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Опубликовано в библиотеке: 2021-12-12
Источник: Politics and the Times 2004-06-30

Vasyl Tkachenko, Doctor of history, Prof.

* * *

Surfing on the Internet you catch yourself at thinking that the center of developing the Ukrainian national idea has shifted to Moscow? On the one hand, you can but rejoice that Ukrainian themes are in the limelight centering in on the message that "Ukraine is the "critical mass" without which some CIS projects become senseless." On the other hand, there is a bitter taste, because analyzing the place and role of Ukraine in the modern world Moscow authors try to traditionally remain the "elder brother" and lecture in the spirit of Russian Messiahnism: "One of topical issues for the majority of Ukrainian political elite and higher bureaucracy consists in that their conduct is situational and reactive, instead of creative, i. e. they "symmetrically" meet the challenges of opponents, find or do not find their place in the foreign-made force fields and are considerably less capable to simulate situations on their own and promote their "asymmetrical" scenarios of development. "

For example, taking into account such "misfortune" of Ukrainians, A. Okara, offers us his version of "asymmetrical" understanding of prospects of Ukrainian-Russian relations. The problem is tackled in the context of globalization: presently, they say, there are three key centers of world economy: North America (the U. S. A. and Canada), united Europe (EU), and South-East Asia. In this frame of reference Moscow authors do not see a place neither for Russia nor for all post-Soviet space,

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because, they say, western politicians consider them as the "global South", i. e. a raw material appendage and world dump of industrial wastes.

In the said context, A. Okara says, the Ukrainian statesmen got no guidance and perpetrated a blunder: "Ukrainian strategy was intended to become a part of the so called civilized world, surmised a necessity and possibility of setting Ukraine into the western European economic and Euroatlantic political space, that is, it was a matter of integration into the EU and NATO. Such position is the classic example of "drawing away to an unnecessary object", when huge efforts are wasted on creation of mirages of "Eurointegration". There is no doubt that no CIS country will ever become the EU member-be it "continental" Romanic-Germanic or insular Anglo-Saxon orientation."

To A. Okara's mind, the foursome integration of Ukraine, Russia, Byelorussia and Kazakhstan within the framework of CIS will provide Ukraine and other post-Soviet states with a unique chance to "realize the presence of external threats to the Big Eurasian space" and show a "capacity for adequate volitional managing of these threats" and actively influence "the future of all ordered world system." For this purpose it is necessary to target a variant-maximum: to treat "ORI (organization of regional integration) as a basis for not only a serious center of influence, but of a new-the fourth one-world of geoeconomic space." The author establishes, that in future the post-Soviet economies will not be able to compete with the North-American or Western European economic system; however he pins his hopes on the effectiveness of such aggregate aspects as "military power (including nuclear power), transit potential, demographic factor, the "humanitarian" aspect-presence of capable elite, hardness of diplomatic positions etc. "

If A. Okara correctly assumes the presence of other alternatives which can be accepted by Ukrainian leaders, other Russian authors are more radical. For example, V. Russer asserted peremptorily in Russkiy Zhurnal in December 2002 that the issue of Ukrainian future had been already predetermined: "The results of 2002 allow making forecasts if the multivector policy of Ukraine is quelled, i. e. its multiple-choice future is overcome." According to V. Russer, "the geostrategical position of Ukraine is such that it always became the arena of opposition of western (Roman and Germanic) and eastern (Byzantine) civilizations and empires. For an eastern civilization Ukraine has not only an important economic or military-political value, it is also the spiritual center of the Russian world... No wonder, Ukraine was refused integration into the EU: Europe feels spiritual estrangement of Ukraine, its non-European mentality. Russia is interested in Ukraine's membership in the newly created empire; the EU would prefer "independent" Ukraine to be a political platform between itself and Russia."

Consequently, the political scientist concludes, there is only this simple geopolitical alternative for Ukraine: "either vegetating in a "gray" area between EU and Russia or ...cooperating with Russia in making a new empire." The author thinks that with Russia it will pan out: "The objective necessity of restoration of empire on the territory of CIS is obvious, as well as certain steps to be taken in this direction. Russia overcame the centrifugal tendencies of the 90s and now plays a suitable role of lands gatherer or a unifying center in the post-Soviet area. "

While reading it one calls to mind recent times when Moscow thundered its orders: "Our aims are clear, the tasks are set; let's get down to work, comrades!" Naturally, those are Russian aims, and they hold on to them. The said A. Okara (and he should be given his due!) is positive about

