Lessons from Impossible Wars

(from the series “War and Peace in the 21st Century”)

                                                                               Part 1

In recent weeks, two events have occurred that allowed me to return to the analysis of the ongoing process of transition to new model of the world development: the war in Israel and Palestine, and the international forum “One Belt, One Road” in Beijing.

Leaders and representatives of 30 international organizations and 130 states came to Beijing to participate in the forum, including Vladimir Putin, whom Chairman Xi Jinping met as his main partner and second leader in the world model they were creating.

Western European countries were not invited to Beijing, including Germany, France, Italy and Great Britain, in spite of the fact that until 2021, for twenty years, Beijing had been focused on development of relations with exactly these states and considered Europe as one of the main regions and sectors of the system “One Belt, One Road.» In those years, China invested hundreds of billions of US dollars in the economies of the European countries that were not invited to Beijing in October 2023.

In the absence of Western Europe, Russia and the Middle East became the key regions of the “One Belt, One Road” project, and both of these regions were engulfed in war.

I intend to devote separate materials to the role of the One Belt, One Road project in transition to new world model, as well as to relations between BRICS and Europe.

In this article, I would like to dwell on the latest events in Israel and, from civilizational point of view, draw some parallels with the war in Ukraine…


                                                Impossible wars that became real

The outbreak of war in Israel has become the main event of recent weeks, and politicians and the world media are paying great attention to the prospects of this war, its possible impact on the international situation, and I would like to dwell on two aspects that many have paid attention to and commented on, but no one drew necessary conclusions.

Let’s start with what many have noticed:

  1. The outbreak of the war in Israel, like the ongoing war in Ukraine, unexpectedly turned out to be of no use to the leaders or governments of the leading powers in the world.
  2. None of the leaders of states involved in the conflicts knows how to stop them, or how to get out of them, how to resolve contradictions that were created decades and even centuries ago.

All leaders of states involved in military conflicts in Ukraine and Israel, as well as potential participants who may be drawn into these wars, are now seeking to withdraw or stay away from the conflicts, presenting their exit or rebound as some kind of positive result, partial victory, in order to avoid accusations of weakness and even betrayal of their allies and partners. They are all trying to create an impression rather than achieve real victory.

These wars turned out to be unnecessary for all states, including the direct, proxy and potential participants in these conflicts.

It turned out that the war in Israel, like the war in Ukraine, brings to each of their participants more threats and losses than benefits and gains, even potential. The more actively states are getting involved in this conflict, the more threats they create for themselves and more damage they cause to their allies with every day of war.

And here, it is necessary to draw the following conclusions, moving to another, higher level of generalization:

  1. Modern conflicts between civilizations cannot be resolved within the framework of the existing world model of relationship, created as result of the industrial revolution in Europe in the 18th century.
  2. Inter-civilizational wars, within the framework of the existing outdated model and during the transition to new model, can only be suspended for a short period by truce, but can only end with destruction of one or all participants in the conflict.
  3. State, as form of organization of communities, turned out to be unable to effectively resolve inter-civilizational conflicts and contradictions.
  4. International organizations created on the interstate principle of formation and functioning are not able to effectively solve growing inter-civilizational contradictions and problems.
  5. Restructuring of the international system of relations, including the main international organizations, primarily the UN, has become the vital necessity, and the fate of hundreds of millions of people depends on its reform.

Special note should be made regarding the UN, that has long been transformed into the USW – the United States of the World, where only government officials, bureaucratic groups and clans are being represented and operate, and not peoples, nations and civilizations.

This is the reason for the ineffectiveness of the UN in modern conditions, when the role of inter-civilizational relations in the world is rapidly increasing, and State, as form of organization of communities, is losing its exceptional significance given by the existing model. State is losing part of its functions, gradually becoming secondary instrument, and not the main center of concentration of power.

Whoever begins and leads ideologically and organizationally the process of reforming and restructuring of international organizations, primarily the UN, in the interests of world civilizations, peoples and states, will receive enormous advantages and will be able to be one of the leaders in the emerging world model.

The most active position is now occupied by BRICS, but the BRICS leaders have not yet developed concepts or ideas of new world model. They have not created organizational tools, structures for carrying out reforms similar to those that were created in England and then in other European countries in the 18th and 19th centuries. Without ideas, concepts and organizational structures any transformation to the new world order will inevitably be disorganized and may create existential threats to humanity…

However, many can agree with me that the war in Israel is the inter-civilizational war, and argue that the war between Ukraine and Russia is rather reflects the internal crisis of Russian civilization.

