The Shirtless Wonder's Alternate History

This clearinghouse topic exists to discuss Vladimir Putin’s views of Ukrainian and Russian history and how they relate to current events. Please note that comments containing spurious claims about history from either the Russian or Ukrainian sides of the conflict may be re-directed here for further discussion. There is also a separate topic to counter fallacious arguments here.

The events of history are of course open to interpretation. Revisionist history is a legitimate historiographical approach in that context. Unfortunately, since the 1980s that term has been sullied by right-wing charlatans like David Irving as well as neo-Nazis to further their toxic agendas. The current right-wing autocrat of All the Russias has decided to join in that sorry tradition of pretzel arguments and lies as he tries to justify his invasion of a sovereign nation-state

I’ll start things rolling below by examining some of Putin’s claims in that instance.

First, though, some reality-based definitions we’ll be hearing a lot from the Putin regime and its apologists and Useful Idiots and tankies:

  • “Ukraine” is the sovereign nation-state formed in 1991 by popular and non-violent assent by the people of the former Ukrainian SSR after the fall of the Soviet Union. It currently ranks 86/167 on The Economist’s Democracy Index. In regard to this invasion we are not currently discussing any of its other forms, including the Soviet client state or the medieval kingdom that pre-dated Russia.

  • “Russia” or “The Russian Federation” is a sovereign nation-state formed after the fall of the Soviet Union. It currently ranks 124/167 on The Economist’s Democracy Index. Except where warrented (e.g. as the nation-state invading another or tampering with anothers’ elections), Russia and its people should not be conflated directly with the autocratic regime of Putin, Many Russians consider his attempt to re-construct the old Tsarist or Soviet empires along the lines of the geopolitical ideology of Aleksandr Dugin and his ilk to be ill advised. Nor should Ukraine as defined above be conflated with Russia.

  • “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DNR”) and "Luhansk People’s Republic (“LNR”) are bogus terms created by ethnic Russian rebels and their patron state (the Russian Republic) to describe what is actually the eastern region known as “Donbas” of the sovereign nation-state of Ukraine.

  • “Fascism” refers to a generic right-wing sado-populist ultra-nationalist ideology, commonly associated with Nazi Germany but present (and unfortunately currently resurgent) in many countries. Umberto Eco provides a serviceable list of its characteristics in his classic essay. Ukraine has its fascist fringe groups that enjoy little legitimate political power in civil society. The same goes for Russia, although Putin has evinced a greater willingness to ally with such groups when politically expedient and certainly employs many of fascism’s methods, which were essentially the same ones his former employer the KGB used to promote authoritarian communism of the Soviet Union. In the current war, we may see Ukrainian fascists fighting Russian fascists and vice-versa – it is the nature of fascism that there is no aspiration to their own version of the Socialist Internationale.

  • “Genocide” refers to the deliberate and systematic state-sponsored murder of ethnic, religious, or racial groups. Currently, there is no convincing evidence that Putin’s claims of a Ukrainian genocide of ethnic Russians in Ukraine’s Donbas region are factual. Please do not throw this term around as casually as Putin or American white supremacists do, as doing so diminishes the gravity of actual genocides with real murdered victims.

  • “Peacekeeping” is a term generally associated with United Nations missions in which military troops from disinterested third-party countries are sent to conflict zones to maintain truces and reduce violent incidents from combatant parties. “Peacekeeping” is not a legitimate description of troops being sent in to carry out an expansionist mission for an aspiring empire.

  • “NATO” is a defensive military treaty organisation created by the U.S. after the Second World War to counter the expansionist tendencies of the USSR during the Cold War era. Membership conveyed the promise of support resulting from the dictum that “an attack on one member is an attack on all members”. In the post-Soviet period it has welcomed members from now independent former SSR and Warsaw Pact nation-states. Putin characterises this as an attack on Russia, which says more about his intentions than it does about NATO’s. NATO is not to be confused with the more amorphous term “the West”, despite the Putin regime’s tendency to do so in a derogatory fashion.