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it, e. g., in his article "Modern Ukraine: a search for geopolitical identity". First of all, he stresses that in the context of geopolitics the "Ukrainian problem is the topmost on for Russia." And it is not its vast territory that matters, or its key strategic location in relation to the number of important regions (Black Sea, Northern Caucasus, Central Europe, Balkans), or its considerable human potential (only three times less than Russian), or "that Russia is very concerned with Ukrainian industrial and technological potential, or because Russia is the most vulnerable strategically from the direction of Ukraine." The thing is that "the very Ukrainian-Russian relations and seniority system in bilateral relations actually determine the identity of Russia. Zbigniew Brzezinski is right telling, that without Ukraine Russia is not a Eurasian empire" (italic is ours, - author)". Russians interpret this role of Ukraine as a perfect fact; it isn't a problem to push Ukraine toward closer union with Russia, but the ideology of neo-imperialism should determine the "identity of the Ukrainian political and cultural elite", and became a "dominant identity in the Ukrainian society as a whole. "

And here, to A. Okara's mind, we run into problems caused by the "absence of understanding by Ukrainian elite of the essence of world globalization." The Russian political scientist insists that not all is lost for Russia, because despite the official statements of Kyiv concerning the final "European" and "Euroatlantic integration", the "point of bifurcations" is still ahead; nevertheless he observes that " the future of Ukraine and Russia, East Europe, and all Eurasian space will depend on its short-term choice." Eventually, Ukraine should determine, which one of three choices reflects its "aspects of strategic thinking" as an "independent, formally sovereign Ukrainian state in the best way possible. "

The first way is that of "educated malorosiystvo", when Ukraine is considered a province, a "periphery of continental empire with the center in Moscow or Petersburg", as it was from mid-17th c. to 1991. A. Okara considers that this way-from the point of view Russian interests-is relatively productive, because it does not "transform Ukraine into a hostile state or "sanitary border" around Russia, triggers no confrontation between Moscow and Kyiv." The researcher acknowledges, that this way infringes upon Ukrainian national interests, because the "malorosiyska" identity means the "regional understanding of Ukrainian culture and limitation of the use of Ukrainian (putting it behind literary Russian), regional scale of geopolitical thinking: Ukraine as a region or autonomy, which it was in the Russian empire and FSU and which it is in modern theories of "neo-malorosiystwo". This tradition in Ukraine goes all the way from the "pro-Ukraine" groups of pre-Shevchenko epoch, through Halychyna "pro-Moscow" groups up to the soviet "national policy in relation to UkrSSR." Now this tendency is associated with the "Ukrainian communists, considerable part of orthodox hierarchs, various societies of "Russian culture" and "Russian-Ukrainian friendship", Kuban Black-Sea Cossacks. "

Consequently, as the saying goes, there's life in the old dog yet!

The second way is determined by A. Okara in the context of the national state "built on the liberal-democratic ideology (possibly, with the elements of ethnic nationalism)." Adhering to this way, the author remarks that "Kyiv retains formal independence, but in fact it relays western political influence; "from 1991 and up to now" Ukraine has been transforming from a province into a colony. A respected political scientist and associate professor of the Russian Academy of Public Service under the President of Russian Federation A. Okara cannot imagine the independent

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course of Ukraine, because in the context of centers of geopolitics Ukraine is treated as "either with us or against us". Therefore we have but to read: "The logic of geopolitical development is such that Ukraine which identifies itself as the "state-nation" will certainly become a "sanitary border", Western bridgehead against Russia. It is very unpleasant for Ukrainian national consciousness, however we should admit that all these years in the world and European geopolitical space Kyiv is counterproductive playing the role of a satellite of foreign civilization" (italic is ours, - author). To our mind, it is a regretful definition, because it proves that the "dead catch hold of passers-by" and Russian democrat changes beyond recognition hearing about independent Ukraine.

Clearly, the subsequent description of this period of history of Ukraine by A. Okara was doomed to become negative: it appears that the Ukrainian culture is going all the way down even in comparison with Soviet period, "Ukrainian in Eastern Ukraine is decaying and becomes obsolete", political elite identifies its activity with "outlying", "peripheral area between the all-sufficient civilizations", and with such, they say, "narrow national cultural identity Ukraine will not be able to aspire to the role of regional leader." The Moscow author maintains that these opinions about the way to make a nation were expressed by I. Vyhovsky, I. Mazepa, M. Hrushevsky, V. Vynnychenko, V. Stus, I. Svitlychny, I. Dziuba, I. Drach, and in politics-Narodny Rukh and political leaders of Ukraine of the 1990s. Thus, the adversaries which had led Ukraine into a deadlock are named, and new leaders, that will show the blissful road, will be logically put forward by Moscow.

The third and most perspective way for Ukraine, to A. Okara's mind, leads through the self-identification as a center of tension of post-Byzantium/East European cultural and civilizational oikoumen-, "core land" of Big Eurasian Space. For simpletons A. Okara determines it as the "third way of Ukraine is an imperial way." The Moscow political scientist opines that only an empire can provide for real sovereignty under conditions of the clash of civilizations. True, he dislikes that type of empire offered by ideologists of UNA-UNSO, because it maintains that Kyiv will become the center of empire after complete disintegration of Russia. Presently Moscow throws in a more tricky idea about "very complicated symbiosis, complementarity and mutual dependence of Moscow and Kyiv, at which Kyiv is a "spiritual first-born" recently deprived of state-volitional aspect. ., while Moscow is the embodiment of political power proper." To all appearances, Ukraine will have but to "inspire" empire, providing it with the "brand" of Cave Monastery, Cathedral of Saint Sophia, mythologem of Kyiv as "Second Jerusalem" and other hieroglyphs of "mystic phenomenon", while volitional and state-political elements, as usual, will be provided by Russia. Well, it is not new to us.

A. Okara refrains from describing the regime of the future imperial state, intended to make Ukraine happy at last. But this gap is patched by another theorist of Eurasianism, professor S. B. Lavrov (Saint Petersburg), which nostalgically remembers the words of "highly intelligent philosopher of L. Karsavin" apropos of this: "The state, in such large multinational whole, as Eurasia-Russia, can either be strong or seize to exist, " and consequently in Russia "there are no objective preconditions for the multi-party system to appear." Modern apologists of Eurasianism remember how one of its founders P. Savitski wrote to his teacher P. Struve, that under conditions of revolutionary shocks, "in a situation of anarchy adepts of self-dependency, like reptiles, will creep out." In order to prevent "separatist self-dependency" in future, present Eurasian proclaim that a "great country is to have

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an "idea is force": anti-west opposition, state system, cathedral and Orthodoxy.

It is obvious, that in the noted context Ukrainian self-dependency and Eurasianism are incompatible. And the fact that Eurasianism positions itself as anti-western and anti-European ideology is of no small account. For example, I. B. Orlova, Ph. D., underlines that the realized Eurasian ideology "can shield from the hegemonism", because there is only this alternative: either "strengthening, returning to the interrupted way of own socio-economic development, or dispersal, scattering, transformation, according to I. Ilyin, into "humus of history", supplementary resource for other, more active civilizations. "

That is, the main idea of modern Eurasians comes to Russian grouping of post-Soviet states and seizure of the place of the self-sufficient "center of force" which the Russian mentality is used to. The Eurasians cannot stand that integration into Europe means above all things "for Russia the acceptance of certain ethical, spiritual, socio-political imperatives, born in a context of specifically Western European culture, as unique civilization-making criteria." They think that for Ukraine these values are also unacceptable, because, obviously, it should have been taught to make do with Russian autocratic or Stalinist values after years of staying in the empire. Therefrom proceed all plans of their revival: the "actual task is not the "integration into Europe", with ultimate westernization and refusal from own historical uniqueness, but development of alternative civilization space able to return balance of powers on the continent-"Europe-2"-and bringing together of states with akin civilization.

A. Okara surmises, that there is the distinction in kind between Russia and Ukraine: sometime in future the entrance of Ukraine into the European Union seems quite possible. And vice versa, "the admittance of Russia to the European Union is not real under any circumstances, despite the efforts of the EU leaders or leaders of Russia trying to convince of the opposite." The conclusion is as follows: to bind two states by the general purpose of promotion of the civilization project "Europe-2" and in place of adaptation to fit European legacy, it is necessary to get down to work and "develop on the basis of Eastern Orthodox civilization-making values common criteria of political and public order, including models of the "legal state", "civil society", "human rights" etc." One feels sick of such prospects, remembering the understanding of "human rights" by Russian tsarism or Stalinism.