I would like to draw your attention to one detail…


                                          Inter-civilizational war in Ukraine

Understanding that the war in Israel could not bring anything positive, came to political and business elites very quickly. However, understanding that the war in Ukraine also cannot bring anything positive for the participants in the conflict and for the world, came extremely slowly, and some of the state leaders and politicians did not fully understand this till now. 

The underestimation of the level of danger that the war in Ukraine poses to the world lies, firstly, in the absence of civilizational approach to analyzing modern conflicts, and secondly, in the fact, with the exception of Ukraine itself, other states, including Russia, still underestimate civilizational differences between Ukrainians and Russians, and cannot apprehend, perceive and accept Ukrainians and Russians as peoples of different civilizations.

In Russia, Vladimir Putin, his advisers in the Kremlin and the official propaganda media still insist that Russians and Ukrainians are one people, or that they are fraternal peoples, and that is understood as almost the same thing.

However, for centuries, including before creation of the first Russian state, Rus, and then after its split as result of the Mongol invasion, the fate of the tribes of the Eastern Slavs, who made up Ukrainians and Russians, developed in different ways, creating not only different peoples, but also different civilizations.

This process of creation of different civilizations, Russians and Ukrainians, ended during the reign of the Romanov dynasty, and in the twentieth century, after revolutions and the collapse of the Russian Empire, it manifested itself in the most severe forms, first in 1917-1921, during the First World War and the Civil War in Russia, when the first Ukrainian state entity emerged and allied with Germany.

In the years of the Second World War, those who made up the extreme forces of Ukrainianism, formed nationalist groups, political parties, military battalions and divisions that tried to conquer the territory of Ukraine in order to create a mono-national state as the basis of Ukrainianity, Ukrainian civilization. For this purpose, they sided with German National Socialism, Hitler, and participated in the destruction of Russian civilization on the territory of modern Ukraine, Belorussia and Poland.

Ukrainian civilization was formed on national thinking as its foundation, and national thinking in extreme conditions gives rise to nationalism, including its extreme forms. And the fiercer the war, the stronger the suppression, the fiercer nationalism becomes, including Ukrainian.

It is national thinking that forms the system of relationships within the Ukrainian people, with the priority of family followed by relatives, close and concordant people and nation. On the scale of Ukrainian people’s values, the government, especially with the center of state power under control of another nation, occupies the last place, significantly lower than family, relatives, and loved ones, Ukrainian people, nation.

It was national thinking that historically shaped the relations of Ukrainians with other peoples and states, including Moscow Tsardom, Russian Empire, the USSR, as well as Russians and other peoples of Russian Federation.

The lack of understanding of this by the communist party and state elites led to the fact that the Russian Federation initiated the collapse of the USSR and broke off the former Russian Empire, the Russian world, into 15 separate states. That gave rise to nationalism not only in Ukraine, but in all the former Soviet republics.

However, that signal was not received in the Kremlin. Russian political leadership allowed nationalism to rise after the collapse of the USSR in 1991, and later the anti-Russian coup to be carried out in Kiev in 2014, that was followed by the conquest of almost the entire territory of Ukraine by Ukrainian nationalists with exception of Crimea and part of Donbass.

Later, the Kremlin allowed the conflict in Ukraine between Ukrainian nationalists and pro-Russian regions to prolong for eight years, and Ukrainian nationalism to rise to unprecedented level by drawing in ethnic Russians and representatives of other nationalities.

It all ended with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in fake hope of quick and easy coup and of “bringing sense” to the Ukrainians. Those hopes, completely divorced from reality, were generated and supported by the pro-Ukrainian groups in the Kremlin, who were interested in “pro-Moscow” coup in Kiev, for personal and clan interests, as well as by those, who wanted Putin and Russia to be possessed as invaders, as well as by forces inside Russia that wanted to use war to change the internal policy of Putin, to regenerate the military industrial complex, to start production of new generation of weapons and make the Russian Armed Forces “great again”.

The invasion of Ukraine started with the aim of denazification and demilitarization. However, “denazification” by suppressing another civilization can only lead to increase in its extremism and nationalism, to its spiritual and cultural break with the civilization that used military force against it. “Demilitarization” through war and invasion can only lead to militarization, including the consciousness of all peoples involved in the conflict.

There is another possible outcome of that war, and that is the destruction of one of the civilizations.

