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"Russian World": War for the Sake of War, - Maksym Stepanenko

If Russia succeeds in conquering Ukraine, all the captured resources will be used for further war with the West. Political expert Maksym Stepanenko writes about this in his article for The Gaze. The text of the article can be found below.

In Russia's war against the people of Ukraine, numerous representatives of the peoples enslaved by Russia are fighting: Buryats, Tuvans, and, in particular, units from Chechnya. A country whose people shed blood to defend themselves and gain independence from Russia until relatively recently. In the nineties, during the so-called Chechen wars, it was hardly possible to imagine that Chechens would soon be fighting on the side of Russia in a war of aggression against Ukraine. Undoubtedly, such an unenviable fate awaits Ukrainians if Russia succeeds in completing its occupation of Ukraine.

Russia is the largest country in the world in terms of territory. This has become possible thanks to the state policy of military expansion that has remained unchanged throughout its history. Of course, the practice of seizing neighboring territories and peoples is not an invention of the Russians. But they have reached a level of skill that currently allows them to control almost 1/6 of the Earth's surface.

The real key to such a successful policy of conquest is that it is an end in itself, the idea of Russian statehood as such. New resources that come under Russian control are used only for further military expansion. This applies to both natural and human resources. An eloquent example in favor of this thesis is Siberia, which was conquered by the Russians back in the days when it was practically just an endless tundra. In tsarist Russia, this region was used as a large prison, a place of exile. At that time, it was already known that Siberia was rich in natural resources, but economic development was out of the question.

Even after the discovery of significant hydrocarbon deposits in Siberia, the socio-economic situation of this occupied territory remained virtually unchanged. It would be a mistake to assume that this is a matter of the Russian state's inability to develop the occupied territories. In the case of the same hydrocarbons, the Soviet Union arranged all the necessary logistics quite quickly and with limited resources. Large projects to turn Siberia into a nuclear weapons test site were created just as quickly.

That is, the entire territory of the previously conquered peoples is perceived by Russians as a military facility, a springboard for further expansion of the state's borders. Crimea, Cuba, the Kuril Islands, Königsberg, Syria, Venezuela, etc. are of military and strategic value to Russians.

If Russia Is a Prison of Peoples, Then the Conquered Peoples in It Are Wagner PMCs

Russia, as a state, regardless of the historical moment of its existence or the current political regime, is really interested only in those resources that are useful for further military expansion. It is worth noting that the emphasis on military expansion is no accident. Financial, cultural, and religious expansion as forms of spreading Russia's power and influence to neighboring countries exist to the extent that they are useful for potential military aggression. Even in the case of the invasion of Ukraine, common cultural and religious factors are used by the Russians in state propaganda to justify the war of aggression. Needless to say, the cultural difference between Russia and the West has been perceived by Russians for centuries as the necessity and inevitability of a military clash, Moscow's historical mission.

Over the centuries of waging wars of conquest, Russia has developed genuine historical traditions of dealing with the population of the occupied territories. Of course, they include "classical" tools that are not exclusive to Russia. But, it is worth noting, they are performed at an impressively high level. Yes, the elimination of leaders and active participants of conventional national resistance movements is vital for any empire. But for the modern world, this mostly means non-lethal removal, such as imprisonment, exile abroad, etc. Instead, the Russian state, even the modern one, relies on the use of the most brutal forms of physical or psychological elimination of opponents. Numerous facts of systematic torture are documented in all the territories where the Russian army was present.

One should not make the mistake of thinking that the Russian Federation is carefully working to conceal the facts of war crimes. On the contrary, it is an important element of intimidation, both for the population of the occupied territories and for potential future targets of expansion. Russia does not need to conceal the horrific facts of unjustified cruelty, it is an element of state policy. Sun Tzu said: "A frightened enemy is a half-defeated enemy." Remember the reactions of the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, for example, to the documented facts of the use of Novichok. He left no room for doubt that Russia would continue to demonstratively eliminate whomever and wherever it pleases.

Even the illegal annexation of Crimea, whose population, as interpreted by Ros-TV, suffered from the unbearable pangs of a desire for "voluntary reunification with Mother Russia," was accompanied by systematic measures to intimidate the entire population. The Russian state needs special cruelty in eliminating Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar activists to create a general depressed psychological state in the occupied territory of the peninsula.

Moreover, such a policy is characteristic of the Russian Federation not only in Crimea, but also in all the occupied territories. All residents of the territories once occupied by Russia are well aware of what a "basement" is. Therefore, the feeling of a constant threat of physical elimination is an integral attribute and instrument of Russian state policy.

In Russia, No One Swears Off the Penalty and Prison

Another characteristic feature of Russia's policy towards conquered peoples is the deliberate support of a low level of socio-economic development of the occupied territories. Moreover, there is no particular difference in essence, whether these are newly conquered territories or those that have been part of the Russian Federation for centuries. Of course, during the active phase of any hostilities, the economy of the area is destroyed. But this usually happens as a consequence of hostilities, and is not a direct target of the occupier. After all, when it comes to the seizure of territories, even the occupying forces realize that they need an economically strong region in the future.