There is the grand question: what is the ultimate goal? What are the geographical limits of "Europe-2"? This gigantesque project impresses: "besides Ukraine and Russia, Armenia, Byelorussia, Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Cyprus, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro are also included here." But that is not the end of it; it turns out, that due to different circumstances and "present political realities Moscow and Kyiv can exercise informative influence and attract different countries to the project. "

Examining this project of enormous Eurasian "pyramid" you willy-nilly catch yourself at thinking that you should stop right away and make sure your purse hasn't been pilfered yet. And your hunch hasn't let you down. Everything fits into place when you come to the point 5 of the project "Europe-2": "The concept of "national interests", which is a guiding principle in domestic and external policy in Russia and Ukraine, should be edited in accordance with the "interests of civilization", that may demand closer co-ordination of foreign-policy activity and even certain self-restraining." As everybody knows, for a long time Ukraine "coordinated" its national interests for the sake of "great proletarian revolution", followed

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by the "international unity of workers". Therefore it was doomed to dig enormous international "foundation pit" giving up national interests. Up to now we see the result. However, A. Okara suggests to once again offering up national interests of Ukraine, though for the cause of East Orthodox Christian civilization. History teaches that there is nothing in it but the new revival of the conception of "Moscow as the third Rome".

However there is a question: why has Eurasianism become so topical in ideological and political life of Russia now? To our mind, Russian researcher O. Kara-Murza provides an exhaustive answer. According to his opinion, the Russian society once more finds itself "in a radical identification crisis" which so deep, because it is not the matter of existence (that it is natural for any country), but a matter of "prospective nonexistence". Practically it means that "westernizers" scare everybody with future "inner decay of Russia", and "samobytniks" employ the bugbear of "squandering Russia". In the heat of the dispute there pops out a totally unwanted prospect: "A new round of fight of camps which have equally degenerated by now may lead to a vehement authoritarian antidemocratic regime and simultaneous sliding to the "third world". In fact, poverty and authoritarianism are twins-brothers: the more exhausted are the resources of this country, the harder is the Distributor. "

O. Kara-Murza thinks that the disputing parties in Russia are wrong in principle: they fail to understand the gist of dual identity, organically inherent in Russia: European civilization identity and at the same time Eurasian geopolitical identity. In essence, politicians are to take into account that "geopolitically Russia can be a success in Eurasia only from the standpoint of its Europe-oriented cultural enlightenment", because "deprived of European cultural and civilizational tradition, Russia appears uninteresting and unnecessary in its own Eastern area. "

But, remarks the researcher, in everyday life of Russia now the attempts of mutual substitution and mixing of its civilization and geopolitical factors become especially dangerous containing the "show off of intelligence that from the point of view of civilization Russia is a kind of "Eurasia" and is different from western civilization, provokes and "stimulates dangerous (above all things for Russia) its contrasting with the European civilization, which can but cause cultural degradation of the country."

O. Kara-Murza quotes historical experience and goes on: the geopolitical confrontation inevitably stimulates the authoritarian inflexibility of the state; and therefore the authoritarian power is looking for a place to make a show of force; there appears a demand for myth-makers modeling the "bugaboo of enemy" of other civilizations-"cringing before the West", "nationalism", "Islamic fundamentalism" etc. It is a long-standing gimmick and no wonder the Eurasians of the 20s readily excused Stalinism and "prison for peoples. "

The researcher maintains that "totalitarianism, within limits, is a materialization of mutual stimulation of inadequately interpreted civilization and geopolitical goals of Russia." This ideocratic "centaur" ("communist" on the outside, "Eurasian" inside) managed to last for a few decades and rot through, before getting paralyzed. Professor thinks that the new Eurasians hit the same road; "the expansion of geopolitical doctrine of Eurasianism into the sphere of culture not only emasculates a European civilization potential of Russia but also introduces strictly authoritarian methods (like those of Genghis Khan) of management. "

According to O. Kara-Murza there is only one way to quit on identification crisis: from the civilization point of view, Russia must re-get the status of the

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European state with prevailing interests in the East. At the same time "Russia cannot but position itself in its relations with the West as geopolitically Eurasian state, with the special type of the state system, which evolved from the specific nature of geopolitical goals." That is, immanent attraction of Russian cultural strata to Europe, on the one side, and geopolitical imperative of heightened state inflexibility, while on the other side there are two halves of one common issue of Russian self-identification in the world.

So, here we have these tenets of "Eurasianism" and views of its critics. Naturally, there is a question about forecast for the future. Sure, it is Russian public business, and we won't interfere into an age-old dispute between "westernizers" and "fundamentalists". It exists since earliest times and, according to Russian analysts, will take time to end. But as far as prognoses involve Ukraine, we will but give an outline them.

