Arrivederci, Third Rome

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34 Responses

  1. Ivan Karamazov says:

    Sorry Branko, I’m normally on the same page as you, but I feel like you’re way off on this one.

    I don’t see any evidence that would support your claim of Putin waging a Holy War against the West to restore the Third Rome as you call it.

    Here’s why I think you’re mistaken:
    1. Putin is not a crusader, I would even go as far as to say I don’t think Putin is a religious man. He’s a classic post-war dictator who uses religious institutions to consolidate support from the Orthodox community.
    2. Ukraine invasion did not come out of nowhere. The initial invasion of Crimea and Dunbas in 2014 was due to the coup in Ukraine. Since then there’s been a civil war in this region where Russian backed separatists are fighting Ukrainian nationalists. Among the nationalists there are actual nazis like the Azov Battalion which have enlisted far right volunteers from across the world to fight for Ukraine. NATO has increased the arming of the Ukraine nationalists which last year escalated the tension between Ukraine and Russia. With the potential induction of Ukraine into NATO, Russia would have NATO bases at its door step, which Putin has repeatedly claimed to be an existential threat for Russia.
    3. Russia has been humiliated in this failed blitzkrieg to Kiev. The leadership’s incompetence along with deeply outdated Soviet equipment has tarnished Russian military reputation in the West, and even in the other great powers like China, Japan and India. Thought Russia is likely to win the battle at some point, their puppet government in Ukraine will not be recognized by the world. Russia cannot occupy such a large territory, they will be forced to leave at that point like they left Afghanistan.
    4. Russian economy will not survive many months of sanctions. The middle class has gotten used to luxuries that were brought in the 90s, Putin won’t be able to suppress the discontent of both the oligarchs and the middle class. He’ll be thrown out much before a potential second invasion can start.

    In summary, win or lose, Putin has horribly miscalculated his invasion of Ukraine. However, rather than this been a battle for Third Rome or a battle for the Russian civilization, Russia, in the short term at least, is going to come out horribly wounded. China, Japan, Turkey are all less afraid of the Russians then they were prior to initiating the invasion.

    • Han Fei says:

      3. On the contrary, the performance of the Russian army went about as well as could be expected, given the circumstances for which the Ukrainian side has been preparing over the past 8 years by building a network of fortifications comparable to the Hindenburg line. The Ukranians are pursuing a cynical tactic of placing the bulk of their forces in urban centers and prohibiting civilians from exiting the area of combat operations, effectively turning them into human shields, which significantly complicates military operations. A comparable American/NATO offensive would likely have proceeded faster by virtue of not paying heed to civilian collateral casualties, (given its tendency to not see Slavs as human beings in the first place) as it has amply demonstrated in Sarajevo and Fallujah and many other places. The Ukrainian army, second largest in Europe, is trained, equipped, armed and propagandized into a world standard force. I doubt that any other army in the world, including the US army, could have achieved anything amounting a rapid victory over it without use of WMD’s.

      4. The greatest hazard posed to the Russian economy isn’t sanctions, but its oligarchical system of economics. The overwhelming majority of the population isn’t affected by the contents of the sanctions, including the rather ephemeral notion of the “middle class” which does not exist in Russia apart from a few parts of Moscow and St. Petersburg. The main mistake that the West is making right now is expanding the scope of this war on the common members of the Russian public in its spheres of mass propaganda, as evidenced by, for instance, Facebook’s latest policy of encouraging hate speech directed against them. This sends a clear signal to the Russian people that this is no longer a “politicians war” but concerns the existence of the Russian nation as such. Therefore, even if shaky circumstances within the country will lead to a regime change in the next few years, it certainly won’t be pro-western liberals who will end up at the helm, but likely the fiercly anti-NATO and anti-liberal Communist party which has been gaining massive rounds in the predictably rigged latest elections. The predominant sentiment in Russia, not uncommon even among members of the traditionalist right, is that the path that the country took since 1991 has been an entirely erroneous one, and furthermore that a rollback to beyond this date is preferable to the current conditions, of which this fratricidal war is but one consequence.

      • Ivan Karamazov says:

        Do you live in Russia or China? Please look into legitimate news sources, most of what you’ve said above is seriously mistaken.