Russia's peculiarity is that it deliberately destroys the economy not only of the region where military clashes are taking place. One of the goals of the Russian armed forces (specifically the army) is the economy of the entire country, the entire nation. Russia's current invasion of Ukraine provides an opportunity to fully appreciate the capabilities of the Russian hordes in the economic sphere. Logistics, industrial and energy capacities, economic ties and trade potential, social infrastructure, etc. have been destroyed. All of this is the result of the army's actions, not Russia's economic or diplomatic efforts against Ukraine. Therefore, we are talking about the deliberate and purposeful destruction of the entire economy of the victim of aggression, not just the individual regions that are in the epicenter of the fighting.

Poverty is a constant for the nations that Russia has managed to conquer. If you look at the map of Russia, you will see that the so-called "depressed regions" in Russia are the most remote territories that were captured a century ago. They are inhabited mainly by representatives of indigenous peoples, descendants of once deported "enemies of the people" or shock construction workers who were involved in the development of the region's military infrastructure. And, as we have already noted, the reason for this is by no means the inability to provide at least an average standard of living for the local population. It is well known that the party nomenklatura in the Soviet Union knew perfectly well what a luxurious life was, regardless of geography.

Due to the extremely low level of socio-economic development in regions far from Moscow, military contracts may indeed seem extremely lucrative to Russian citizens. In addition, the opportunity to loot with impunity is an additional source of not only profit, but also household goods. Moreover, the geographical remoteness from economically developed regions makes military service virtually the only opportunity for such people to improve their financial situation.

Russia's Endless War Against Anti-Russia

It is not surprising that the poverty of the territories of the conquered peoples is a factor that constantly maintains a negative, tense psychological background for the locals. However, the ignorance of the conquered peoples is not a guarantee of their controllability, but one of the reasons for their passive-aggressive state. The state propaganda allows to transfer the depressed state and aggressive moods from the government to its enemies. Poverty and ignorance are only a necessary condition for its effectiveness. It's no secret that regions of Russia with a relatively high level of socio-economic status face constant problems with voluntary mobilization of citizens. Paradoxically, the further away from Moscow, the more proactive the "patriotic" population of the Russian Federation is.

The consistently low level of socio-economic development of the territories occupied by Russia requires constant dynamics of the state's territory expansion. Otherwise, the Russian regime would face a real threat of being responsible for the decline in its own and the occupied territories. The Kremlin is well aware that the first potentially dangerous thoughts to arise are that the occupation authorities and no one else are to blame for the poverty. Therefore, the propaganda, in turn, skillfully translates the discontent of the population into support for another military expansion against the "guilty".

In historical retrospect, the narratives of Russian state propaganda have remained unchanged since there has been no unconquered people left in the East. In one language or another, Russian propaganda has entrenched and constantly maintains the narrative that peaceful coexistence between the West and Russia is impossible. For Russians, there is only Russia and Anti-Russia, "us" and "against us." Therefore, in the perception of Russians, the confrontation with the West has only an active and preparatory phase.

The commonality of the information space, greater vulnerability to propaganda, low living standards, and lack of promising alternatives make representatives of the conquered peoples a reliable support for Russia's further military expansion. For example, in 2014, Russia managed to use Ukrainians, who were the most poisoned by Russian propaganda, as puppets to invade Crimea and Donbas.

Even then, local "people's police units" were actively used by the Kremlin in combat operations on Ukrainian soil. The same was true during Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. In fact, as soon as the new generation of Ukrainians in the occupied territories of Donbas grew up, it was immediately directed by the occupation authorities to further military expansion. By the way, this time under a completely different propaganda pretext than their parents in 2014, but unchanged in its essence - expansion to the West must continue.


Russia's invasion of Ukraine is only a continuation of the state policy of waging wars of conquest, which has remained unchanged throughout the history of the sub-empire. Clear examples show that the Russian Federation is interested in expansion only for the sake of further expansion. The entire state has existed in a similar paradigm for centuries. Russia has been rolling war around the world like a dung beetle rolling a ball of shit throughout its history.

It is not surprising that the current regime in the Kremlin is a successor to the long-standing traditions of the Russian Empire's policy. All the resources that one way or another end up in the hands of the Russians after the capture of another territory are skillfully directed to further expansion. In particular, the occupiers turn entire nations into soldiers.

If Russia succeeds in conquering Ukraine, no one should doubt that all the captured resources will be used to continue the war with the West. This includes the people of Ukraine, who are very dangerous to the Kremlin because they are "infected" with freedom and other democratic values. That is why the Kremlin will use Ukrainians in the first ranks of the next war. Then it will be the turn of Poles, Czechs, Hungarians - anyone who can be reached by Putin's bloody hand.

The vector of Russian expansion is well known, and it is openly articulated by the leaders in the Kremlin. State propaganda skillfully produces fakes, different in form, but unified in essence - the Kremlin's sights are set on the West. Ukrainians are now fighting not only for their homeland, but for the entire democratic world.

Source: "The Gaze"

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