25 January 2016

How Alexander Dugin's Neo-Eurasianists geared up for the Russian-Ukrainian war in 2005-2013

The Neo-Eurasianist perspective on Ukraine was formed already in the 1990s, when Russian fascist Alexander Dugin argued, in his Foundations of Geopolitics, that Ukraine was “an unnatural state” consisting of four major regions with allegedly different geopolitical loyalties, and that a sovereign and united Ukraine constituted a major threat to the geopolitical security of Russia and the envisioned Eurasian Empire.

Dugin specified the means for neutralising the "Ukrainian threat to Russia" in 2009 in his book The Fourth Political Theory. In particular, he argued that “extending Russian influence on the post-Soviet space” would not necessarily imply “direct colonisation in the old tradition”: “in our world, more sophisticated and efficient network technologies are developed that allow to achieve the same results with the different means – with the use of information resources, social organisations, faith-based groups, and social movements”.  However, Russia’s direct action was also possible:
It cannot be excluded that a battle for Crimea and Eastern Ukraine awaits us.
Only a short time ago, the most hot-headed among the Russian hawks presumed only an internal conflict in Ukraine, as well as political, economic and energy pressure [on Ukraine] from the Russian side, but now a possibility of a direct military clash no longer appears unrealistic.

23 November 2015

Is Russia Insider sponsored by a Russian oligarch with the ties to the European far right?

The emails leaked by the Anonymous International last year give us a few insights into the workings of the English language pro-Putin propaganda website Russia Insider.

Its editor Charles Bausman launched the website in September 2014, and described the rationale behind the website as follows:
It was started in September 2014 by a group of expats living in Russia who felt that coverage of Russia is biased and inaccurate.
[...]
The problem is media control by a few corporations and interest groups, and their close ties with governments and business interests.
Instead of challenging, questioning, and fostering open discussion, they tend to promote those interests.
Ironically, this is what Russia Insider itself has been doing since its launch, namely publishing and re-publishing pieces of Russia's disinformation warfare against the West and Ukraine.

Charles Bausman, editor of Russia Insider and a regular commentator for Russia Today (RT)

13 November 2015

Dmytro Yarosh’s Resignation from the Right Sector

The recent resignation of Dmytro Yarosh from the leadership of the Right Sector may be a sign of the forthcoming changes in the strategies of both the Right Sector and the Ukrainian state.

In order to understand the significance of Yarosh’s resignation statement, one needs to consider two important points related to Ukraine’s domestic situation and international relations.

9 November 2015

Moscow opts for conspiracy theories to explain the Flight 9268 crash

The crash of the Metrojet Flight 9268 operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia has presented Moscow with a dilemma: what explanation of the crash would be most useful for the Kremlin's positioning both domestically and internationally?

15 October 2015

The far right "March of Heroes" in Kyiv, Ukraine (photo report)

A number of Ukrainian far right organisations, in particular, the All-Ukrainian Union "Freedom" (Svoboda) and Right Sector, took part in the "March of Heroes" held in Ukraine's capital Kyiv on 14 October. The march was dominated by harsh anti-government and nationalist rhetoric.

Far right activists and their supporters rally on the Mykhailivska Square for a meeting before starting the march

The Crimean blockade (in English and Russian)

My article on the Crimean blockade in English and Russian:

"The Crimean blockade: how Ukraine is losing Crimea for the third time" (openDemocracy)
"Догнать и перекрыть" (Грани.Ру)