        • Han Fei says:

          I’m not concerned with “news sources”, let alone ones you consider reputable. I make my judgements based on my knowledge of history and first hands accounts of the situation as it unfolds from people I know who live in both Ukraine and Russia who have no vested interest in supporting the regime of either side. As far as I’m concerned all news or mass media in general are industries for production of mass hypnosis. I do not claim to possess some sort of crystal ball that allows me to look at these matters through the lens of total impartiality, in fact I am proficient in Russian and place a greater degree of trust in written sources in that language, although I am not an ethnic Russian.

          Azov and Right Sector ARE fully fledged neo-nazi organizations, in the sense that they hold fast to nazi symbols, espouse white supremacist ideology and declare themselves as the successors of OUN, the World War 2 Nazi collaborationist group, responsible for the genocidal killings of millions of people. One of the leaders of Azov openly proclaimed his intent to lead Ukraine as head of Aryan countries cleanse his country and the rest of the world from “Jews and moscals”. That these groups seek to fully live up to the reputation of their intellectual forebears is evident by the fact of thousands of political murders, beatings, imprisonments and other acts of terrorist violence occurring within the borders of Ukraine since 2014. They are the epitome of a postmodern, post-Nazi radically sinister organization that I was under the impression Branco had a handle on, given his previous articles dealing with these matters. And unlike most other organizations, which operate largely on the digital fringe, these groups enjoy the full backing of institutionally dominant Ukrainian oligarchs and western intelligence agencies.

          Nowhere in my post did I voice support for the Russian invasion. However I will not deny that I look at it from a different perspective. I will make it clear that I have little sympathy for the course that contemporary Ukraine has taken. I believe Russians and Ukrainians are culturally the same people. I despise the ultranationalist Ukrainization policies of the current government. However, I also believe it should be an independent country with its own foreign policy and choice of which sphere of influence to belong to.

          If the global community was truly acting in the interests of peace and global security, it would have pressured the Ukrainian government to participate in an international counter-terrorist operation to eradicate these ultranationalist groups, in the same vein as that (at least nominally) directed against ISIS in countries such as Iraq and Syria. No country can claim to be sovereign and have radical extremist groups of this sort having such an influence over state policy in recourse of all civil and legal institutions. So far as this is remains to be the case, there can never be peace with Russia, or indeed any of its neighbors.

          You might be surprised to learn that one can be both against this war, but also be aware of the reasons that led to it. It is foolish to dismiss these points that I have raised as Russian propaganda, which seems to be the ultimate denial passing for an argument these days.

      • Malić says:

        as it has amply demonstrated in Sarajevo

        What NATO in Sarajevo? Rhetorical question, as the answer is obvious. Valid for other points, too.

    • Malić says:

      I am tired of repeating myself, although I understand the not-getting of this situation to some extent. Still more, I don’t expect anyone more to the West from Checzs to recognize the messianic lunacy. Putin said it all clearly many times. And many, many others before him. The fact that the existence of Azov seems to you so troublesome whereas apparently “Russian sphere of influence” is no problem is something you should seriously reflect upon. I’ll tell this much:in Russian sphere of influence Ukrainian people exist as Russians, if not, they are Nazis. And that’s a codeword for genocide, I heard it before. As for Azov, in an improvised defense, as it was before 8 years, some of the initial strike force are always radicals. Nothing controversial about that especially for those who don’t find Russian unquestioning support for Putin uncontroversial.

      • Ivan Karamazov says:

        You’ve misunderstood me here. Putin’s justification of the war due to the danger of Nazism and Azov Batallion is laughable.. They have at most a few thousand recruits. If by Nazism, he’s referring to what you seem to be in this podcast, I can’t speak to that, I’m not familiar with the use of the term in this regard,

        Recently, I’ve started to read and research into the background of all this. I can’t believe what I’m reading.. Dostoevsky’s personal philosophy is not Ivan Karamazov’s.. it’s the grand inquisitors… I’ve been depressed ever since I read that. But you need to cover some of these figures.. Vladimir Solovyov is one of the more interesting ones.

        • Ante says:

          There isn’t that much to be familiar with when it comes to using the term “nazism” in this case. It is a slur, meant to legitimize the attack through demonization of the other. As Branko implied, but maybe wasn’t sufficiently explicit about, these very same nazis would be instantly denazified if they would accept being Russian, with all the rest of their views left in place.

