The author examines the writings of the former Russian president and prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, who currently holds the post of vice-president of the Russian Security Council, and of one of the regime’s rather discreet ideologues, Timofei Sergeytsev. Both advocate the destruction of Ukraine, whose name should not even remain, and the liquidation of the Ukrainian nation.
The tragedy we are living today, the grave crisis that Russia has dragged Europe into because of its obsession with destroying the international order and especially the European order, could have been avoided, had we paid more attention to the writings of ideologues close to the Kremlin. We can’t make this same mistake again. Today we have a sort of programmatic document of the Kremlin’s planned policy for a defeated Ukraine, an article by Timofei Sergeytsev published by the very official news agency RIA Novosti, entitled “What Russia should do with Ukraine”. Just about at the same time, Dmitry Medvedev, currently vice-president of the Security Council, posted a text on social networks related to the same topic. These writings should be carefully read. They make us understand that Russia is not waging an ordinary war in Ukraine, but a “special operation” aimed at the liquidation of the Ukrainian nation.
Medvedev begins by reiterating Putin’s favorite thesis: “In depth Ukrainism, fueled by anti-Russian venom and a total lie about a pseudo-identity, is a huge fake. This phenomenon has never existed in history. It does not exist today either.” Sergeytsev, on the other hand, begins by conceding that the commonly accepted view in Moscow before the “special operation” — that the Ukrainian “brotherly people” were oppressed by the Nazis installed in power by the West and were only too willing to rise up as soon as Russia extended a helping hand — was disproved by facts. It turns out that “the mass of the population [is] Nazi”. As a result, “denazification” cannot be reduced to liquidating the Ukrainian government as initially planned. It is a long-term undertaking that will take at least 25 years to complete, because “the duration of denazification can in no way be less than a generation that must be born, grow up and mature under the conditions of denazification. Nazification of Ukraine has lasted for more than 30 years”. Therefore, Russia will have to implement “irreversible changes” on the territory freed from Ukrainian “Nazis”. This “denazification” will be done in stages:
- first, “the liquidation of Nazi armed formations”, including “the so-called national security forces, as well as territorial defense militias”, that is, the entire Ukrainian male population now under arms; “the destruction of the military, informational and educational infrastructure that ensures their activity”;
- “the formation of an autonomous people’s government and police forces (defense and public order) on the liberated territories in order to protect the population from the terror of underground Nazi groups”;
- “ideological repression of Nazi attitudes” and the installationt of “a harsh censorship: not only in the political sphere, but also, indispensably, in the sphere of culture and education”. For as Medvedev says, “the Ukrainian radical of today was formed on the school benches.”
- “the installation of a Russian information space,” that is, the irradiation of the surviving Ukrainian population by Russian television;
- “the withdrawal of textbooks and the banning of educational programs at all levels that contain Nazi ideological attitudes”, i.e. forced imposition of Russian-style education and the Russian version of history.
- In addition to the above, the government plans “mass investigations to establish the responsibility of everyone for war crimes, crimes against humanity, dissemination of Nazi ideology and support for the Nazi regime”: in short, a regime of mass terror based on denunciation. Anyone can be labelled a “Nazi”. Sergeytsev himself admits with disarming ingenuity that there are no criteria for identifying Ukrainian “Nazism”: “the peculiarity of modern Nazified Ukraine is its amorphous and ambivalent nature, which allows Nazism to disguise itself under a desire for ‘independence’ and a ‘European’ (Western, pro-American) way of ‘development’ (in reality — degradation), to claim that ‘there is no Nazism in Ukraine, except for some excesses committed by individuals’. There is no Nazi party in power, no Führer, no racial laws to speak of (only a truncated version in the form of repression of the Russian language).” Any opponent of Russian rule can therefore be convicted of “Nazism,” just as any opponent of Stalin was labeled a “Trotskyite.”
- In addition to the above, there will be a “lustration,” that will include “all organizations that have been linked to the practice of Nazism [and which] must be eliminated and banned. Bandera leaders [supporters of the nationalist Stepan Bandera (1909-1959)] must be liquidated, it is impossible to re-educate them. In addition to the authorities, a significant part of the popular masses are passive Nazis, collaborators of Nazism, and are also guilty. They supported the Nazi government […]. This part of the population will be rightly punished, because they will have to bear the inevitable burdens of the just war against the Nazi system.“ Lustration will mean “the publication of the names of the collaborators of the Nazi regime and their sentencing to forced labor to rebuild the destroyed infrastructure, as punishment for their Nazi activities (for those who will not be subject to the death penalty or imprisonment)”: in plain English, the organization of gulags on Ukrainian territory.
