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  Flag of the Tsar, 1693
Flag of the Tsar, 1693

Russia, Tsarism, and Eurasianism

Racism in Russia works very differently than in the US or Europe, due perhaps to the long history of the Russian Empire dealing with Turkish and Asian etnias. If an African speaks good Russian, he is respected and can even become mayor. If  not, he might be beaten to death. In the US, they will shoot you no matter how well you speak English.

During WWII, the order of battle was first the Asian units, which included the Turks and Mongols, and behind them the Slavs. We see a continuation of this pattern in Ukraine today, where units from the Moscow region are not deployed on the pretext that they will be less likely to fight fellow Rus. Turkish, Mongol and Moslem units take the brunt of the casualties.

Flag of the President of Russia
Flag of the Kremlin, 2022

The influence of the Russians in Cuba is thought to be well known except most are ignorant of the ethnic dimension. The Russians are slavic supremacists, they had a hard time getting along with factions gravitating around Che Guevara. The American Black leader Robert Williams was in Cuba from 1961 to 1965 where he was friendly with Che, who was later killed in 1967. The Russian oriented factions around Fidel distrusted him. Russian advisors and their Cuban allies attempted a sovietization of Cuba during the Quinquenio Gris, the Grey Quinquennium, roughly 1971-1976. African religions were severely repressed during this period, all religious initiations were forbidden. Rampant anti Black expressions were allowed and all forms of Black culture and organizing were repressed. Prominent Black cultural figures were disrespected and repressed, such as Rogelio Martínez Furé, Tomás Gonzalez, and many others.

Most are unaware of the extent to which current Russian ideology revolves around slavic supremacy -- Tsarism and its connection with the Orthodox Church. Writers and ideologues such as Aleksandr Dugin, Ivan Ilyin, and Lev Gumilev idealize the old Russian Empire, its tsars, and their church.  Ivan Ilyin, a favorite of Putin, was a White Russian allied with the Nazis in WWII - the White Russians helped the Nazis slaughter millions of victims. Some of their leadership, the VorKommando Moskau, wound up in the US, protected by Nixon and J Edgar Hoover.

The Russian government has been clever in getting support from both the left and the right outside of Russia. In the US and in Europe, they are favored by the far right for their white christian nationalist, anti-muslim and anti-gay stance.  Their success within the US right came through a white evangelical to Russian Orthodox connection.

When the Russians speak to Latin Americans, they strive to continue the discourse created under the Soviet Union. Apparently, many on the left in South America are ignorant about today's main ideological trends in Russia, where imperial tsarism is openly advocated, so the Russians get away with it. There is a scarcity of information on these topics in Spanish language media, and most of it is in right wing media, so it is rejected. The old indo european monarchical thinking, where the king cannot be questioned, lives on among revolutionaries who are unable to step out of their colonized state, an inherently difficult task. Of course, many are aware of these realities and simply do not choose to become involved in Ukraine, viewed as a western war promoted by those who brought us Afghanistan, Lybia, Iraq, Iran, Vietnam, Chile and all the rest of the crusades over natural resources.

The flags of the Tsar and of the Russian President show this imperial tsarist heritage vividly - they are virtually identical. Both show the double headed eagle long featured in European heraldry and highlighting the predatory nature of their rulers.

Back to the Russian Empire  3/10/2022 Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung: "But you didn’t have to travel to Russia to find all this out, you also could have read about it. Last year, the German magazine titled its July issue “The Spirit of the Times: War Speeches from Russia”. The issue addressed Russia’s contemporary politics of memory and Putin’s statements from July 2021. Andreas Kappler issued a clear warning: “Putin’s threats should be taken seriously.” Andrei Kolesnikov stated as early as 2020: “The dominant discourse [in Russia] is imperial, militaristic, centred around making threats.” The Left saw these developments, but we failed to address them publicly. Instead, these warnings were often dismissed as “the production of imaginary enemies” and brushed aside. The past few weeks have shown that we should have engaged much more critically with these remarks."

Revolutionaries and activists, like humans in general, greatly underestimate the weight of history and are unaware of how history plays out in each culture and how resistant to change most societies are until they come to an inflection point. Even then, the old river beds continue to influence the course of the new rivers. We need to reflect on why the great revolutions have tended to revert to previous cultural patterns - Russia to tsarism, Cuba to monarchism, China to the old imperial traditions.  The US is somewhat different, its revolution was fought in part to maintain the wealth of Southerners in the face of abolitionist Britain.  Indigenous traditions in the Americas are also ever present.  Most except for the great empires had for millenia assemblies where men and women voted and took community decisions. This appears to have been taken up by their New England oppressors who adopted it in their town meetings during the early 1600's, without women voting, and this was another more democratic precursor to the American revolution. These divisions in the US have persisted to this day and are a driver for US politics.

We need to pay attention to the deeper levels of culture, why certain aspects remain so strong, and how unconscious they are. -- Claude Betancourt, 6/2022


Flag of the Tsar, 1828
Flag of the Tsar, 1828
The Crazy Mystical Impulses Sending Putin Wild in Ukraine  10/22/2022 Daily Beast: "If you suspect that Vladimir Putin’s decision-making process is above the creed of superstition and mythical creatures, you should know that there are psychologists, intelligence agency analysts and a jailed Yaktusk wizard out there who would beg to differ."

‘Taking it back’: Vladimir Putin likens self to Peter the Great  6/9/2022 AL Jazeera: "When Peter the Great founded St Petersburg and declared it the Russian capital “none of the countries in Europe recognised this territory as belonging to Russia”, Putin said. “Everyone considered it to be part of Sweden. But from time immemorial, Slavs had lived there alongside Finno-Ugric peoples,” he added. “It is our responsibility also to take back and strengthen,” Putin said, in an apparent reference to Russia’s offensive in Ukraine."

The Russian Orthodox Leader at the Core of Putin’s Ambitions  5/21/2022 DNYUZ: "Kirill has called Mr. Putin’s long tenure “a miracle of God,” and has characterized the war as a just defense against liberal conspiracies to infiltrate Ukraine with “gay parades.”"

The far-right mystical writer who helped shape Putin’s view of Russia  5/12/2022 WaPo: "Vladimir Putin has frequently tried to legitimize his invasion of Ukraine by invoking the idea of a religiously tinged civilizational clash: Eurasia against the West. For Putin, Moscow is the “third Rome,” the spiritual and cultural inheritor of the legacy of the Roman and Byzantine empires, the center of a distinctly anti-European dominion, one powerful (and authoritarian) enough to withstand the perceived threats of liberal modernity, multiculturalism and progressive values."

The War in Ukraine Is a Colonial War  4/28/2022 New Yorker: "When Vladimir Putin denies the reality of the Ukrainian state, he is speaking the familiar language of empire. For five hundred years, European conquerors called the societies that they encountered “tribes,” treating them as incapable of governing themselves. As we see in the ruins of Ukrainian cities, and in the Russian practice of mass killing, rape, and deportation, the claim that a nation does not exist is the rhetorical preparation for destroying it."

Putin e ideología (cinco tesis)  4/16/2022 Desde abajo: "A lo que tal vez apunta la invasión a Ucrania, no es a un particular giro ideológico, sino una "mutación política", donde el cesarismo postsoviético putiniano que se mostró incapaz de contener la ola de las "revoluciones"-insurrecciones en las ex repúblicas está siendo remplazado por un régimen político conservador-imperialista -represivo, reaccionario y centrado aún más en uso de fuerza interna y externamente- "más eficiente" en dominar las clases y naciones subalternas."

How the Russian Orthodox Church is Helping Drive Putin’s War in Ukraine  4/15/2022 Time: "Kirill is not an outlier in his support for the war, as no senior cleric inside Russia has expressed dissent. “Everything the president does is right,” one archbishop told local news agency Regnum in late March. “Speaking as a monarchist, I would personally place a crown upon Putin’s head if God granted the opportunity.” Similar fervor is found among respected Moscow parish priests. “Russian peacekeepers are conducting a special operation in order to hold Nuremberg trials against the whole of Europe,” one preached during a recent sermon, as he denied reports of civilian casualties. “What is the West able to produce? Only ISIS and neofascism.”"