          The main difference between use in the west and in Russia (and Serbia) is that while in the west it is used to demonize people who don’t accept the “values”, in Russia (and Serbia) it is used to demonize people who don’t want to be Russian (or Serb). We had exact same thing when existence of real radical elements during Croatian war of independence was used to paint the entire nation and its political leadership as nazis, and it actually keeps being pushed by mainstream media in Serbia to this very day.

          Anyhow, details aside, the best lesson to learn here is to just not allow oneself to idolize Russia because of revulsion induced by the horrors we see in the west. If there are two sides in a conflict, one being bad doesn’t automatically make the other good. And this includes not just Putin or Stalin, but all the rest of it, Dostoevsky included. I don’t want to sound patronizing, and I’m sure you understand what I’m saying, but my strong impression is that many in the west have accepted Russia as the good guy as a knee jerk reaction to what they see around them, so I had to spell it out.

  2. Ivan Karamazov says:

    Also, I hope this finally wakes people up to the dangers of nationalism. The farcical attempt at building nation states is no more than myth making and reimagining history. I know you’ve spoken of the dangers of nationalism before, but you’ve also said that nations are not constructs. I completely disagree on this point, any religious or traditional man would fight this modern idea to the death. History should not be rewritten in order to romanticize the past. There is such a thing as truth, and the truth is that migrating people have always syncretized their customs and beliefs based on their environment.

    • Malić says:

      What Ukrainian’s are doing now is forging a nation. I don’t see anything farsical in that. Russians do, however.

      • Ivan Karamazov says:

        The problematic nationalism here is not Ukrainian nationalism, it’s Russian nationalism. Ukrainian people were rightfully fed up of kleptocratic governance and wanted to integrate themselves into the West to somewhat improve their lives.

  3. Ivan Karamazov says:

    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

  4. Marie says:

    I’m disappointed, Branko… For the 1st time in 7 years that I’m following your blog.
    1. Ukraina is unique only by the fact that is an artificial country. If you check the history of the eastern slavs, you’ll see it clearly.
    2. Ukraina is not a 100% orthodox country – only the eastern part of it + the lands inhabited by romanians and cosacks. The west is catholic, i.e. the lands that Stalin took from Poland and Chehoslovakia.
    3. Until Ivan III the russians lived quite peacefully . Peter the Great is the one who gets intoxicated by the west and starts conquest campaigns. A bit later Katerine the Great expands the Russian empire to the west and the south, annexing territories from Otoman empire and Poland.
    4. The only suicidal in the story is the west. Someone who commented before explained it pretty well.
    5. There are nazis in Ukraine – remember what happened during and after the Maidan (the Azov batallion).
    6. Ukraine is used as a proxi by the US of A to provoke Russia, by one hand, and by the other, in order to prevent a german-russian alliance — they are screwed if it happens — and it’s been their policy in Europe ever since the end of ww2.
    7. I’m not so sure that Putin is so wrong… He has a very good training 😉 360° so to speak – kgb and wef.

    • Malić says:

      Thank you for following. However, judging by your comment, I am affraid it didn’t do you much benefit. Don’t make me start answering point by point, because it is going to hurt. Rather go and don’t turn back.

  5. Marie says:

    I didn’t mean to hurt you, Branko. Please forgive me if I did.

    • Malić says:

      You didn’t hurt me, you are hurting yourself and your conscience. The points you made were just a sequence of internet information cluster heavily influenced by Russians. Better to ignore the whole situation then try to “make sense of it” in that fashion. For example, “artificial nation” is almost certainly an overture to genocide, because nation and people are conflated here – Ukrainians are either “Malorusi” and thus part of the Russian state or Nazis and thus part of the Ukrainian nation. Russians consider them existential threat as long as they exist as separate people. Its got nothing to do with any external threats to Russia. Now they crossed the line and are playing out their own myths and world can burn for all they care.

  6. Marie says:

    I see I didn’t make myself clear…. My point is that the ethnic and the historic reality of the two nations doesn’t lead in any way, from my humble point of view, to such a war. Because they are brothers, esentially.

    The fact that there is a war, is because of the forced orange revolution that didn’t convinced the eastern part of Ukraine. And believe me that I know what I’m talking about, as I myself was a witness of one in my country and I know the sheer perversity of its claims.
    And what surprised me most is the fact that a person with such mental acuity as you are, fell for the old prejudice of “the russian is the bad guy”. And even if I agree that the URSS used to be the bad, I also must admit that the winds have changed and now the same bad spirit blows from the west. And you know it and demonstrated it in a lot of your articles.

