Center for Strategic Assessment and forecasts

Autonomous non-profit organization

Home / Politics and Geopolitics / On the national idea / Articles
The Russian land as the basic concept of geopolitics Russia
Material posted: Publication date: 22-01-2011

Recently has become commonplace to say that Russia's foreign policy in the post-Soviet period were almost all disastrous. There were several reckless jerks to the West, however, Russia not only became part of it, but still talks about their confrontation. It is in the categories of confrontation describes all of the Russian-American and Russian-European relations, and even going the "reset" is rather understood as a regular discharge. The same concepts described policy and post-Soviet space. All States that joined almost 20 years ago in the CIS, there is the constant question "of choosing between Russia and the West".

Although the course towards integration with the West is still dominant, the more that Russia never refused, each using a nod to his side, to raise this vision. However, strategically, and to formulate a definite foreign policy fails. Moreover, it is unable to formulate such a course even in relations with close neighbours: from trying though weak political reintegration Moscow reluctantly refused.

Russia is becoming an increasingly unattractive state in terms of its internal problems, and the recent events (mass protests in Moscow and other cities of Russia in connection with ethnic relations) show that domestic politics are as close to collapse. Despite all the ranting about a single "Russian nation", Russia could not be integrated into the overall humanitarian and political space of the North Caucasus, and migration policy of the Kremlin made the conflict the entire country: from capitals to provincial "Kondopoga". However, the blame for all these failures systematically thrown off all sorts of evil forces: it is the Western elite, not able to wean themselves from thinking "cold war", this is "the teenage complexes of the" new independent States, then cleared up for some reason the mood of xenophobia from irresponsible citizens. Blame everything but official Russia.

In itself, the confrontation with the West - an almost natural condition for Russia to which she was used already centuries ago. And historical experience we are well aware that Russia's weakness only leads to escalating hostility. However, the failure of Russian policy towards the countries of "near abroad" and within the Federation is represented by a unique phenomenon: in fact, from the time of the Troubles beginning of the XVII century and we do not remember that Russia was so weak. And to explain Western hostility is impossible: the RF itself bears full responsibility for his weakness in the area of the former Russian Empire. And here the question concerns her the most, namely organic causes of the weakness and inconsistency of its policy in this space.

One of the major reasons for this state of Affairs is seen in the fact that this policy is contextual, reflexive in nature, and not based on any strategic vision of its place in its environment and in the world. Can you explain this ideological confusion after the collapse of the USSR and failure of projects of reconstruction, but there is a deeper reason: Russia has radically rejected any historical sight. Its policy has no identity, it is politics without a subject.

The only certain direction of Russian politics (both internal and external) - it's an escape from the historical past, from anything that in any way identify its place in the world except the geography. It's a kind of politics of self-denial, and as such, it is so original that it is hardly possible to find any clear Parallels in the experience of other countries - except maybe the post-colonial. And it is no wonder that do not understand nor our neighbours, nor "Western partners", and try to proceed from their own guesses about the Russian "samarkandyk" purposes. Russia only excuses: "well believe me, we're not you ascribe we all!". Though to offer alternative explanations for it, too: she has deliberately become a country without identity and without its place in the world.

Public policy should never escape from history. She must have identitaria Foundation, otherwise it cannot have any strategic goals. Only identity sets the main motives for political action, and if not, then the place of public interest is corporate interests of various groups of influence from the authorities. But this situation cannot last for long: the contradictions of such interests to each other and their discrepancy with real state problems weaken the country and will inevitably lead to defeats and the gradual loss of the system of international relations. We now see: for modern international community Russia is some extra turbulent element, not inscribed, its not defining itself and it is not certain. In this sense, the words of Zbigniew Brzezinski about Russia as about "extra country" very accurately characterize the perception from the outside. Although the request for historical Russia there's a great deal - only she refuses to be chronically.

In recent years, the first change in this position: the situation around Russia forced her to make some adjustments. And although Moscow still wants to avoid any historical notions and concepts identitary, in 2007 it brought in the official political lexicon such terms as "Russian world". Actually, this is the first concept of Russian identity, with which official Russia decided to associate himself. De jure, the Russian state has no connection with the Russian people, and his representative is not, although from the outside all you see it as a national Russian.

However, in the Constitution of the state status of the Russian language allowed to go on such a novelty and partly to distribute Russian identity on foreign policy. Done, it was the result of problems with the situation of Russian-speaking residents "near abroad", when Russia simply took any part. Indeed, relations with the "Russian Diaspora" is another failed story of the Russian policy concerning the countries, and some of the conceptualization of activity in this area is extremely important.

"Russian world" is defined as "the world of Russian language", something like the French "Francophonie". And although this concept applies to all residents of foreign Countries, in varying degrees, speak Russian, it allowed us to make an important distinction in Russian policy about having non-ethnic definition of "Russian compatriots" to distinguish them from the Russians (in the cultural-linguistic definition). And although this concept is not introduced in the legislation, but only in the official language, however, it was possible to speak more or less identitary language: there were statements about, for example, "the problems of the Russian world", "the values of the Russian world", and even "the Russian world". This understanding has allowed foreign Russian organizations to abandon the artificial Soviet biosocial definition of Russian identity, expanding its business on all people speaking Russian.

Yet the notion of the Russian world, does not have an ancient cultural history is only a small step in restoring Russia's identity. It is noteworthy that it began to define those meanings, which, in turn, not pawned. As an anthropological concept, not a fundamentally geographical properties (unites Russian-speaking in the world), it often appears in political texts in quite different values. For example, frequent claims-that "Ukraine is part of Russian world", or controversy, whether its part of Transnistria. In such situations, "Russian world" acts as a palliative to another concept with a much larger historical rootedness, but it is still not allowed in our official language - the concept of the Russian land. Recently, it became apparent that this concept is very lacking, not only in foreign policy of Russia, but also in the internal.

In General, the concept of the Russian land is a pronounced feature of the Russian identity, rooted in antiquity. It remains important for the Russian Orthodox Church, as a symbol of its traditional canonical territory. In fact, Church policy - the only area in which it is sometimes used. Not surprising: it is the only institution in our society with thousand years of history and not avoiding Russian identity.

The Russian land is a historical integrity of the territories that were part of a unified Kievan Rus-Novgorod time. The lost unity of this land has always been the main nerve of Russian culture. The mismatch between political realities sacred space of Russia - since the thirteenth century - was a challenge for the Russian people. This is the reality which by itself is already much more than the old unity of the country, but our identity, the very name Russian, remembers and appeals to that age and its spaces. However, now it is broader due to centuries of colonization of vast territories in the East and South.

In General, for Orthodox traditions peculiar to particular attention to the notion of canonical space and its borders. People in Orthodox religious thinking - a members of one local Church, and the Russian people in the middle Ages it was the combination of the parishioners of the Russian Church: then the notion of the Russian people was a confessional, Church. The same can be said about the Russian land. Our ancient annals in his name speaks primarily about the Russian land: "Behold the tale of vremennyh years, has gone from Russian land, who in Kiev began the first of knyazhichi, and from where the Russian earth began to eat". Also later annalistic arches. For example, the first Novgorod chronicle begins with the words: "Vremennik, hedgehog is called by the chroniclers knyazei and earth Russian, and kako of choosing God on our country...". I must say that not any of people peculiar to this accentuation on the concept of ethnically-nominated earth. For example, the notion of the "French ground" is artificially constructed - it is not important for French identity, neither the present nor the former. "Russian earth" is found as the most important definition of already from the pre-Mongol era, and, as you can see, it remains relevant even to this day.

And now, if not to abandon the historical identity of the Russian people and the Russian state and to return to our political lexicon this concept, it may contribute to a fundamental structuring of the Russian policy, its motivations and application-specific. And it concerns various spheres and in foreign and in domestic policy. At the same time say, we are not talking about the introduction of the concept of the Russian land laws in Russia (what could cause diplomatic problems), but only on the introduction of it into the official lexicon, as was done with the concept of "Russian world". The Russian land is a historical value, and something that is written in history, it is impossible to take and cancel. History makes itself felt, as we would sometimes wish to escape from it. And policy based on historical self-denial can be merely a means of self-destruction.

The concept of "Russian world", drawing an important distinction among the "Russian compatriots", has left unaffected the geographical principle. Russia still does not distinguish in its policy concerning the Russian compatriots ' organizations in the countries of the unconventional policies, the Russians and the countries in which the Russians have a historical right to be considered the indigenous population. That is the concept of the Russian world, no matter how necessary it was, not capable of delivering the discernment of Russian communities abroad, living on their historical land, and the emigrant Diaspora, divided into different "waves" and having largely different identity. But these parts of the Russian world have a completely different structure, completely different requests and different things about their national rights and interests. However, it is not manifested in the activities of those structures that define the work with the Russian community. Until Russia learns to carry out a fundamentally different policy toward foreign Russians living on Russian soil, and Russian immigrants, its policy in respect of compatriots is doomed to failure and will only serve to alienate Russia and to unite around it.

