August 21, 2015
Translated from French by Tom Winter
August 22, 2015
Title at source: “Novorossiya and Anti-imperialism”
The current conflict in Ukraine is the result of historical antagonisms between the peoples of the region, but also, and above all, resulting from Washington’s global offensive that has two major strategic objectives:
1. Encircle Russia and prevent the emergence of a geopolitical block that would be an alternative to the Western-capitalist hegemony.
2. Maintain US suzerainty over Europe by opposing a Europe-Russia rapprochement and more importantly a rapprochement between Germany and Russia.
The struggle being conducted by “Novorossya” fits, in the global struggle of the free peoples against Americano-centric US-globalism, quite beyond its historical and local setting, and beyond whatever arguments nostalgic propagandists deploy on each other.
Our compatriot Vincent Perfetti is one of the executives of the NOVOPOLE organization in France that organizes political and material support for Novorossya. His visit in Corsica gives him a chance to decipher this dramatic conflict between Europeans.
Novorossya, or more precisely the Union of Peoples Republics of New Russia is a project initiated by a few political figures of Donbass (the Don basin) in the east of the former Ukraine after the coup that was fomented in Kiev by the US called “Maidan” in February 2014. The Novorossya project was developed to defend people who would not be incorporated into a rump state of the USA led by their irreducible historical enemies, namely, the supporters of Stepan Bandera, of cursed memory.
Indeed, the coup was intended to settle permanently in power those politicians of the former Ukraine who are dedicated to the anti-Russian geopolitical intentions of Anglo-Saxon imperialism. It is among the supporters of Stepan Bandera, their historical allies, that they found support and militants.
To understand the Novorossya project you have to first understand the context — geopolitical, political, and cultural — of former Ukraine.
Imperialism has constantly sought to weaken Russia since the Soviet collapse by trying to cut it up with geopolitical and also commercial alliances. Russia is seen by the Anglo-Saxon thalassocracy as the perpetual enemy to be contained and destroyed, to seize the immense riches of Siberia. Siberia is characterized in the language of imperialism as the “heart of the island-world.” The “World Island” is the Eurasian continent and the “heart land,” the heart of it, is Siberia. The “rimland” according to Nicolas Spykman, mentor of the Anglo-Saxon imperialism, that’s the peripheral shore of this “island-world,” needed to encircle its heart and seize it. Ukraine, located on the south bank of “rimland” is a perennial goal of the Anglo-Saxon thalassocracy as shown in the Crimean War of 1853-1856.
Zbigniew Brzezinski in his reference book explaining geopolitics of imperialism, “The Grand Chessboard,” wrote a now famous sentence:
“Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland;
who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island;
who rules the World-Island commands the world. “**
A strong, historic, political, and ideological opposition sets apart the populations of Galicia, where during the World War Stepan Bandera recruited his pro-German anti-Soviet, and then pro-US militias, from the people of the east and south of Ukraine, who count themselves as Russian and who supported the USSR.
Why do we speak of former Ukraine?
The territory of Ukraine, recognized by the UN, achieved independence in 1989 after the collapse of the USSR in favor of the USA and obtained by the treachery of Gorbachev. Yet the people of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine by a vast majority — 60% — voted for staying in the USSR in 1989.
The Soviet Republic of Ukraine becoming independent was an artificial fabrication of the USSR, never having constituted a state. Former Ukraine consists of disparate peoples without historical community, one stemming from the western Germanic Holy Roman Empire, and the other stemming from Russia. Historical Ukraine is limited to the Duchy of Kiev, but that is the heart of Rus; that is the heart of Russia. The Ukrainian language, the only official language in this pseudo-state is a dialect of Russian, to which it is very close. Anne of Kiev, who married the king of France, Henry I, in 1050 was until very recently considered by Western historians as a Russian princess. They are now trying to revise history.
During the Soviet period there was only one recognized nationality, Soviet, and people moved easily across this vast territory with many a “Ukrainian” finding work in Russia or other Soviet republics, and with many Russians settling in the “Ukrainian” SSR because it was the heart of the military and aerospace industry of the USSR, notably the Kharkov region. Everyone at that time felt more “Soviet” than “Ukrainian” or “Russian.”
Today a high proportion of “Ukrainians” feel Russian or at least very close to Russia, except for residents of the heavily rural Galician region, while eastern Ukraine, especially the Donbass is heavily industrialized.
So we can’t understand the steadfast fury of the inhabitants of the Peoples Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, constituting the current Novorossya, without knowing the particularly heavy historical setting. These inhabitants of Donbass have no desire to be part of a pseudo state led by their worst historical enemies, imposing a way of life that is not theirs, and extremely aggressive towards the Russia that they consider their homeland.