The Strange Rebirth Of Imperial Russia  3/25/2022 Weekly Dish: "Dugin’s and Gumilev’s ideas were perfectly attuned to a post-truth dictatorship, crafted by relentless TV propaganda and opinion polling, and gave him a rationale for a post-ideological regime. So from 2009 onwards, Putin started using words like “passionarity” and “civilization-state,” rejecting a Western-style Russian nation-state, in favor of a multi-ethnic empire, in line with “our thousand-year history.” Putin went on in 2011 to propose a “Eurasian Union” to counter the EU. It’s worth noting here that this is not Russian ethnic nationalism: the whole point is that there are many distinct ethnicities in the Russian Empire, all united in the protective motherland. When today, Putin insisted that cultural diversity is Russia’s strength, this is what he meant."

El imperialismo histórico que esconde la posición rusa en Ucrania  3/24/2022 Vanguardia: "Carl Schmitt, el jurista más ilustre del Tercer Reich, acuñó el concepto de “orden de los grandes espacios de desarrollo” en abril de 1939 (15). De acuerdo con él, los imperios (Reiche) verdaderamente soberanos gozan en virtud de su historia poder y etnicidad del privilegio de dirigir el gran espacio de desarrollo (Großraum) de otros estados (Staaten) dependientes, en los cuales deciden las reglas y el orden político. Las otras potencias tienen prohibido intervenir en ese espacio, y tampoco pueden intentar imponerles sus propios conceptos normativos y legales. Para mantener su espacio, los imperios pueden muy bien quebrantar “leyes abstractas” (16), puesto que el mantenimiento del espacio y el control imperial serían el propósito último de la política y la ley, que justificaría todos los medios."

Iván Ilyín, el filósofo de Putin  3/21/2022 Infobae: "Putin rechaza al feminismo, a los movimientos de las diversidades sexuales, a la Agenda 2030 de la ONU y su crítica al capitalismo, no es desde el socialismo, sino que la versión anglosajona la ve como totalmente incompatible con la tradición rusa. Ilyín lo dota además de un concepto de gobernante autoritario, que debe representar a toda la tradición histórica, y que esa autoridad no debe ser compartida ni doblegada."

Putin, Dugin, Ilyín: la matrioska del paneslavismo  3/16/2022 Politica Exterior: "Obsesionado con la historia imperial rusa, Putin parece dispuesto a todo para lograr por la fuerza la ‘unidad física y espiritual’ de los pueblos eslavos."

The Weakness of the Despot  3/11/2022 New Yorker: "I have only the greatest respect for George Kennan. John Mearsheimer is a giant of a scholar. But I respectfully disagree. The problem with their argument is that it assumes that, had nato not expanded, Russia wouldn’t be the same or very likely close to what it is today. What we have today in Russia is not some kind of surprise. It’s not some kind of deviation from a historical pattern. Way before nato existed—in the nineteenth century—Russia looked like this: it had an autocrat. It had repression. It had militarism. It had suspicion of foreigners and the West. This is a Russia that we know, and it’s not a Russia that arrived yesterday or in the nineteen-nineties. It’s not a response to the actions of the West. There are internal processes in Russia that account for where we are today."

Male State: The Russian Online Hate Group Backing Putin’s War  3/11/2022 Bellingcat: "Although the movement is not explicitly neo-Nazi, posts previously made on Male State channels and chats identified by Bellingcat include references to terms used by neo-Nazis. These include the “1488” numerical code and the term ‘untermensch,’ (‘subhuman’), a word used by the Nazis to describe those they deemed inferior — and also by some in Male State chats to describe Ukrainians.” One Male State channel even posted a video with a clip of a fighter from Task Force Rusich, a neo-Nazi Russian military unit, giving a Nazi salute."