    Thus, in total agreement with my consciouness, my opinion is that the poor Ukraine, by her leaders, was led into a war that is not hers. That my opinion coincides with the russian propaganda…. Well, what can I say…pure coincidence, because the country where I live has banned the access to all russian propaganda sites. So, tired of the NATO propaganda that assaults the common sense, I just studied the facts and I arrived to this conclusion.

    I never said “artificial nation”, but artificial country. Why I said that? Because of the territories that were added to it during the times of URSS.
    If we go further back in time, we see that Its name was not Ukraine, but Russia — Kievan Russia.,. The cradle of eastern slavic statality. The reason why I think that its natural gravity is to the other Russia.

    I don’t know if you know that modern Ukraine allows zero rights to minorities… Zero, zip, nula. It’s against their constitution, they say. Do you believe that ethnic epuration is something to begin do in the XXIst century in order to forge a nation?
    What do you think of Woodrow Wilson doctrine?

    • Malić says:

      And what surprised me most is the fact that a person with such mental acuity as you are, fell for the old prejudice of “the russian is the bad guy”

      Russia was on the same trajectory of expansion as it is now when buffalos roamed Washington and Langley. Ukrainaians had enough of being in the “sphere of influence”. The fact that they gained support from the West in the Majdan uprising doesn’t mean that West created anything there. Do you thing the “color revolutions” just happen by outside action, with no spontaneous action of the people? That those who get brought down by it are beloved leaders? Not a single peaceful regime change operation would’ve worked if it wasn’t desired by the people.

  7. Marie says:

    “Do you thing the “color revolutions” just happen by outside action, with no spontaneous action of the people?”

    Yes, I do. Unfortunately the perversity of the color revolution stunnes the mind. The outside action – in the form of ONGs , the so called “civic society” at the begining, and then even political parties is focussed at debilitating a nations’ healthy sense of self, incumbing the false belief that there is no life outside UE or NATO, that if they aren’t partisans of UE and NATO, they are russofils, antidemocratic, anti-progressist and so on… For me sounds just like “if you aren’t with us, you are against us” form of behviour that bolchevics had back in the ’50s in my country.

    And this, in my opinion, is sheer violence. A soft, insidious, psychological one.

    One of the particularities of the “new world” that begins to show its ugly face at the begining of the past century, is that the real freedom of choice was abolished. Capitalism and communism are just two faces of the same coin, in keeping with the strategy “think globally, act locally”. Thus in the west, soft and insidious, claiming freedom and democracy while progressively striping people of every freedom they fought for; and in the east, forceful and brute, at the gun point. I guess you noticed it too…

    “Not a single peaceful regime change operation would’ve worked if it wasn’t desired by the people.”

    It works because there is no real democracy: they control the voting software, they control the press, and some people are just broken by so many years of propaganda, while the ones who can still see have access denied to the media. I’m not saying it has always been like that, but from something like 20-30 years onwards, its quite obvious.

    The Maidan, according to their own statistics was sustained only by the people in the western provinces of Ukraine, while the east and the south weren’t convinced. And there live a lot of people whose opinion wasn’t taken into account… More then half…

    • Malić says:

      I see I didn’t make myself clear…. My point is that the ethnic and the historic reality of the two nations doesn’t lead in any way, from my humble point of view, to such a war. Because they are brothers, esentially.

      That’s some coercive brotherhood. Why not be a good brother and let your brother leave you?

      I am not in anyway convinced about denigrating Maidan as it was obviously a spontaneous event. What attached itself to it is another question.

      Since you say, as I understand, that you have some insight about a concrete Color revolution, could you tell me where you from?

    • Malić says:

      Let us get back to the beginning. I am sorry I initially responded harshly, but I apologize only out of conviction that you are a decent person and don’t deserve such treatment, not because I consider your arguments convincing.

      You say you follow my writing, and that would imply your countryman, Mihai’s too. Throughout our work both of us repeatedly stress one thing:

      1. Trying to understand the drive to dissolution of human form and intellectual resistance against it is the main reason KT exists. However, as both of us repeatedly stress, this drive is not a political one. When I say, for example, that LGBTQ+ transcends politics, I don’t mean that first you had LGBTQ+ politics and then it somehow became something more than politics – I mean the exact opposite: the drive to dissolve the dual nature of human being comes from the transcendence and then takes political and other forms. If this is not understood, its better not trying to follow what I write, because the one doing that we’ll end up making conclusions that are not simply wrong, but inverted, in the way that what is political will appear as spiritual and what is spiritual will appear as political.

