Saint James the Greater by Ermes Dovico
RUSSIA-UKRAINE

Those seeking regime change in Moscow undermine Europe

Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, the Arab Spring: history seems to teach nothing to the doctrinaire Atlanticists, the most ardent in supporting the Biden-von der Leyen-Zelensky line, which envisages only surrender and collapse for Putin. The strategy of head-on confrontation with Russia is the offspring of the postulate of the "export of democracy", which has already failed.

World 27_06_2023 Italiano Español
Zelenski with Biden

The lessons of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and the 'Arab Springs' have apparently served nothing. The most ardent and ideologised champions of the Biden-von der Leyen-Zelensky line - that is for a head-on clash with Russia on the Ukrainian question, war to the bitter end, without any possibility of compromise or negotiation with Putin, but only the latter's unconditional surrender - just cannot escape their irrepressible attraction for the idea of a regime change as the objective of the US/Western strategy of international politics.

Members of the US apparatuses, analysts of international relations and geopolitics, talk show journalists, from both 'neo-con' and progressive backgrounds, are today united by their alignment as 'Atlanticist' Pasdarans: membership that, claimed in the context of the current political dialectic, primarily means a progressive position that tends towards woke with claims to standardise the whole planet to the ethical-political canons of the American super-elites.

The objective of a regime change, with the relative 'exportation' of the Washington consensus beyond the Urals, has been explicitly theorised by these doctrinaire Westernists since the beginning of the war between Moscow and Kiev, evoking the possibility that the pressure of Western arms and sanctions would cause the power of the Moscow 'tsar' to collapse. And, of course, as soon as the heavy internal divisions within that power became apparent over the past few days, which even resulted in the mutiny of Evgenij Prigozhin's Wagner Division, the 'Pasdarans' immediately expressed their enthusiasm. So they immediately started cheering wildly for the rebel mercenaries, instantly elevating them from the status of dangerous neo-Nazi criminals to that of limpid patriotic heroes, and immediately decreeing that the imminent deposition of the 'autocrat' would sanction the definitive Russian defeat in the Ukrainian war. The sudden extinguishing of the uprising has since forced them to decisively scale down their hopes; but they still claim that Western policy has weakened Putin decisively, opening the way to victorious prospects for Ukraine and what they see as an 'alliance of democracies'.

Let's be clear: the fact that the pressure of Western military investments and sanctions, the arduous management of a 'special military operation' much longer and more complex than the Kremlin's top brass initially thought, the formation of power oligarchies such as Wagner due to the inefficiency of the regular army, have produced strong tensions and conflicts in the Russian regime is undeniable. But, firstly, this does not mean that they automatically lead to a substantial change in the balance on the battlefield to Moscow's disadvantage.

Russia's economic, military, and demographic resources - thanks also to the concrete support of the entire BRICS area - remain sufficient to continue waging a long war of attrition that Ukraine cannot afford, due to the impossibility of NATO countries continuing to support it for long at current levels. Secondly, and more importantly, the untenability of the position of the Westernist lib-con 'Pasdarans' goes far beyond this rather reckless optimism. The fundamental reason why it does not stand is that even if their boldest hope - the fall of the Putin regime - were to be realised, the consequences would certainly be much worse for Ukraine and Western interests than the current situation.

For Russia is a nation that draws its very raison d'être from the legacy of a millenary empire historically unifying various cultural and ethnic identities, symbolically represented by a personalistic leadership. This is why Russia, in the post-Tsarist and post-Soviet era, is constantly faced with a dramatic existential alternative: either a certain degree of imperial representation and projection of power, or the prospect of potential dissolution.

Westernist ideologues hate to admit it, but under Vladimir Putin's power the country has achieved an overall manageable balance between the two tendencies, capable of guaranteeing its stability, the persistence of modernisation processes, and its insertion, albeit not in a dominant position, into the market and global governance. The Russian regime is not a one-party dictatorship like China, but a federation with a certain degree of internal pluralist dialectics, counterbalanced by a dirigiste central government, with openly authoritarian traits on the 'hot' topics of reason of state and power politics.

Above all, within the framework of public opinion and political alignments, Putin is basically considered a 'moderate' in the country. The overwhelming majority of his opponents are not adamant liberals of Western observance, but nostalgics of the Soviet Union or ultranationalists with racist, chauvinist, ultra-imperialist tendencies. If, as a result of the stress caused by the war, he were to be effectively deposed, it is almost impossible that a liberal democracy that respects human rights and is inclined to peace towards the Ukrainians and the West would be established in his place.
On the contrary, the most likely scenarios would be either an even more outwardly aggressive and inwardly repressive power, or a civil war, with apocalyptic prospects, since it would break out in what is still the world's second nuclear power: with the triggering of a probable destructive 'domino effect' in Eastern Europe and Asia. Wagner's uprising has opened a disturbing rift that could easily foreshadow, should it ever succeed, both of these possible scenarios.

In fact, the fallacy of the frontal confrontation strategy pursued by Biden, with the support of the G7 and the EU, against Putin's Russia is directly descended from that of the 'neo-con' postulate of the 'export of democracy' and regime change, which has regularly failed for decades in every context.

Any analysis of power balances and imbalances by Western analysts and politicians should, by now, necessarily start from the acceptance of the fact that outside the borders of the West itself, a fully constitutional and liberal-democratic political regime has never taken root, for insuperable reasons of cultural and civilisational differences. This implies that the only realistically practicable strategy to safeguard the heritage of Western freedoms and rights, and hope that they will at least exert an influence in other areas of the world, is a balanced mix of military deterrence and the diplomatic ability to build alliances, and to settle conflicts through negotiation and compromise with governments that are also inspired by markedly different principles.