Back to the Russian Empire  3/10/2022 Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung: "But you didn’t have to travel to Russia to find all this out, you also could have read about it. Last year, the German magazine titled its July issue “The Spirit of the Times: War Speeches from Russia”. The issue addressed Russia’s contemporary politics of memory and Putin’s statements from July 2021. Andreas Kappler issued a clear warning: “Putin’s threats should be taken seriously.” Andrei Kolesnikov stated as early as 2020: “The dominant discourse [in Russia] is imperial, militaristic, centred around making threats.” The Left saw these developments, but we failed to address them publicly. Instead, these warnings were often dismissed as “the production of imaginary enemies” and brushed aside. The past few weeks have shown that we should have engaged much more critically with these remarks."

Why white evangelical Christians are Putin's biggest American fan base  3/1/2022 MSNBC: "But whether or not American evangelicals try to distance themselves from Putin in this current news cycle, they have long gravitated toward the Russian president for his hard-line stance against Muslims and, most importantly, his anti-LGBTQ agenda. Putin’s rhetoric about the nation, the family and the church (in this instance, the Russian Orthodox Church), has captivated many and spurred them to embrace similar kinds of political action here in America. Consider all of the anti-gay and anti-transgender laws that are cropping up in states like Texas and Florida. These laws are part of a constellation of family-focused conservative religious ideals also embraced by Putin and other Eastern European leaders who have clung to a hard line against any so-called “anti-family” ideology."

US Extremists Have Picked a Side in Ukraine: ‘Lol Putin Is Brilliant’  2/25/2022 Vice: "One day before Russia invaded Ukraine, former Trump advisor Steve Bannon and Blackwater founder Erik Prince celebrated Putin for his anti-LGBTQ policies on a podcast. “Putin ain’t woke, he is anti-woke,” Bannon said. “The Russian people still know which bathrooms to use,” Prince added."

US Far Right Adore?s Vladimir Putin’s Christian Nationalism More Than Freedom and Democracy  2/25/2022 Right Wing Watch: "Putin’s government has been a key ally of American Christian? right groups who happily partner with the world’s most repressive regimes in order to promote “traditional” views of family, sexuality, and gender, as well as to try to prevent and reverse international recognition of reproductive rights or the equality of LGBTQ people. The alliance between U.S. and Russian promoters of “traditional values” goes back further? than the Trump administration to the creation of the World Congress of Families. When the WCF’s parent organization was rebranded as the International Organization for Families with anti-marriage-equality crusader Brian Brown at the helm, he made a trip to Russia to seek funding from oligarchs and political operatives aligned with Putin."

MARLENE LARUELLE: RUSSIAN SOCIETY IS VERY DIFFERENT FROM ITS REGIME  2/21/2022 RevDem: "Marlene Laruelle is a Director and Research Professor at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES), Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University. Dr. Laruelle is also Director of the Illiberalism Studies Program. Dr. Laruelle received her Ph.D. in history at the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Cultures (INALCO) and her habilitation in political science at Sciences-Po in Paris."

Article by Vladimir Putin ”On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians“  7/12/2021 President of Russia: "During the recent Direct Line, when I was asked about Russian-Ukrainian relations, I said that Russians and Ukrainians were one people – a single whole. These words were not driven by some short-term considerations or prompted by the current political context. It is what I have said on numerous occasions and what I firmly believe. I therefore feel it necessary to explain my position in detail and share my assessments of today's situation."

Three Faces of Russia’s Neo-Eurasianism  11/15/2019 IISS: "The concept of Eurasianism originated in the Russian émigré community in the 1920s as a reaction to the nightmare of the First World War and the defeat of pro-Western Russian liberals by the Bolsheviks.2 While the term has been defined and interpreted in a number of ways, in essence it simply means that Russia is not Europe, and that European norms, values and principles do not suit Russia, which will go its own way. This usually entails some form of repressive rule at home and imperial expansion into other territories. The concept tends to be revived every time Russia fails to become an advanced power by existing standards and feels a need to justify its backwardness with metaphysical theories."