      As opposed to principal, transcendent, reality there’s no purity in politics, either good or evil. That’s the reason why you can – indeed, must – bear in mind that every political upheaval entails some participation of good and some participation of evil.

      Now two additional remarks:

      2. I am not an angel not only morally, but also intellectually. And the only being I know about, who would be able to intuit two opposites as one in one intuitive and undivided act is an angel. Expecting me, or anyone else, to take evil that emanates from Russia and the one that emanates from some of its opponents and lay it out for you to comprehend in the one, undivided, glance would imply that we are cognitively more than human. I am sometimes astonished over the fact that this is quite a prevalent expectation. Human being, no matter how intelligent, has to lay out his insights in time, therefore in sequence, and piecemeal. Now I am saying something about Russia, but in my previous essay I wrote probably the most radical condemnation of the situation in Europe and Anglosaxon rim I have ever written. One doesn’t exclude the other and I challenge anyone to prove me wrong about that. The only thing I can do, when I collate these two attempts at pinpointing evil is to come to the necessary conclusion that it is one evil. But I cannot, due to my inherent limitation, not merely as individual, but as a human being, comprehend and explain how they are one evil. I now that it is, but I don’t know, and cannot know, what it is because I am not equipped to understand it and I don’t think any man who would be cursed with such insight could survive it, because it would be a vision of evil without limitations. I would claim that we are created rather not to see it, then to see it.

      3. Forget the old world of Eighties and before. Communists just froze things in time, not out of the goodness of their hearts but because they were too incompetent to step out of modern age. You had less than you have now. Then you couldn’t see, now you can.

      • Marie says:

        Apologies accepted, Branko. My comment wasn’t intended to convince, but merely expressing a point of view, very synthetically, is true ( is my nature), and I guess this triggered your reaction. Mihai developed very well what I had in mind when I wrote, it in his comment of 19th of March.

        I am very much aware that all things begin in spirit and then are deployed into all aspects of life, politics included. And I am also very much aware that is a “conspiration of evil” at work in the world and that the battle is for our souls. (Precisely for this I’m following you blog, because you are so good at spotting its roots in the modern philosophy.) From this perspective defending the modern “western values” and embodying all evil into Russia — as the western propaganda is doing–, it seems to me a bit against the historical evidence, because the history is long and the evil does not have nationality… And if we, as humanity have threw God out of our lives, well, you know, where there is no light, is darkness… En fin, I get your writings more than you give me credit of being able 🙂

      • Marie says:

        “Trying to understand the drive to dissolution of human form and intellectual resistance against it is the main reason KT exists. ”

        Precisely because of this I guess I was expecting a sort of “applied philosophy” analysis of the facts.

        “Expecting me, or anyone else, to take evil that emanates from Russia and the one that emanates from some of its opponents and lay it out for you to comprehend in the one, undivided, glance would imply that we are cognitively more than human. I am sometimes astonished over the fact that this is quite a prevalent expectation. ”

        God seldom works through paradox — I guess I was expecting for you to see it… Precisely because of what you say: “Now I am saying something about Russia, but in my previous essay I wrote probably the most radical condemnation of the situation in Europe and Anglosaxon rim I have ever written.” and “The only thing I can do, when I collate these two attempts at pinpointing evil is to come to the necessary conclusion that it is one evil.”

        “Forget the old world of Eighties and before. Communists just froze things in time, not out of the goodness of their hearts but because they were too incompetent to step out of modern age. ”

        Well, I’m not sure that the suitable term for those who “froze things in time…” is “communists”. Mainly because all global-progre’ post-modern anti-philosophy embodies so well all the very definition it.

        • Malić says:

          Precisely because of this I guess I was expecting a sort of “applied philosophy” analysis of the facts.

          And that’s what you got.

          God seldom works through paradox — I guess I was expecting for you to see it…

          But God doesn’t work evil. And there’s no paradox in the simultaneous existence of two evils, except if you consider one of them to be absolute.

          • Marie says:

            “But God doesn’t work evil.”

            Of course He doesn’t. The only one who is working the evil is the human being. God is only allowing it out of His endless love for man.