First of all, we are glad for the short-term positive Russian socio-economic prospects: the revival of economy, its consumer and hi-tech industries; favorable prices for power carriers; new jobs etc. At the same time, analysts think that these circumstances will "create an illusion of revival of the strong Eurasian empire inside Russia, " while strengthening of political opposition against the psychological background of "decade of humiliation" will sooner or later "lead society to revenge, and large-scale revenge at that. "

According to Russian analysts, as a result adherents of empire, nationalists, Black-Hundreders and antiliberals will stick together forming loud militant groups, which will get to the street, go to the parliaments of all levels, and occupy "Internet" and media. Somewhere in 2006 Russia nationalists will found a powerful party tending to come to power. And then, to prevent the public split of "orthodox and Cossack revival", "geopolitical imperialism", "Aryan association" etc., authorities will have to counterbalance it with the encompassing conception of Euroasianism. Officials will underline that "Islam and orthodoxy are twins-brothers", that there was "more good than evil in Mongolian yoke" and that the "soul of Russia is in the Dyke Pole." The forecasters recognize that "both this invention and ideological cliche of their opponents will carry equal amounts of truth and lie, but ideology of Eurasianism will grant the main thing which is international and interconfessional equilibrium in Russian society. "

At the same time upgrading Eurasianism to the level of official ideology, in opinion of Russian analysts, will prevent tackling "another goal of Russian authorities, i. e. to once again consolidate Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Byelorussia around Russia... On the whole, splash of chauvinism in Russia will strengthen nationalism in Ukraine and Kazakhstan and convince the greater part of population of these countries that they'd rather keep aloof from Russia. In order to join quieter and more businesslike neighbors in the west and south... Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kirghizia enter the zone of Chinese influence for good, and Ukraine and Byelorussia will be drawn into European process of unification. "

According to analysts, in the upshot of the 21 c., "Russian nationalists lose, nationalists in the neighboring CIS countries win." True, it will also bring the results: in the coming 20s "Russia will choose Europe", and in the 30s there will "be f euphoria of corporate revolution and rapprochement with Europe. "

We remind once again, that these forecasts were made by Russian analysts, and it is the matter of their scientific honesty and civil conscience to take the fate of their country very much to heart and warn politicos against possible consequences of evolving trends.

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As for the prospects of Ukrainian choice, we will refer to the materials of two scientific events which took place in Kyiv in spring 2002: the conference "Ukraine and the West 2002: program of actions for progress" and the round table "Prospects of Russian-Ukrainian relations in the context of the Year of Ukraine in Russia and results of parliamentary elections in Ukraine. "

The main conclusion of these scientific discussions clarify that disputes about the European or non-European choice of Ukraine are groundless and ineffective. This choice was made long ago; it was worded at the top level and backed by different agreements with the EU. Therefore one can suspect that endless talks about the "European choice of Ukraine" are not about "scientific interest" only, especially when they make tricks with concepts. In particular, they interpret "European" only as related to the European Union, while in Ukraine the "European choice" is interpreted mainly as priority of human rights, further democratization of society, growth of economy and bringing up of public welfare, and social justice.

There is also this artificial contrasting of the European choice and strategic partnership with Russia. Even for those politicians or publicists which for decades on profiteered on this problem, it became obvious, that after 9/11 these discussions lose grounds, because Russia successfully comes to meet the EU and takes part in the development of a new NATO format.

It is also clear that in the nearest future integration of Ukraine or Russia into the EU is out of question. And not because of political trickery, but, according to S. Pyrozhkov, because being European both these countries are "archaically European", and in the short-term the "European choice means that Ukraine and Russia will be compatible with modern Europe, and not necessarily will become its components." This idea was backed by the majority of the said scientific meetings: the dilemma "Russia/Europe" mostly loses its philosophical substance and constructivism in the context of real policy of the early 21st c.

However, we can't discard one more aspect. According to A. Halchynsky, adviser to the President of Ukraine, it is a matter of subordination of courses toward optimization of economic relations with Russia and Eurointegration policy of Ukraine, which is reflected in the document "The European Choice". It is stated there that the relationships with Russia are "to be subordinated to the idea of European integration." Ukraine and Russia develop their course to Eurointegration in different formats, set different goals, and use different mechanisms. Eventually, Russia does not put a question about the EU membership striving to become the independent center of integration in the post-soviet area. It has the right to it, and other states have the right to cling to this new center or not. For Ukraine Eurointegration is above all things the model of integrated solution of internal transformations with the prospect of subsequent competent partnership within the EU.

We have taken this stand, to rethink the past imperial experience, complicated benefits of modern transformation, to check it against the achievements of science bearing in mind the context of civilization.

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© Vasyl TKACHENKO () Источник: Politics and the Times 2004-06-30

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