As in the “And Whatabout Your Black People…?” topic, let me take another opportunity to extend to any new comrades from Russia’s “content farms” a heartfelt

[disclaimer: this topic does not necessarily represent the views of Boing Boing’s Authors, Publisher or Moderators but rather those of members of the BBS community]

13 Likes

Comrade Tsar Putin’s Pronouncements on History, per Aleksandr Dugin – Part 1

Vovka sez: “Let’s start with the fact that modern Ukraine was entirely created by Russia, more precisely, by the Bolshevik, communist Russia. This process began almost immediately after the 1917 revolution”

Gracchus sez: BS. The modern nation-state of Ukraine, currently being invaded by Russia was established in 1990 after the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of its empire.

Vovka sez: "Then, on the eve and after the Second World War, Stalin already annexed to the USSR and transferred to Ukraine some lands that previously belonged to Poland, Romania, and Hungary,” Putin said.

Gracchus sez: this is true. Stalin expanded the domain of the Soviet Union by taking land formerly held by nation-states to the west of what was then known as the Ukrainian SSR (then effectively part of the Soviet empire). However, this has nothing to do with the Russian Federation’s current attempt to take land in the eastern part of the Ukrainian nation-state.

Vovka sez: “And in 1954, for some reason, Khrushchev took Crimea from Russia and gave it to Ukraine. Actually, this is how the territory of Soviet Ukraine was formed,” Putin said.

Gracchus sez: despite Putin’s unconvincingly feigned ignorance, there are actually well-understood political and economic reasons that prompted the (as always unilateral) decision by the Kremlin to transfer administration of the non-military area of the peninsula from the RSFSR To the Ukrainian SSR (with a remaining degree of joint administration in which Moscow effectively called the shots).

That said, most legitimate scholars and historians see both Ukraine and Russia as having equal ethnic and historic claims to Crimea and expressed confusion and dismay at Putin’s blatant use of election tampering and the intimidation by “little green men” to try to sway the outcome to Russia’s favour; most acknowledge it was showboating for the Putin’s ultra-nationalist Know-Nothing domestic base and an attempt to thumb his nose at the West. Finally, the claim behind the invasion of Ukraine has no similar basis in historical legitimacy.

14 Likes

“How can you call us Nazis when we gave millions of lives in the Second World War?” It is a fair point. Ukrainian soldiers died in terrible numbers in the Red Army: more than Americans, British, and Frenchmen combined during the Second World War. He adds: “Tell it to my grandfather, who fought in the Soviet infantry and died as a colonel in independent Ukraine.” President Zelensky does not mention that his grandfather’s father and much of his family were murdered in the Holocaust.

6 Likes
1 Like

What did the world expect?
Eastern Ukraine has been in limbo for years.
U.S.A keeps wanting to expand NATO, and sell missiles.
Western banks wash Russian money with glee.
Republican politicians are funded through Russia.

1 Like

No passive voice needed. That’s what happens when Putin supports pro-Russian fascist militias as a prelude to a land grab.

The U.S. and EU countries have reluctantly bent over backwards to deny or delay Ukraine from joining NATO despite its requests to join, specifically to counter Putin’s BS narrative that NATO is hellbent on destroying Russia.

Until just the past few weeks, the U.S. has also been careful about what weapons it send to Ukraine. Most of the country’s munitions are Soviet-era stuff.

Less and less since the Magnitsky Act was put into place. Most of the laundering now happens in shady tax-haven banks.

A lot of them probably are. Sadly, a lot of them also would portray him as a champion of “white civilisation” without taking a dime.

8 Likes

Most of the laundering in the non shady banks happens through real estate purchases, conveniently in the US and especially the UK nobody asks where you got that suitcase of money from.

11 Likes

https://newrepublic.com/article/143586/trumps-russian-laundromat-trump-tower-luxury-high-rises-dirty-money-international-crime-syndicate

9 Likes
8 Likes
5 Likes
4 Likes

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.