Today the union of the Peoples Republics of Novorossya has no administrative existence. The popular republics of Donetsk and Lugansk of the Donbass (Don basin) only possess what they control militarily out of the parts of the former Ukrainian oblasts with the same name. Yet there is a Joint Staff of the Armed Forces of Novorossya (FAN) flying the flag of the future Novorossya, a blue St. Andrew’s cross on a field of red. The flag of Novorossiya, which is as I said, just a military flag, justly crystallizes right now the ideological principles that should govern this country.
First the red flag of the municipality of Paris recalls the Soviet Socialist legacy that is claimed. Then the blue St. Andrew’s cross on a white background calls to mind the Orthodox religion as Saint Andrew is the founder of the Church of Constantinople, who Christianized the Rus of Kiev and all Slavs. This flag is blazoned with a two-headed eagle reminiscent of the Slav symbol, but holding in its claws a hammer symbolic of the metallurgist work of Donbass industry, and a Navy anchor that recalls the maritime activity in the sea of Azov. Finally a legend appears under the eagle: Labour and Freedom symbolizing the working class and its hope of emancipation.
We see in this flag all ideological references mixed into a syncretism that reflects the life of belief and hopes of the little people of this industrial region, that of the rejection of capitalism on one hand, the Orthodox Christian reference on the other and finally the reference to Slavism at last.
If the republics of Novorossiya are called popular, which could recall the “people’s democracies” of the time of the USSR, it is not a matter of restoring them to Soviet socialism but of riddance to the oligarchs who plundered the riches of the former Soviet Union, therewith bringing the greatest harm to the population. The major metallurgical industries of mines and chemistry should be nationalized while the entrepreneurial freedom would be left to the people.
Finally, the inhabitants of New Russia of the Donbass see themselves as resolutely anti-imperialist in solidarity with Syrian and Palestinian peoples struggling for their independence.
What is the place of the conflict in Ukraine / Novorossiya in the global geopolitical context?
I have explained above the permanent geopolitical context between the Anglo-Saxon thalassocracy and Russia. The place of this conflict in the current global geopolitics is important because the US has designated Russia as their main opponent. For the US, it is a matter of getting Russia involved in a European conflict that will weaken it and eventually cut it off from Western Europe and especially Germany, which is one of its largest trading partners. We must keep in mind that the coup of “Maidan” was also directed against Western Europe, and intended to weaken it with the huge commercial losses due to sanctions and to the Russian embargo. The US therefore is aiming for a direct Russian intervention by the ongoing deadly shelling of Donbass civilians, wishing thus to rouse a counter-attack by FAN followed by Russian support. We see for example that neither Minsk I or Minsk II have been respected by the US-Ukrainian side without catching the attention of either the OSCE observers or the western media.
Russia, despite the provocations, by no means wishes to intervene; it supports the people with humanitarian shipments of food and medicine and has allowed the Russian and non-Russian volunteers serve in the Novorossya forces. Russia did not recognize the independent republics of Donetsk and Lugansk and will not recognize them because Russia wants a unified Ukraine that can exchange and collaborate on good terms with her. Russia wants to promote a political solution by enforcing the Minsk agreements and does not support the Novorossya project, but Russia will not allow its military defeat.
What is Novopole, and what are its objectives?
Novopole is an association called “The Law of 1901” which is among the anti-imperialist organizations. It is opposed to the Anglo-Saxon thalassocracy and supports all continental initiatives whether political, commercial, or simply humanitarian. It obviously supports the experience of Novorossya. At the moment, it raises money to fund a restaurant to house people who are without resources. Novopole France regularly organizes rallies and events to raise awareness of the struggle of the people of Donbass.
What is the nature of West European support to Novorossya?
The initiators of the Novopole Association do not belong to any political organization and do not support any of them. They have no endorsement in the political class. Svetlana Kissilieva, its president, despite her “Ukrainian” origin, considers herself of Soviet origin; André Chanclu, the secretary, comes from the nationalist right (when he was young), and Alain Benajam, second secretary, is a member of the Voltaire Network and comes from the Communist left (when he was young). The support for Novopole comes from all walks, but we find that those who support come over more from the nationalist right than from the left. There are also among the supporters of Novopole a number of people from the former USSR.
What is the future of Novorossya?
The future of Novorossya as a state is uncertain and will depend on the deadly upheavals of former Ukraine. However Novorossya is more than a projected state; it is an Idea. This idea, that can serve as an example, affirms that historical traditions and the culture that comes from them can not be hidden, because they deal with the soul of a people and its old ties, allowing it to oppose the thalassocratic and financial Anglo-Saxon imperialism. To overcome resistance this imperialism seeks to impose a global subculture of a low and destructive level in which all values of solidarity of family, region, and nation would obviously be destroyed, to leave the individual just a naked and helpless person. The Novorossya, like Russia, tries successfully to appropriate its history, as much imperial as Soviet, as opposed to a “clean slate” at once communist and imperialist, and roots itself in Russian history, its best shield against capitalist and imperialist predation.
Thank you comrades.
**Not original to Zbigniew Brzezinski. He got these words and these ideas from Harold Mackinder’s “The Geographic Pivot of History” published in 1904.