In search of Putin’s philosopher: Why Ivan Ilyin is not Putin’s Ideological Guru  4/19/2018 Riddle: "The person most often identified as Putin’s guru has been so far Alexander Dugin, the Eurasianist and fascist geopolitician. Western experts have mistakenly overstated Dugin’s influence because of his role in popularizing the Eurasianist terminology and neo-imperial projects. However, there is no direct link between Dugin’s neo-Eurasianism and Putin’s Eurasian Union project. Dugin’s ideological repertoire is drawn from the German Conservative Revolution and the French and Italian New Right far more than from the Eurasianist founding fathers of the interwar period. High-ranking Russian officials in charge of the Eurasian Economic Union institutions take their inspiration from Jean Monet and other advocates of a united Europe or from Beijing’s rhetoric of Chinese-style harmonious development, but not from classical Eurasianism."

After Charlottesville: 7 Key Nazis and Their Links to Putin and Trump  8/21/2017 Alternet: "But there’s something deeper here, something worth getting surprised about — and like so many things with Donald Trump, that deeper thing is Russia: several of the key figures who organized, appeared at, or promoted the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” Rally have strong ties to Moscow."

Lev Gumilev: passion, Putin and power  3/11/2016 Financial Times: " Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found at For Lukyanov, Gumilev’s theories represented something utterly original: not nationalism, not Marxism, but rather a third way — a synthesis of nationalism and internationalism, which emphasised the unconscious sympathy of the people of the Soviet Union, the millennia-old unity of inner Eurasia, and a lurking distrust of the west. “If one were to describe him in party terms,” said Lukyanov, “Gumilev was an internationalist. He considered that all the influences on the Russian people — from the Polovtsians, the Chinese and the Mongols — only enriched us . . . Among real communists, the ones who knew Marxism at first hand, Lev Gumilev did not have enemies.”"

The “Enlightened Nationalism” of Lev Gumilev  12/2/2013 Institute of Modern Russia: "This installment is dedicated to the teaching of Lev Gumilev, a prominent Russian historian who has been proclaimed the founder of the “integration” of the Eurasian space by the current Russian authorities."

Aleksandr Dugin’s transformation from a lunatic fringe figure into a mainstream political publicist, 1980–1998: A case study in the rise of late and post-Soviet Russian fascism  7/1/2010 Journal of Eurasian Studies: "The paper1 was completed in 2008 and complements previous analyses of post-communist Russian right-wing extremism, in general, and studies of “neo-Eurasianism,” in particular, surveying some circumstances of the emergence of its major ideologist Aleksandr Dugin (b. 1962). It introduces some teachers and collaborators of Dugin who influenced him before he became a known journalist, writer and commentator in the late 1990s. It also sketches some of Dugin’s initiatives and activities until he rose to the position of an official advisor to Gennady Seleznev, the Speaker of the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, in 1998. The footnotes provide a comprehensive bibliography on Western and Russian sources on the Russian “New Right.”"

Pro-Putin cult urges return to Soviet 'glory'  1/27/2002 Telegraph, UK: 1984, the good old days: "Mr Yakimenko's latest attempt to indoctrinate members, aged mainly between 14 and 30, is a proposal to "purify Russian literature". Modern "liberal" books, which depict the difficulties of modern Russian life, have been damned by Walking Together. The group has in turn published thousands of copies of a book of stories recounting the Red Army's "glorious victories" during the Second World War. These books were offered free in exchange for "corrupting" works."


Lev Gumilev, Ethnogenesis and Eurasianism, 3/2005>

Marlene Laruelle, Russian Eurasianism: An Ideology of Empire,Woodrow Wilson Press/The John Hopkins University Press, Washington, D.C., 2008, 288 p., reviewed by Dmitry Shlapentokh, CAIRN  Enseñó en la Universidad Estatal de Moscú de 2008 a 2014, mientras que desde 2018 enseña en la Universidad Fudan en Shanghai. - Iván Aleksándrovich Ilyín (en ruso, Ива́н Алекса́ндрович Ильи́н; 28 de marzo de 1883 - 21 de diciembre de 1954) fue un religioso, político filosófico, emigrado blanco, publicista e ideólogo ruso de la Unión Militar Rusa.


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