still have a chance to win?
– Yes. Russia is 5 times larger than Ukraine. Most of Ukraine’s population may be potentially pro-Russian because they are Russian people. But to achieve this, it is necessary to arm the army, go forward, defeat the Ukrainian army, establish a tough, effective occupation regime and cure people. The inhabitants of Ukraine should be treated as members of a totalitarian sect who were dragged there by force. But since they are already members of a totalitarian sect, now they are convincing themselves that it is right to be in this sect.
– Is that enough to win?
“We also need a rapid military mobilization of the economy, society and culture. What the Ministry of Culture and those who oversee it in the presidential administration are doing today is generally unacceptable. In fact, they sabotage social consolidation. There is a feeling that our Ministry of Culture is acting in the interests of Russia’s enemies. For example, for the Kultura channel, there is no such abbreviation as SVO at all, despite the fact that a special military operation has been going on for almost a year. Not a single film about SVO has been made. Yes, there should already be two dozen of them!
Before that, the civil war in Ukraine had been going on for 8 years. Where are the films about the war, the coup d’état? Nothing. It’s not a neutral stance, it’s some kind of sabotage. Huge budgets went to people who have now fled. Wasn’t it clear that they were enemies, that they would escape? Yes, everything was clear to everyone. Why did huge state budgets go to Russia’s opponents? Absolutely incomprehensible.
Therefore, social and cultural mobilization is needed. Here’s a Shaman singing a couple of songs. Why is everyone talking about his songs? Because they’re so brilliant? Oh no. They are talked about because they are the only ones. Almost nothing else. And the Shaman barely makes his way through. And these songs should be spinning every day.
– In the state structures, the ruling party, for a long time there was a negative selection. They took mostly gray bureaucrats who are afraid of everything, and bright people were thrown out of the system.
– By the way, Putin said that we will not switch to a mobilization economy.
He said one thing or another.
Do the Russian elites believe in victory? Or is Igor Strelkov right, who says that in the minds of the elites the war has already been lost?
“Russian elites do not believe in anything. That’s the main problem. Cynicism, principled anti-ideology – this is what characterizes them. The elites are ready to accept both victory and defeat. Strelkov is wrong in this case. He thinks the elites believe in something. No, they don’t believe in anything.
– At the same time, you say that there is no split in the elites.
– Yes, there is no split. There are practically no cases when representatives of high officials left and publicly condemned the Russian leadership. Although the special services of dozens of countries of the world carried out a huge work for this. But even from such political figures as Anatoly Chubais, who nevertheless left the country, no public anti-Russian statements were made.
But there is a danger that there may be a split in the elites. Why? Because we didn’t have a purge of the elites. And it needs to be done. If nothing is done, a split will occur. Moreover, there are many potential traitors in the elites. It is no coincidence that after the announcement of mobilization, many family members of the Russian elite, unlike the elitists themselves, went abroad. But so far there is no split in the elites.
What about the talk of a “party of war” and a “party of peace”?
– This is written mainly by the opposition pro-American media.
Another issue is the consolidation of the elite around the achievement of victory. It is solved at a minimum. It is believed that since no one betrayed or fled, the consolidation of the elite occurred. But that’s not entirely true. If the elites have not defected to the side of the enemy, this does not mean that they are consolidated in order to fight. Yes, they do not engage in sabotage, but a significant part of them believes that this is not their war. Strelkov means precisely that the elites do not consider this war their own. For them, this is Putin’s war, the war of the Vatniks, the deep people. And the elites do not want this war, they believe that Putin was mistaken, and will accept any outcome of the SVO. Both victory and defeat. And that, of course, is a big problem.
“There has been a defeat of the pro-Western opposition. But it is quite justified, since it has switched from anti-Putin positions completely to anti-Russian ones. “
But whoever in the elites treats the SVO, everyone needs to demonstrate public loyalty to it.
– Of course, outwardly, the elites demonstrate loyalty to the SVO, officials go to Donbass, they understand that otherwise they will not be taken to the future. But there are, for example, a number of very well-known expert structures that work on grants from the presidential administration. They muttered something condemning about America 2-3 times, and that was it. We thought that was enough. In fact, this is an imitation of support.
– And what explains the blogger activity of Dmitry Medvedev and what are his prospects?
