Ukraine in Europe is like aliens on Earth

Ukraine, on the way to the world of "Western prosperity," risks losing not only peace and stability, but also self-identity and statehood. Moreover, the EU gives everyone to understand that nobody is waiting for Ukraine in Europe, but as they say, ambition can move mountains. Ukraine continues to become an object for experiments of the West. 

In 1996, famous American philosopher Samuel Huntington published a book entitled "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order." The book became hugely popular almost immediately.

The most frequently cited part of the work is the author's classification of terrestrial civilizations on religious and geographic type: Western, Islamic, Hindu, Sino (Chinese), Japanese, Latin American, Orthodox, Buddhist and African (in the process of interaction of which more or less tense conflicts occur, often evolving into real wars). 

This work deserves attention just because of the fact that it does not celebrate a favorite neoliberal myth of "universal values", which, under the guise of the "golden billion," imposes the standards of Western civilization on the rest of the world. This is globalization in its purest form.

Assessment of the current Ukrainian crisis that gives deep understanding of the basics of what is happening is no less interesting. Indeed, the situation, is, at first glance, paradoxical. Ukraine is an Orthodox country from the point of view of  historical traditions and religious preferences. That is, Ukraine is referred to the "Orthodox civilization." Yet, it tends to be closer to the Western civilization. The Ukrainian membership in the EU is as "real" as a visit of representatives of an extraterrestrial civilization, but Ukrainian Westerners worship "European values" like a religious cult.

This paradox could be attributed to "border conflicts" between different types of civilizations. While Russia (in the form of the USSR) was the center of the Orthodox civilization in the geopolitical sense, the sphere of its influence included the countries of Eastern Europe that never were Orthodox nations. They are Poland, Czechoslovakia, East Germany and Hungary. After the collapse of "the sixth part of land," the pendulum swung the other way - and now it is the West that wants to bite the Orthodox Ukraine from its civilization nucleus. 

Even if the plan proves to be successful, the Ukrainians will not be able to win anything good from it, similarly to how other Orthodox countries of Eastern Europe - Bulgaria and Romania - have not benefited from joining the EU. 

The Ukrainian propaganda prefers to play on low consumer instincts and greediness of ordinary Ukrainians. Most of them are blinded by the promise of making 1,000 euros a month in Europe. This reminds the situation of the USSR during the perestroika period, when the biggest dream of most people was foreign-made Western clothes and  "60 varieties of sausage."

The end of the story is easy to predict too. The Union broke up, and its citizens plunged into poverty through radical liberal reforms. The more Ukraine wants to be a part of Europe, the deeper it falls into the abyss of political and economic crisis.

The current state of affairs has historical roots, the essence of which is about the "special relationship" to civilizational values ​​of the local elite.

In the beginning, when Prince Vladimir, who converted Russia into Christianity, took the new faith of the Orthodox Byzantine Empire, made a move consistent with his statesmanship plans. On the Orthodox basis, "God's representative on earth," "anointed of God" is an emperor, at worst - a czar or a prince.

In contrast to that, the Catholic world was founded on the idea of supreme authority of the Pope. The "Vicar of God" is the Pope. Under this system, individual kings and even emperors of the Holy Roman Empire were only "first among equals."

Thus, if the basic political form of state organization in the Orthodox world is  monarchy, then in the Western Christian world, it is aristocracy and oligarchy. 

Prince Vladimir and his son Yaroslav the Wise could be considered quite adequate autocrats according to the Orthodox model, - even if they were only princes. 

Feudal fragmentation came to Russia after them - in worst traditions of contemporary Europe.

After the Mongol invasion, the Northeast of Russia was able to overcome the anarchic fragmentation, building, at first, the principality of Moscow, and then the kingdom. Afterwards, the kingdom earned the reputation of the Third Rome, in memory of the fallen Second Rome in 1453 - the Byzantine Empire.

In the land of southwestern Russia, feudal anarchy was prevailing. This was largely a consequence of aristocratic libertines in Rzeczpospolita, where it very often reached the point of absurdity. For example, any delegate of the Seim could "veto" decisions of absolute majority of his colleagues.

It was then, when the "multi-vector" orientation of the then Ukrainian elite manifested itself to the fullest - Cossack officers and individual oligarchs. On the one hand, they would fervently defend the Orthodox Church from Rome's attempts to devour it. On the other hand, the opportunity of "mayhem" for the lords of the then Poland and Lithuania seems to be a lot attractive to them, than the strict order of the Orthodox Moscow Kingdom. Therefore, the "Hetman" policy of the 17th century was the policy of tossing from side to side.

Bohdan Khmelnytsky was a relatively faithful ally of Moscow, but his successor, Ivan Vyhovsky, immediately began to bargain out the title of "a Russian Prince" for himself to be able to return the "Russian principality" of Ukraine under the authority of Warsaw.

But whoever held the "mace" of power, no hetman could hold power for a long period of time. Most often, there were two or three hetmans at once, who would always be at war with one another. 

By and large, these are the patterns of the current crisis in Ukraine. In Russia, after Yeltsin's "timelessness," a more or less solid state order was established. In Ukraine, unlike in Russia, most authoritarian presidents would only balance between the interests of newly made oligarchs. The latter were cold to Orthodoxy and its values, so by virtue of their nature, they tried to bind Ukraine tightly to the individualistic Western civilization and its "idols."

The sitting, allegedly democratically elected President Poroshenko (without the participation of the population of Donbass), a billionaire, is a parishioner of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, but it means absolutely nothing in the civilized choice of Ukraine. 

What kind of light can Ukraine see at the end of this tunnel? By and large, the country may join the company of Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and face miserable stagnation in an alien environment. The state of affairs in the economy of Ukraine is a lot worse than the one of the above-mentioned outsiders. Alas, what smart people see on the other side of the ocean, the ideologists and propagandists of modern Ukrainian elite do not seem to be able to notice.  

Yuri Nosovsky


Read the original in Russian 


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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov