Ruscism is on par with Fascism, Nazism, and Communism, and ought to be condemned – Ohryzko
Recently, the concept of “Ruscism” became more widespread. Several dozens of articles appeared lately. The concept is being discussed by political analysts and journalists. Some even talk about “Ruscism-studies”, Volodymyr Ohryzko, Foreign Affairs Minister of Ukraine in 2007-2009 and Head of Center for russian Studies said at the Kyiv Security Forum.
Therefore, it is of utmost importance to define terminology right from the onset. And then it will be easier to use this concept without any substitution for another, or vice versa. Against this background, I would like to refer to the positive role played by many international legal documents clearly defining characteristics of certain notions and concepts and, thus, allowing the effective use of the latter when assessing various facts and processes.
And what are the characteristics of “Ruscism”? Is “Ruscism” an ideology only, or is it general practice? Is it solely the reflection of domestic political processes in russia? Or is it liaised with its foreign policy? What sort of response should the world around us give to this phenomenon? One single article can hardly answer all of these and many other related questions. Nevertheless, giving it a thought is a must.
The first question worth answering is whether “Ruscism” is an ideology. Any practical acts or actions implemented by a state to some defined purpose ought to be based on a certain ideological foundation. I believe, “Ruscism” is not an exception.
The concept of “the russian world” has become the centerpiece of this ideology. Its major highlights include:
- singularity of “russian civilization” versus the rest of the world: “we, russians, are special people, and foreigners cannot comprehend us”;
- superiority of “russian civilization” over the rest of the world: “we, russians, are more of a spiritual realm than others, we are alien to primitive pecuniary culture”;
- “russian world” is omnipresent: one single “russian soul” means “russian world”, and “russia has no borders”;
- “there is one grand and indivisible russian nation”: there are no Ukrainians and Belarusians, they are just notions invented by foreigners. Thus, the very right to exist is denied for Ukrainians and Belorusians. This is little different from the Nazi denial of the Jewish people right to exist;
- “russia is the country of victors”: May 9 “bandwagon” has become an important spiritual “lynchpin”. Alongside with the above, national thinking militarization is well underway, startingwith children (a new “Hitlerjugend”);
- russia is encircled by enemies, so the country needs a “strongman” to keep order and counteract hostile “insidious actions”;
- russia can attain its foreign policy goals by various means, including military ones.
The above list is hardly exhaustive, though it provides a certain understanding of how modern russia views the world and itself.
The next issue worth examining is the way the ideology of “Ruscism” is put into practice. There are two dimensions to it – the domestic one, and the one in the domain of foreign policy.
The major characteristics of “practical Ruscism” in russian domestic policy include, I think, the following:
- suppression of all democratic rights and freedoms of citizens, and democratic process simulation. This manifests typical doublespeak, and, in fact, one can talk about the obvious formality of russian democratic institutes;
- “leader-mania” and “leader worship” practices, creation of “the leader exceptionalism” atmosphere, leader’s decisions are “the only true”, personification by the leader of the whole country: “if there is putin – there is russia, if there is no putin – there is no russia”;
- formation of state administration characterized by corporatism, appointing “cronies” to leading positions in state apparatus and big business;
- negligence of economic and social interests of the vast social majority in the name of “russia’s greatness”;
- reliance on uniformed agencies and their use to persecute opposition and “dissidents”, creation of a social climate filled with suspicion and fear;
- implementation of state propaganda and censorship system so that people hold the vision of the domestic situation and the “world landscape” as desired by the ruling regime.
In line with practical experience, characteristics of “Ruscism” in foreign policy include, in particular:
- indiscriminate violation, abuse, and manipulation of international legal norms;
- committing armed aggression acts, terrorism, genocide, and other crimes against humanity;
- direct interference into home affairs of other states via disinformation campaigns, aggressive propaganda through public mass media, bribing politicians, public figures, and journalists to the purpose of creating pro-russian opposition;
- utilization of novelty warfare methods, in particular, cyber-attacks;
- protection of autocratic regimes worldwide;
- nuclear terrorism, etc.
The next question is what were the names of regimes having the same or very similar features? If we recollect 14 common features of fascism outlined by Umberto Eco, Italian philosopher, and Nazi practices, we have to admit: it is about fascism.
Among Western analysts, it is worth mentioning, first and foremost, Timothy Snyder and his characteristics of russian fascism as “schyzofascism”. At the same time, he admits that Ukrainians call it more elegantly “Ruscism”.
It is also important to emphasize that “Ruscism” ideology is deemed acceptable by the overwhelming majority of russian people: 80% supported military aggression against Ukraine and the crimes committed by russian military in temporarily occupied territories. Therefore, the premise of some Western “liberals” that we deal here with “putin’s war” against Ukraine is completely false. No, this is the war of russians to annihilate Ukrainians and Ukraine.
This is a typical genocidal war.
Thus, based on such a somewhat sketchy analysis, one can offer the following definition of“Ruscism”: this is the embodiment of racist, xenophobic, chauvinistic, populist ideology supported, despite its evident anti-democratism, by the majority of russian population and effectuated through aggressive and criminal foreign policy of russia.
“Ruscism” is on par with such notions as fascism, Nazism, and communism, and ought to be condemned as misanthropic ideology and practice. The notion of “Ruscism” must be registered in international legal documents as a modern and specific russian equivalent of fascism. The world community has to organize an anti-Ruscist front represented by the wide anti-putin coalition.
“Ruscist” ideology founding fathers and those who implement it in practice must be brought to a Special International Tribunal and punished for all crimes committed.
The unprovoked ruthless aggression of russia against Ukraine has demonstrated to the whole democratic world that its existential antagonist is impersonated by “Ruscism”. russia confirmed, once again, that it is not solely the Empire of Evil, but the embodiment of the World Evil. Regimes change in russia fail to alter the barbaric, militant and profoundly undemocratic essence of the russian society. It is impregnated with ideas of chauvinism and imperia complex. Democratic russia is akin to hot snow or dry water. It just cannot be. The West enjoys no right to commit, once again, the sin of toying with the idea of “good russians” existence. According to the survey of the All-russian Center for Public Opinion Studies conducted this August, some 60% of russians fail to see any good in Western civilization and democracy. 26% of them label Western values “destructive”. And, they(Western values) are supported by – attention – as many as 2 (two!!!) percent. So, is it possible to “bring to democracy” this population and honestly believe that it is solely putin who is guilty of russian crimes?
Since russia is a colonial empire and mercilessly exploited, over centuries, its colonies and obliterated enslaved peoples, the civilized world must assist their return to freedom and independent existence.
Imperial russia has no right to the future in its current shape and borders. The controlled disintegration of this country and the formation of a number of peaceful nuclear-free states on its territory is the sole chance to avoid a nuclear apocalypse. The civilized world ought to finally understand this and start shaping its safe future.