            “And there’s no paradox in the simultaneous existence of two evils, except if you consider one of them to be absolute.”

            The paradox I was referring to, is that the power who is saying that is defending the peace, democracy and self-determination for all countries, went on to ignite various wars, kill the democracy and rob the self-determination right of each and every country who either denied to willingly giving up their resources to the hegemon or was considered by it a bridgehead for it to further sack or destabilize stronger countries.

            Of course, it is only an apparent paradox. Moreover, I would dare to say that evil is the same — I mean there is one, not two. On the political level, some call it “the fifth column”.

  8. Marie says:

    I’m from Romania. I’ve seen two “revolutions” – and even if I agree that people weren’t particularly happy with the respective leaders and participated to some extent, I can also assure that the contra-leaders, i.e. the leaders of the revolutions weren”t fond at all of the welfare of the people, but in search for the benefit of the powers that sent them.
    Why do I say that?
    Untill ’89 Romania was an auto-sufficient country, with no external debts at all, and with a positive balance of payments. After the “revolutíons”, all industry was either closed, or sold for peanuts, external debt got to allarming quotes, and is importing even the food, because the agriculture was also destroyed.
    All these under the claim of “democracy” and “freedom”.
    Who were the “revolutionaries”? That’s easy to know: qui prodest? I can assure you that isn’t Russia.
    Another thing worth mentioning is that the former USSR, starting from the ’60s , stopped mingling in the internal affairs of Romania. After the “revolutions” we have all the western countries ambassadors giving orders to our Government. Sovereignty? Zero.

  9. Mihai says:

    Quick word from my side.

    To Branko:
    1. I don’t think that what you describe here is particular to Russia. The hunger for space, for example, is as old as human history and can be traced to every great power which ever existed. True, Russians have a particular temperament that gives this a local spice, but the difference is only in degree and colouring, not in the essence. Of course, I too much rather prefer coca-cola and mc donald’s at the corner of the street (though I despise them) than Russian tanks rolling under my window, but a war is a war and bombing the hell out of Irak for the sake of “democracy” or the hell out of Ukraine for integration into Greater Russia, the result is the same: a lot of deaths, cities and lives of millions destroyed.

    Of course, if you say that Western powers are more driven by cost/benefit thinking making them more predictable while the Russians have an irrational side to it, making them unpredictable, I think you are right, but, once again, this is a question of degrees, not of essence.

    But, on the whole I agree, that I’d rather have the lesser degree, than the greater.

    2. While ex-KGB agent Kiril is certainly a mere puppet of Putin, I don’t think it is correct to say that “a whole church” succumbed to irredentist nationalistic mysticism. I don’t know the contemporary affairs in common Russian Church life, however I can point out to holy people like Siluan the Athonite or Sophrony Saharov from 20th century or Theophan the Recluse or Seraphim of Sarov from 19th and 18th centuries. Their way of life and teachings have nothing to do with this love affair of some hierarchs with wordly powers. And it is not something new, either. If we look at the history of the ol’ Eastern Empire, we see that many times Orthodoxy was defended by simple monks and lay people (plus a minority of lesser hierarchs) who refused to obey the deviant direction of the Patriarch of Constantinopol, many times a mere puppet of imperial power.

    To the others:

    1. Although there is certainly a lot of Western influence behind the revolution in Ukraine, it is certainly a slandering of the Ukrainians to reduce everything to only that, as if the Ukrainians are just a bunch of mindless sheep, lead one way or the other by anyone who has an interest to. Judging by their reaction to the invasion, I would say that they are genuinely not happy in being vassals of Putin’s Russia.

    A Romanian historian wrote about convergent interests in explaining the revolutions of 1848 and the unity of Romania. True, Western powers did have an interest in creating a buffer state between the Russian and Ottoman empires (and later in ending the Austro-Hungarian Empire), but the Romanian people also genuinely fought for this purpose from the 17th (and especially 18th century) onward. As I know from my great-great-grandparents, life under the Hungarian yoke wasn’t that pleasant, otherwise they wouldn’t have taken all their movable belongings and moved from Transylvania to the shores of the Black Sea.

    2. This reductionism of seeing just one aspect of the whole issue – Ex: the bolshevik revolution happened because of Wall Street- is very naive. True, no one is denying the existence of these facts, but reality is multi-layered and far more complex and irreducible to one single issue.