Russian civilization was formed from different tribes and nationalities on the communal-territorial principle of organizing society and people. This principle united the East Slavic and Uyghur tribes living in the North and Central regions of the East European Plain, who in the 9th century, «invited» outside force to «govern» in order to maintain peace between tribes and control the East European part of the “silk route” from China and India to Europe and Byzantine. That force was Prince Rurik, his family and army — “squad”, who were called “Rus”. Thus, the first Russian state — Rus’, was created, with its center in Novgorod.

Those tribes that lived in the territory that was later called Little Russia and then Ukraine, were conquered and annexed to Rus later, after the death of Rurik. They were conquered from the Khazar Khaganate, Jewish state that was later destroyed in subsequent conflicts, including by the Rus.

Before Prince Rurik’s brother, Oleg, came to Kyiv, South Slavic tribes with their largest city Kiev, paid tribute to the Khazar Khaganate. The tribes that inhabited the territory of present-day Ukraine were included in the first Russian state on the territorial-communal principle, at the end of the 9th century.

However, after the collapse of Rus caused by the Mongol invasion, only part of Rus retained the territorial-communal principle and continued to build the Russian people and Russian civilization, and this part began its transformation into the Moscow Tsardom with its new national and civilizational center – the Moscow Kremlin.

The fate of the tribes in the territories that later became Western Ukraine, Little Russia, and then Ukraine turned out differently. For many years they found themselves under the rule of other nations. They found themselves inside states created by other nations, or in the border zone, on the outskirts (“Okraina”) of other states, under the constant threat of external invasion and destruction.

For the sake of their own preservation, these tribes were forced to abandon the territorial community and switch to the national principle of organization, to the national principle of self-awareness, thinking, relationships within their people, as well as with external forces, including the ruling nations, clans and states.

And yet, for many centuries, Ukrainians traditionally continued to perceive themselves as part of the Russian people, and the Ukrainian nation, relatively small in number and territory, was perceived by Russians as fraternal people and part of the Russian world. However, fundamental differences in thinking, culture, traditions and perception of oneself and the outside world remained and increased.

That division expanded and grew, including as the result of policies of the Romanov dynasty that ruled Russia for three hundred years. The Romanovs came from the western regions of Russia and were part of the pro-Lithuanian and pro-Polish clan of the boyars, one of the most influential groups in the Russian elite. They carried out pro-Western transformation of the Russian world, relying, among other things, on the Ukrainian minority.

That policy of the Romanovs led to the split of Orthodoxy, the split of the Russian Orthodox Church, to the serfdom for Russian peasant communities, from which Ukrainians were freed, to peasant and Cossack uprisings and internal wars in Russia, to creation of influential group of Old Believers among Russian industrialists and traders, who financed anti-Romanovs and revolutionary movements, including the Bolshevik party, and ultimately to destruction of the Russian Empire and death of the Romanov dynasty.

It is important to understand and accept that the main reason for the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine is not “interference” and “interests” of the West that are absolutely secondary, but inter-civilizational conflict caused, among other reasons, by refusal of the Russian elites to recognize the fact of existence of two civilizations, which are based on different civilizational principles of organization.

The Russian leadership needs to realize and admit that Moscow will not be able to “buy” Ukrainians, “solve the issue with money,” “bring them to reason,” including by force, or “bring them to their senses”, using supposedly pro-Russian clans in Ukraine. Just as it will not be possible to change the mentality of the “pro-Russian” Ukrainians, who form pro-Ukrainian groups within Russia.

There are two possible options for ending the war in Ukraine.

  1. The result of the conflict may be destruction of one of the civilizations. This can happen through deprivation of statehood of one civilization that lose the war, and its absorption by another civilization, and that may take years of cultural suppression and risks of growing internal conflicts.
  2. Finding compromises and reaching peace agreement on new principles, reflecting the civilizational approach and civilizational interests of both, the Russian and Ukrainian peoples. To do this, it is necessary to set as the goal of negotiations not the specific interests of states, bureaucratic elites, business clans and groups, benefits, acquisitions, concessions, but the creation of new system of relations and interactions between peoples and states, new system capable of ensuring equal level of security for both civilizations, mutually beneficial cooperation and mutual respect.

Moscow should not look at Ukraine and Ukrainians as “lost”, or “fooled by the West” younger brother, unreasonable, but close and dear.

Ukraine and Ukrainianism are historical challenge for Russia and Russian civilization.