– This is explained by the fact that the previous political niche of Medvedev was eliminated. He was a liberal in power, he had his own team. Now a pro-Western course is impossible. He has to look for new niches. Since there is a clear demand for a higher level of patriotism, rigidity towards the West, he expresses it. This is in demand by the population. As I have repeatedly said, tougher is necessary, tougher. There is an objective need for this. Russia’s policy really needs to be tougher. Certainly not in relation to its citizens. It should be tougher on the enemies of the Russian Federation. That’s what Medvedev is talking about. Sometimes it’s off the charts.
– Isn’t it too cool in 2022 to tighten the screws when dealing with foreign agents, inventing various punishments for political refugees?
– The nuts weren’t tightened at all. Vice versa. Everything was very sluggish. It is necessary to act much tougher, according to the laws of wartime. Yes, there was a defeat of the pro-Western opposition. But it is quite reasonable, since it has switched from anti-Putin positions completely to anti-Russian ones. People, in fact, called for terrorist attacks. Measures were taken against them, and even then minimal. Someone was killed? Any. Is someone being maimed under torture? None. I am not calling for such action. But thousands have been killed in Ukraine, and none here. Vladimir Putin said that he does not condemn those who did not show themselves to be patriots and left Russia. Putin understands that this is also the fault of the state, which failed to educate young people patriotically.
– Is it possible in Russia to abolish the moratorium on the death penalty, which is being discussed more and more often?
– Only if the situation becomes tougher. The death penalty is counterproductive. It is clear that this is a murder, a negative. It is carried out in conditions when the state has not yet left the archaic society and has not created strong civilizational structures. Russia withdrew. A return to the death penalty is also possible when mass crimes in the form of murder and so on begin. We don’t have that. Therefore, a return to the death penalty would be a sign that the security situation in Russia has become significantly worse.
– At the end of 2022, the State Council of Tatarstan decided that the head of the republic will be called Rais, but Rustam Minnikhanov will retain the status of president until the end of his current term of office. How did the Republic of Tatarstan manage to reach an agreement with Moscow and why did it still make concessions, since it agreed to allow Minnikhanov to be called president until the end of his term? And how do you decide to call the head of Tatarstan Rais, which, for example, in Arab countries is considered even cooler than the president?
– The agreement that all the heads of the regions of Russia will be called without the prefix “president” is the formation of a single political landscape of the Russian Federation. The more unified it is, the stronger it is. The fact that Tatarstan agreed that the highest official will be called the head of the republic, and not the president, is the contribution of the Republic of Tatarstan to strengthening the unity of the Russian Federation. In response, the federal government treats such politicians, in particular Minnikhanov, with maximum respect. The change of name has been postponed until the end of his term of office. Moscow does not want to act through the knee, through force, but prefers to act as respectfully as possible.
Another important point is related to the fact that the name “rais” is an expression of a certain specialness of Tatarstan and its role in Russia’s ties with the large, huge Islamic world. But this name will be additional to the head of the republic in Russian language. Of the changes that have occurred, it should also be noted that there will be no mandatory requirement for knowledge of the Tatar language, the second state language of Tatarstan (such an amendment to the Constitution of Tatarstan has not yet been adopted, its consideration has been postponed to 2023 – editor’s note). This makes it possible that the future leaders of the republic can be appointed not from the Republic of Tatarstan, but from the federal center.
– How long can the operation in Ukraine drag on?
– Nobody knows. All analysts – political, military – with their forecasts failed. No one really understands anything. It is possible to predict only at the tactical level what will happen in the next week or two.
– Which of the foreign countries can Russia still hope for?
– There is a powerful coalition. 50 countries of the world that participate in the hybrid war against the Russian Federation. Some of these countries with smaller populations, but most of the economy, global infrastructure are opposed by Russia with enthusiasm, hoping to take some of our territories and wealth for themselves. That is, the first group is the aggressors with their own interest. These are the USA, Great Britain, Germany, France, Poland. The second group is the forced aggressors, who participate in the confrontation with Russia without enthusiasm. These include Austria, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Japan. The third group of countries are those who adhere to strict neutrality. They are not involved in anything, but they also do not want to take risks. Such countries are the majority. Some of them fear for their interests. For example, oil-producing countries are well aware that the limit on the price of oil will necessarily hit them, and they are against this price ceiling. But many states are afraid of falling under secondary sanctions. The fourth group is those who adhere to neutrality favorable to Moscow. They are trying to take advantage of the situation and give Russia the opportunity to circumvent Western sanctions and make money on them. These are Turkey, the UAE, China, India. And there are a small number of countries that directly support the Russian Federation, as they themselves are under the aggression of Western civilization. These are Belarus, Venezuela, Iran.