    3. I think the basis of your attitude is not about this conflict, but rather of the unwillingness to recognize that Putin’s Russia is really no alternative to the West. It is a desperate attempt to hold on to the illusion that there is a Christian political power out there- or at least a more traditional one- who can oppose western globalism. But it is just an illusion, which must be given up. From the Christian perspective, political power is always intrinsically linked to the tree of good and evil and hence, there is no ideal solution, only acceptable compromises. But a compromise is no longer acceptable if we forget the essence for the sake of compromise.

    Remember that Putin is a former KGB agent and that reality and reality show projected through Russia Today, Sputnik and other propaganda outlets are entirely different things.

  10. Ivan Karamazov says:

    Upon doing some research and reading on Moscow’s designation as Third Rome. There seems to be some discrepancy between how you’ve mentioned it here vs how it’s interpreted historically.

    First Rome was that of the Romans that fell to the Goths.

    Second Rome was Byzantine that fell to the Turks.

    Third Rome was Muscovy that fell to the reformations implement by the Patriarch Nikon under the Romanovs in an attempt to Westernize the kingdom to conform to the practices of the Christianity of the Greeks, i.e. the Raskol.

    The Old Believers believe that the loss of the third Rome to the reforms engendered the reign of the Church by the Antichrist.

    Looking at their practices today across the world, mostly Siberia and USA, they are completely in line with Asian religions. Their extreme ascetic practices and isolation in the tundra reminds me of Yogis in Himalayas in India or Buddhist Monks in the forests of Thailand. They also practice a form of idolatry of religious icons which are reminiscent of Asian religions. Negative theology is also completely in line with the concept of Shunyata in Buddhism.

    I’m starting to see that the Slavophiles are correct, Russia is a completely separate civilization from that of Europe. Whatever interactions they had with the West, such as the attempts of Peter the Great to Westernize the region were largely rejected by the population. Also whenever a Western power showed up in the region the rulers sided with the Mongols even though they themselves were of Viking origin.

    I also disagree with your claim of the Catholic religion being the foundation of the Western civilization. I don’t want to go over that here, but this can be easily refuted by the fact that many Nordic nations have had very interactions with the religion as it was practice in Central and Western Europe at the height of its power. Nordic nations largely syncritized their pagan religion with Christianity.

  11. Valerio Maggi says:

    I have massively “enjoyed” this podcast, Branko.

    I would like to make a few remarks.

    I have red also your analysis on the revision of the atrocities occured during the war in ex-Jugoslavia in the 90s. What I see now on social media is a continue influx of the same arguments from the part of some serbians and western anti-nato idiots. It is staggering to see how arguments -to point of complete correspondence of words even- made then by a Karadzic and those made now by Russians and westeners pro-putin imbeciles are exactly the same now. So i take for certain that genocide is occurring now in Ukraine, and the propaganda on how Ukrainians are supposedly making up massacres to attack Russia on international media.
    I don’t see any difference between claims about Srebrenica being a hoax and, say, Buca right now: ukrainian/bosniaks did it to themselves, and if they didn’t it is NATO-engineered to make Serbia/Russia look bad and open up for western intervention.

    To me it constitutes evidence of complete and unrepairable mental illness. I have the feeling that these people may be really apt to anything just to prove a point that exists only in their deranged minds. An echo of this is people in the west actually applauding a war against the west, where one is hoping for the invasion of one’s country to “free” them from globalists elite. I tend to think now that conspiracy of mainstream media about russian influence on public opinion is true: only it is a free act of the minds of those upholding Russia as a safe heaven for traditionalists and even international law believers.
    It is just incredible, well, not really incredible: it is just ugly to see.

    I would also like to add something on the more philosophical side. In this sense I am talking about the civil war in Sri Lanka. Not to present the whole story, but just two important facts that i see as a constant in these phenomena. One is it being a phenomenon typical of modernity and the second how it can only work through imagination first.
    In Sri Lanka, after the independence, the sinhalese majority installed, through the state, an ideology of Buddhist ethno-nationalism(my mother and my entire family from her side are sinhalese, mostly buddhists, although some are christians). This resulted in a systematic discrimination of the indu-tamil minority; up until 1983 where it turned violent through progroms etc. then the civil war erupted and came in the infamous LTTE tamil army, who “prides” itself for patenting suicide bombings and explosive belts. The war ended in 2009, after a great deal of massacres among the civilians. “Killing fields of Sri Lanka” is a good -although quite gruesome- documentary on this and how it really was a form of genocide.