Ukraine is historically established community. Ukrainians are people fighting for their national interests of rapidly growing civilization, and they live according to their own moral principles, with their own language, traditions, mentality, perception of the world, fundamentally different from Russian, Polish, Hungarian or any other.

It is impossible to “buy” civilization born on principles of nationalism that does not recognize the territorial-communal principle of organization. It might be possible to force it to take place at the foot of the throne in the Moscow Kremlin only for very short time and through enormous losses and costs, human, material, financial, spiritual and cultural, but at any opportunity, Ukrainians will rebel, betray, stab the Russians in the back, and not because they are bad or traitors, but because they are different. They do not want to accept the communal-territorial principle of life and relationships that is vital principle for multinational, multi-religious Russia.

Ukrainians need monolithic Ukraine, and in that state, other nations, peoples or religious denominations must unconditionally recognize the primacy of Ukrainians, their traditions, and the Ukrainian language and culture.

They don’t even need their native Russian Orthodoxy, created with their active participation and influence, just as they don’t need the Russian Orthodox Church that was reformed by the second Tsar of the Romanov dynasty, Alexei Mikhailovich, to suit the demands of the Ukrainians, but remained part and one of the main pillars of Russian civilization. Ukrainians don’t need the Russian Orthodox Church that is  operating in accordance with the same territorial-communal principle.

Ukrainians do not need the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, if it is somehow connected and subordinate to the Russian Church and can be used to spiritually influence by the Russian world. Ukrainians will try to build their own, even if they are weak.

They will betray one Big Brother for another, running from one enemy of Russia to another, from Berlin to Washington, from Washington to Istanbul, from Istanbul to Beijing, to anyone who will support their formation and development of Ukraine as civilization, who will give hope, albeit unreliable, false and empty, for independence and self-development.

It should be accepted by the Kremlin, that the time has long passed, when Ukrainianism was a relatively small and weak national movement on the outskirts of Russia, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Poland, the Crimean Khanate and the Ottoman Empire. Now everyone will have to take Ukrainians into account, and the sooner this is realized in Moscow, Washington, Geneva, where the European headquarters of the UN is located, in London and Brussels, the sooner it will be possible not only to stop the bloodshed, but also to build such relations between Ukraine and other civilizations and countries that will benefit everyone and meet the needs and principles of the new world order.

Russia may lose the civilizational war to Ukraine. Moreover, it may happen that Russia will consider itself to have won as State, but it will lose as Civilization. The problem for Russia is that, along with the inter-civilizational war in Ukraine, there has long been ongoing internal crisis of Russian civilization.

The political system that began to actively take shape in the USSR under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev, who was born and grew up in Ukraine, based on clannism and groupism in the party and state bureaucracy, fell into disrepair and led to the collapse of the USSR. This collapse triggered the internal crisis of the Russian world, Russian civilization, generating surge of nationalism in all the former republics of the USSR.

This clannism and groupism remains and is the main characteristic feature of the current political and state system of Russia, and it contradicts the territorial-communal principle of the Russian world.

If Russians abandon territorial-communal principle and switch to national principle of organizing communities, peoples and territories, then Russia will become totally different. It will become like Ukraine, and Russia, with its over hundred nations and nationalities, with tens of millions of Muslims and representatives of other non-Christian religions, will face the most severe internal turmoil that Russia has never seen. As a result of that unrest, mono-national state will be created.

Will it be better for Kiev, for Ukrainians and Ukraine, if radical Russian or some other nationalists come to power in Russia? No. It will be infinitely worse. In case of war, Russian nationalists will not spare Ukrainians, their cities, bridges, factories…

Will it be better for Europe, for the USA, India or China, or Latin America, if Russia is ruled by nationalists, melting peoples into one nation, depriving all others of their identity, languages, and obtaining from them recognition of rulers’ greatness? No… It will definitely not be better.


                                             Inter-civilizational fire in the Middle East

The same situation, though more obvious and clear, and therefore quickly recognized by the leaders of most states, has developed between Israel and Palestine. That conflict is also of civilizational nature, and therefore it must be resolved on different principles than in the old model that Israel, Palestine, Iran, Turkey, other Muslim countries, the West, Russia, China still operate…

However, there is one important new factor that appeared, and it indicates that wars in the modern technological era raise risks of destruction of people, cities and countries, economies, financial and trade systems to the level that makes inter-civilizational wars impossible…

(To be continued)

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