The concept of the Russian land may have for integration policy in the post-Soviet space. On a societal level, has long been any consensus about integration expectations: there's a request only on rapprochement with Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Transnistria. And although "its" Ukraine is seen without its Western part, and Kazakhstan really are relevant only to its the North is populated by Russian South Siberia, however, only those States see the fragmented parts of the country. Yes, the Soviet national policy was approved here non-Russian national projects, but the concept of the Russian land itself does not deny - she has a historical background, preceding them.

There is no escape from the simple fact that Russia is a country with random boundaries, it is not integral, incomplete, because when these borders were drawn as internal administrative. It is completely foreign territory, while Russian is one of the biggest divided Nations. Huge space inhabited by Russian speaking population, are abroad, and the Mother of Russian cities - the capital of the neighboring state. And so the course on reintegration to Russia's natural, he could not refuse. Dreams about him and the most part of inhabitants of Russia, as well as historically Russian lands of neighbouring States. But it is not about restoring the Soviet Union or the Russian Empire.

Relative to the republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus Association nobody expects, moreover, the prevailing mood on the larger enclosure: suspension of migration flows, the introduction of a visa regime, etc. What can we say about this "cut a piece", as the Baltic States. For these regions is important rather is a concept of "historical Russia", i.e. the territory of the former Russian Empire. These regions are Russian immigrants, but there is dominated by other peoples and it is unlikely they ever will again become a part of our country. Relations with Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan is a special case, involving Russia needs a reunion. However, Russian policy toward neighboring countries may not hold such distinctions: as our compatriots potentially recognizes all former citizens of the USSR, and all our integration projects are equally open for all, too.

Despite a huge demand for integration between these States both within Russia and within themselves such, or not at all, or only in economic terms, and then partially and not for all. Actually, Russia just does not offer any identitylogo integration project: she then swings at the post-Soviet space, then refuses it. Importantly, no integration project, which would be an end in itself, the strategic objective that can give the motivation of political action, regardless of the economic gains of certain campaigns.

We cannot escape the fact that Russian identity refers to the unity of Russia and to its territorial notions of completeness. The Russian state with the center in Moscow was originally built on the basis of the ideology of "gathering the Russian lands". Restoration of fragmented Russia is an ancient, sacred mission, which took over the Moscow under Ivan the Great. In different eras it was described differently: as the gathering of the lands of Rurikovich, as the unification of the Russian national territory, the reunification of Ukraine, etc. - the meaning has always been. The mismatch between the political realities of the historical space of Russia - since the thirteenth century - was a challenge for the Russian people.

And now the territory of historical Rus, augmented by lands of Russian colonization (where the Russian-speaking population absolutely dominates) - quite topical political reality. It is possible not to notice - but this is only fundamentally inadequate means to carry out policy, which does not even have words to describe what is known to all people on different sides of borders. The success of the Russian policy in the post-Soviet space - it is the policy of gathering the Russian land - albeit not in the form of a single state, but as a General humanitarian, political, economic and military space of the Union of States.

Considerable importance is the concept of the Russian land can have and internal policy of Russia. The growth of interethnic tensions quite clearly indicates that the consideration of all citizens of Russia as a faceless mass of "Russians" is inadequate and leads to extremely dangerous consequences. As was to be expected that the non-Russian regions will ever be able to become a "normal" part with the Russian national standards of public life. No, it's too historically different lands, and ignoring this simple fact leads only to increased tension and subsequent collapse. Not the whole territory of Russia - the Russian land. Here and the lands of other peoples, and public policy should consider this, as well as the fact that there are Russian land and Russian cities. Primarily this is important for the sphere of migration flows management. Without this there will not be a competent national policy and good international relations.

The revival of the concept of the Russian land and it is important for the resuscitation of the Russian identity - the historical foundations of Russian statehood. Russian identity not only ethnic, it is largely territorial. This is evident from the fundamental importance that this concept has always had for the Russian culture, and on how hard the Russians to organize their emigrant communities abroad. The revival of Russia's official concept of the Russian land can give an ideological basis for the activities of Russian public and cultural organizations in the areas of traditional spread of Russian culture and to work with official Russia - and this applies to both Russia and the near abroad.

Although the main problem - more precisely, the obstacle on this path remains illegal status of Russian identity in Russia itself, the failure of Russian statehood from representing the interests of the Russian people. While the Russian government would not dare to reclaim the Russian identity and to conduct a historically grounded policy, it will be doomed for all-new of defeat, fear of neighbors, and further loss from the system of international relations - and of world history.

Russia, who forgot about the Russian land, is a defeated Russia.


Oleg Nemensky


RELATED MATERIALS: Politics and Geopolitics
Возрастное ограничение