— How do you assess the attitude of the former Soviet republics towards Russia today?
– Their attitude is quite simple: “Lord, if only we were not touched.” Everyone is afraid of secondary sanctions, and primary ones too. Everyone is afraid of the aggressor and knows that the main aggressor is the United States.
“The risks of a terrorist attack against the President of Russia are quite serious”
– Can China join the sanctions against the Russian Federation?
– Maybe. We did not expect China to take hypertrophied neutrality at all. We wanted Beijing to take a more allied stance. But he took a more neutral one.
Why else have many countries taken this position? The main reason is that Russia is not winning. No one wants to be an ally of someone who is defeated. In all countries, the Western press is read. And the Western press writes that Russia is suffering a defeat, that it is inevitable. All over the world, this is really believed. Moreover, Russian troops were retreating from 6-7 regions. Plus, people do not understand at all why Russia sent troops and did not strike at the headquarters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. What kind of military conflict is this? People around the world do not understand why the Russian Federation did not strike at the critical infrastructure of the enemy for so many months, and at this time the West, in fact, created a new Ukrainian army.
When Moscow began to hint at the use of tactical nuclear weapons, this was also perceived as a sign of weakness. Why would a country that wins use tactical nuclear weapons? It is also perceived as a manifestation of inexplicable weakness and a sign of Russia’s future defeat.
Why does the Russian Federation not conduct a normal information war? They still can’t come up with a normal language and decide what to call ours and not ours. Some allied forces. What other Allied forces?! And Ukrainians are called militants, then Banderaites, then neo-Nazis. Which neo-Nazis? There are neo-Nazis there, but not all of them. Westerners say: “Since Zelensky is a Jew, then it is nonsense that Russia calls him a fascist.”
But it’s an elementary thing. It is necessary to repeat several thousand times in different formats the formula that this is an artificial neo-fascism, in which the gene of anti-Semitism is removed, and the gene of Russophobia is inserted instead. Such a genetically modified modern Ukrainian fascism. That’s it. But that’s not what I have to say. This should be said by all Russian officials, all Russian media from morning to evening. Then you can change the argument that there is no fascism in Ukraine, because Zelensky himself is a Jew. But no one does anything. Or those famous words “everything goes according to plan.” They generally cause laughter and a feeling of inadequacy. If the political leadership is inadequate, then it is an indicator of Russia’s future defeat.
– Are negotiations on the end of the conflict possible today?
– Firstly, the case with the Istanbul negotiations, as I said, was a direct deception. Secondly, now negotiations are absolutely impossible, because the West wants a military defeat of Russia and believes that it is close to it. Therefore, the West makes super-tough demands. In fact, a semi-surrender. Russia is not ready to do this. Therefore, negotiations are impossible. But most of the countries in the world that have not joined the sanctions are eager for the war to end. They want Vladimir Putin to behave not like a maniac obsessed with war, but as a responsible statesman who, at a good opportunity, came out to negotiate. But Putin and Lavrov tell these countries all the time: “We are ready for negotiations. And our enemy is not.”
– And under what conditions can negotiations take place?
– There are 6 key cities of the Dnieper pearl chain: Odessa, Mykolaiv, Kherson, Zaporozhye, Dnipro, Kharkiv. These are all Russian cities. There was an absolutely pro-Russian population there. These cities accounted for a significant share of the Ukrainian economy. As soon as one of these cities is taken by Russia, the possibility of negotiations will immediately open. As soon as two of them are taken, negotiations will begin. If the Russian Federation does not agree to them and takes a third city, then Macron and Scholz will secretly penetrate the territory of Russia, stand at the gates of the Spasskaya Tower on Red Square and will catch Putin, wave at the window of his car and beg to start negotiations. The Kremlin understands this. Therefore, the offensive of the Russian army is a key condition for the conclusion of peace.
But so far, the leaders of the Group of Seven have expressed a desire to condemn the President of Russia and other top leaders of the Russian state. How serious is the threat of violent regime change in Russia?