    The thing that impresses me -mind you, the civil war being caused by buddhist nationalism is something that does not occur among those sinhalese growing up during those years- is how something like this, meaning the search of space for one “civilization” -sinhalese buddhism claims to be the orthodox and most perfect form of buddhism- is something that never existed prior to modernity. Sri Lanka had many tamils as kings during its kingdom, and generally got along pretty well with its various religions and ethnicity. But from the independence the aim of the whole sinhalese establishment was to get rid of the tamil presence in the island: those who are not sinhalese buddhists are permitted -in their minds- to live there only out of patience.

    So, it is my opinion that this kind of phenomena are the results of the coming to pass in history of the modern state. As you rightly mention in terms of christianity the russian one is a complete heresy. And i tend to think that it is brought about by the tendency of the modern state to make religion collapse on the premises and ideological confines of the modern state -in its Hobbesian conception I would add. By religion i mean what an ethnical understanding of a people may regard as its place of metaphysical origin(in germany it was clearly paganism).
    To add some occult flavour to this, Sri Lanka was the chosen place for theosophy: Blavatsky and Olcott travelled there and are considered those who actually propelled the resurrection of buddhism among the Sinhalese, who untile then “forgot” about their place in the renewed discovery of spiritualism in modernity. Olcott wrote the buddhist “catechism” that is still taught in schools and still considered some sort on national -yet from the former colonial power, hehe- hero.
    To end, all this can only exist in imagination, which can only result in destruction of what is real, namely human beings.

    Keep up the good work Branko!

    • Malić says:

      “To me it constitutes evidence of complete and unrepairable mental illness.”

      It is a mental illness but in some cases it can be remedied at an early stage if you isolate the person from the flood of information. Reality check in itself doesn’t help, because notion of reality, as it was understood until relatively recently, doesn’t apply anymore.

  12. mik says:

    Oh, Branko….oh….

    You lost it badly.

    But first, back in a day you did excellent job presenting what really happened in Yugoslavia. I haven’t found anything in English that comes even close.

    Comparing and “equating” Croatia to Ukraine is not justifiable from historical perspective. In case of Croatia and ex-Yu wars shit storm had started in Serbia with Milošević as you’ve pointed out. In case of Ukraine it started within Ukraine.
    In case of Yugoslavia we cannot be sure of the extent of the West’s involvement. The latter is undeniable in Ukraine, they admitted it.
    I wonder what is your take on Ukrainian law about autochthonous nations of Ukraine from summer 2021 where Russians are not mentioned. I would say that transformed Ukraine to de jure apartheid state.

    You said many many times, readers cannot understand because they have no experience. You are on a slippery slope: maybe you are incapable to to present/explain….maybe there is actually nothing there. Maybe you think people are intellectually/emotionally deficient and as consequence you are dehumanizing them like you do with Russians.

    I haven’t been on the receiving end directly, thank’s god, but you cannot sell me bs . I’m Slovenian living in Croatia. There is way to much talk about Croatian nazis and way to little talk about Ukrainian nazis.

    Btw, did you mention north atlantic terrorist organization at all, de facto the only expansionist entity.

    Branko, are you serious:
    “Kiev turned into nuclear dust? Doesn’t matter – it must be incorporated into the Russian church-state-people.
    This is something we experienced in Croatia in cities like Vukovar, a city in east Croatia that was under siege and practically razed by the Serbian army and their irregulars. The thing is that, although the city is now rebuilt and reincorporated into Croatia, while it was in Serbian hands nothing was rebuilt, nothing was fixed. ”

    I’ve been in Vukovar a month after it was possible and many times after.
    People were dirt poor at the time, occupying Serbia effectively bankrupt. That is highly likely the reason and not bs religion, state of mind or whatever.
    Also, to reverse the “logic”, Ukrainians wanting sovereignty is so sacred that the country can be turned into ruins with hundreds thousand corpses in the process. Are you aware destruction of Croatia is pičkin dim (nothing) compared to what will happen there and that is in the best case???

    You try to philosophize about a big pile of stinking shit. An adage came to my mind: Who sleeps with children wakes up wet.

    Full disclosure:
    I’m for Peace.

    And my dark poetry:
    When I hear Tradition I think where is my nine(mm).
    When I hear Peace&Love I think ,50 cal won’t be enough.

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