Russia After CCCP
Western populations, including leftists, have internalised much of the deluge of anti-Russian propaganda which has saturated Western (global) media in the last decade+ since the implementation of Putin’s anti-neoliberal policies. This essay will attempt to set the record straight on the most essential aspects of the Russian Federation under Putin.
After the fall of the CCCP, nearly all of the countries on the Western border regions of the Russian Federation were taken over by neoliberal governments installed and propped up by the USA, anti-Russian factions and groups were massively funded, and populations were immersed in Western propaganda in academia and media, turning most of these places into enemies of the Russian Federation.
Modern Russia has been at war 5 times:
- Afghanistan — invited by Afghan socialist government to fight against CIA funded fundamentalist jihadism.
- Chechnya — to put down CIA funded violent separatism. After liberation, and having realised that they were used by the West, Chechens are today die hard supporters of Russia.
- Georgia — to calm the instability caused by the Western installed anti-Russian government and aid the breakaway republics.
- Crimea — to liberate this region from a Western backed oppressive state — there was ZERO protest from the people when Crimea rejoined the RF.
- The military operation in Ukraine today is the same: it is a defensive war opposed to overwhelming and ceaseless imperialist threats against Russian national security (a separate essay detailing this coming imminently).
Bottom line is this: These are all regions on the borders of Russia — destabilised by Western created and fueled terrorism, subjected to Washington orchestrated colour revolutions, regime changes, and coup d’etats which installed governments hostile to Russia, militarised with the building of dozens of USAmerican military bases, their anti-communist and fascist armies funded and trained by NATO forces, prepared by the imperialists to launch future attacks against Russia.
These were all wars of defence and protection on Russia’s doorstep, and can not be compared to the USAmerican wars very far from its soil, of aggression and imperialist domination on the other side of the globe.
Any child can understand that the side which encircles the other with military bases is the aggressive one, and that the other is in a defensive position.
Imperialism in practice is the denial of sovereignty of another country, the suppression of its self determination, and domination of its state and economy, through manipulation, pressure, assassination, coup d’état, colour revolutions, regime change operations, etc., in order to freely exploit, extract, and reap super profits.
The Bolshevik revolution ended and overturned Tsarist imperialism, as the USSR gave statehood and sovereignty to all of the regions on its borders, each lead by politicians of the local ethnicity and culture, elected by local populations, not appointed by Moscow.
The Russian devotion to anti-imperialism has not changed since the fall of the USSR. Putin’s Russia has provided crucial economic and military assistance to very many socialist countries and countries victim to imperialist sanctions and aggression: Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Syria, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia, Somalia, etc., etc.
Putin’s Russia sent fighter jets when Venezuela was under threat of US invasion. The RF sent massive economic help when all these countries were being strangled by sanctions. Many of these countries would not be sovereign today, and would be ruled by Washington puppets, or worse, decimated by US/NATO bombs, if not for Russia’s help.
Putin’s Russia is today playing a central role in the assistance of West African liberation from centuries of French rule, by supporting independence forces not only with funding and arms, but Russian boots on the ground.
Putin’s Russia is resolutely anti-imperialist and a trusted friend of the Global South.
First, lets briefly address the sexism and homophobia of the RF in the early 21st Century:
1. the Russian population have a very long history of orthodox Christianity; and coming freshly out of the devastating collapse and social instability of the 90s with rampant addiction, prostitution, human trafficking, suicide, etc., they are still holding onto conservative social values like the “traditional family”. With time this will subside, and with economic strength and social stability, the RF state will relax and progress.
2. It is, unfortunately, also a reaction against the West using liberal values as moral justification for brutal imperialist violence. And even more unfortunately, the more the West demonises the RF for its social conservative policies, the more the administration clenches up and doubles down on repression. But as such, this situation will also pass after imperialism recedes / is defeated.
Now lets look at the more important measures, the material reality, and how it has been transformed in the past 20 years:
The dissolution of the USSR brought for Russia economic devastation (GDP fell by 25%) twice as hard as the Great Depression was for the USA (GDP fell by 12%), as Western corporations acquired Russian industry for next to nothing and freely fed on her resources.
Putin’s administration defeated international neoliberal forces and significant factions of the national bourgeoisie, and wrestled core Russian industries largely out of their clutches, in order to restore the right to life and dignity of the Russian people. The nationalisation of core RF industries such as energy and steel, though not yet 100% substantive or enough, provided real, measurable, and immense benefit to the working class, and brought an end to rampant human trafficking, an end to widespread child prostitution, an end to the narcotics pandemic, an end to the drastic decrease of life expectancy, an end to Russian men literally drinking themselves to death.
This is the reason why Vladimir Putin is very likely the most popular and loved national leader in the world, with approval ratings likely even higher than those of XiJinPing: consistently 70+% in the past 2 decades, and 2 years into the war in Ukraine, 80–90+%.
Today, roughly 70+% of Russian core industry (energy, agriculture, steel, etc.) is public (by contrast, 40% of Chinese core industry is public) and serves public good instead of the global Neo-liberal system and enriching the national financial elites.
The super rich in Russia have not much political power, and thus can not be honestly called “oligarchs” at all (a term that should be reserved for the likes of the Koch brothers and George Soros). Vast majority of the ultra-rich Russians are enemies of Putin’s government, who love to slander Putin in Western press, and very many of them have been exiled from the country, or choose to live abroad in Zurich, Paris, Monte Negro, London, NYC, etc.
This is the reason why the West today hates Putin’s Russia, and has, since the 2000s, saturated world media with slanderous propaganda against the country and against its leader: because he took away their free lunch-buffet, and USA/Europe could no longer use and abuse Russia as their own resources depot for cheap energy and women like they did back in the 90s, when they viewed Russia favourably.
No one, besides the man himself and perhaps closes confidants, knows for sure what the ultimate goals of Putin’s administration are. But in the most important respects, concerning the material conditions and structural reality of Russia, there is not much valid argument against the view that Putin has been, intentionally or not, setting up all the dominoes, in terms of industry, in terms of territorial integrity, in terms of broad unity, in terms of geopolitical alliances, for a future, perhaps near-future, transition, again, to socialism (with Russian characteristics).