– Very substantial. Westerners demonize Putin, they see him as a fiend of their hell, and they think that if he is removed, they can bring Russia under their control. So they dream of removing Putin. The risks of a terrorist attack against the President of the Russian Federation are quite serious. Putin can fly somewhere, and his plane can easily be shot down. And then what will Russia do? Anything is possible. We must not forget that they miraculously did not kill the President of Ukraine. They killed the heads of Iraq and Libya. Russia is much more powerful. But Americans are not afraid of big challenges. And The Hague is very real. We witnessed the collapse of the USSR. They witnessed how they captured Slobodan Milosevic. And by the way, they didn’t prove anything, but they starved him by not giving him medication.
“There may be strikes on Moscow and other territories of Russia. Our enemies are actively using terrorist methods.”
— What can we expect from 2023? What are the main risks?
– We can make predictions only for the winter months that hostilities will continue. Both sides hope to achieve some success in the winter. At the end of this period, a new alignment of forces will be determined. Perhaps then the parties will have an opportunity for negotiations. The Russian military machine can start working, or it can stall.
But for the time being, there may be strikes on Moscow and other territories of Russia. Our enemies are actively using terrorist methods. And so far we have not given serious answers to this. How to act in these conditions? We ourselves are not ready to go to terrorist attacks. But the problems somehow need to be solved. To stop terrorist attacks against Russia and missile strikes on donbass, strikes on the infrastructure of the Kiev regime must be stronger. So far, the Russian army is not enough to hit terrorists. If we do not respond, the situation of the terrorist war will develop more and more. Therefore, the threat of terrorist attacks, of course, exists. This serious threat will continue to rise.
The main risk is defeat in the military conflict in Ukraine. Russia has already taken several steps towards its defeat. First, the failure of a special military operation in terms of taking control of most of the territory of Ukraine. Then the Russian Federation fell into several time traps, which I have already mentioned. Russia is taking the necessary decisions with great delay, such as military mobilization and economic mobilization. The mobilization of society is not done at all. There is a threat of a slowdown in the modernization of the country. We have broken the model of modernization, because we carried it out with the help of the West, based on its experience. It’s almost impossible now. So, we need a different model. We don’t have one. This challenge is strategic.
From the point of view of the further development of the situation, different options are possible. Could there be a continuation of the current situation to some extent? Can. Can Russia go the way of Ukraine? Can. Can Russia go the way of Iran with even greater isolation and sanctions? Can. Can Russia become a winner, take control of most of Ukraine and follow the path of Azerbaijan, as in the situation with Karabakh? It can, too. But which way Russia will go, no one can say today. We can say for sure that there will be very serious resistance. It just won’t. There will be a lot of zigzags, a lot of surprises.
– That is, the situation for Russia is very critical?
– Yes. If we are defeated in the conflict with Ukraine, then military operations can go to the territory of the Russian Federation with the threat of occupation of the country, dividing it into several parts up to the collapse of Russian statehood. Russia’s defeat will also lead to a sharp decline in Moscow’s status in the world. Every single country will be forced to change its attitude towards the Russian Federation to a tougher one and a smaller consideration of our interests.
Therefore, the threat of Russia’s defeat is the most serious, significant and main. Defeat will lead to a catastrophe for Russian statehood and, possibly, to the liquidation of the Russian Federation as an independent state in general. Everything else is not so significant and is a form of expression of defeat.
– Is there still a potential for the Ukrainian conflict to escalate into a third world war?
– Sure. Now some retreating steps have been taken. But if the Russian army goes ahead and refuses to negotiate, perhaps NATO will take more decisive steps. The adventurers in the U.S. and British intelligence agencies, who are the culprits behind this conflict, are teetering on the brink. We must not forget that they have gone beyond conventional warfare, which is waged according to international law. They have embarked on a terrorist war.
In general, the main problem of 2022 for humanity is that it has taken several steps towards self-destruction. In fact, a proxy war between the two nuclear superpowers has begun. Throughout the year, there have been threats about the use of nuclear weapons. Hundreds of millions of people are thinking about how to survive a nuclear catastrophe. Bomb shelters are being inspected all over the world. And only a flurry of calls from world leaders to Washington and Moscow forced the two nuclear superpowers to behave more restrained in nuclear rhetoric by the end of the year. But the basic problem remains that the world’s most powerful country is trying to subjugate and politically destroy the second largest nuclear power. This could lead to such an acute crisis that a nuclear war between Russia and the United States would be possible, which would destroy all of humanity.
Photo on the announcement: «BUSINESS Online»