- “the adoption at the local level, under the aegis of Russia, of a set of measures of denazification ‘from below’, prohibiting any form and any revival of Nazi ideology”: probably the forced recruitment of the population in mass organizations created by the Russian authorities;
- “the creation of memorial sites, memorials and monuments to the victims of Ukrainian Nazism, and the perpetuation of the memory of the heroes who fought it”: We can imagine the cult of the “Great Patriotic War of 2022”, with its “immortal regiment”, like the one that magnifies the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945; as for the heroes that will be proposed for the edification of young Ukrainians, Medvedev provides us an indication: “Not only the current special operation will serve as a lesson for them, but also the episodes of the glorious past. For example, when Pavel Sudoplatov [the Kremlin’s master spy] murdered the [Ukrainian nationalist] Eugene Konovalets, politely giving this Rotterdam lover a box of candy containing a bomb — ‘This is a gift for you from Kyiv.’ There will be many more such ‘gifts’ for Nazi criminals!”
- “the inclusion of a set of anti-fascist and denazification norms in the constitutions of the new people’s republics.”
A “Russian denazification agency (newly created or recruited, say, from the ranks of Rossotrudnichestvo [Russian Federal Agency for International Cultural Cooperation]),” will be responsible for implementing this policy. This denazification presupposes total Russian control over Ukrainian territory. It “can only be carried out by the victor […] consequently, the denazified country cannot be sovereign. The denazifying state — Russia — cannot have a liberal approach to denazification. The ideology of the denazifier cannot be challenged by the culprit being denazified.” This policy of denazification excludes any compromise, for example “on the basis of a formula such as ‘NATO — no, EU — yes’. For the collective West is itself the creator, source and sponsor of Ukrainian Nazism.” Therefore, “Ukrainian Nazism represents a greater threat to peace and Russia than German Nazism of the Hitler variety.”
The word “Ukraine” will disappear from this denazified space because, as expected, “denazification will inevitably be a de-Ukrainization.” The territory of the former Ukrainian state will be divided into “people’s republics” modeled on the entities of Donetsk and Lugansk. In the West, a kind of reservation will be created under close surveillance, “the ‘Catholic province’ (Western Ukraine, comprising five regions) [which] is unlikely to be part of the pro-Russian territories.” This will be a “Ukraine hostile to Russia, but neutral and forcibly demilitarized, where Nazism will be formally banned. People who hate Russia will take refuge there. This residual Ukraine will remain neutral because as soon as it wants to evade the above requirements, it will suffer the resumption of military operations. This will probably require a permanent Russian military presence on its territory.”
“No ‘Marshall Plan’ for these territories will be permitted,” as the Ukrainians will have to “make amends” for their past anti-Russian policy. “Ukraine, as history has shown, cannot be a nation-state and attempts to ‘build’ one inevitably lead to Nazism. Ukrainism is an artificial anti-Russian product without any civilizational content of its own, a subordinate element of a foreign and hostile civilization.”
And here we go: “Russia will have no allies in the denazification of Ukraine. This is purely a Russian matter. For it is not only the Banderist version of Nazi Ukraine that will be eradicated, but also and above all Western totalitarianism, the imposed programs aimed at the degradation and collapse of our civilization, as well as the mechanisms of subordination to the superpower of the West and the United States. In order to implement the plan of denazification of Ukraine, Russia itself will have to finally give up its pro-European and pro-Western illusions, to realize itself as the last bulwark of the values of historical Europe.” As usual, no sooner has our Putin ideologue proclaimed himself the true defender of the real Europe, he launches into another old refrain, also fashionable in today’s Russian mythology: “From now on, Russia will go its own way, without worrying about the fate of the West, relying on another part of its heritage: leadership in the process of global decolonization. Russia can build partnerships and alliances with countries that the West has oppressed for centuries… Without the sacrifice and struggle of Russians, these countries would not have been liberated. The denazification of Ukraine is at the same time its decolonization.”
One could sweep these texts out of the way and say that this is just another production of propagandists and high officials of the Putin regime, which does not carry much weight. Unfortunately, we already see pieces of the infernal device described above being put in place in the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine. We have episodes of mass terror, the systematic abduction of local political elites, the deportation of women and children to Russia, the organization of famines to “turn” the population against the Ukrainian power, as the Bolsheviks had done. The first filtration camps a re created to sort out the “Russifiable” Ukrainians from those who are not.
We must not believe that the atrocities we are witnessing are “blunders” caused by the military. On the contrary, they are the implementation of a deliberate policy of re-education by terror of the Ukrainian people. This is the meaning of the “denazification” planned by Putin. At its end Ukraine will have to lose even its name, its history. The canceling of an entire people: this is the abomination that we will have to witness, consumed with shame, if we do not come to the aid of the Ukrainians today. And let’s not forget that it is also our destiny as Europeans that is at stake. As we have seen, Sergeytsev associates “Nazism” and “Europeanism”. Medvedev concludes his opus thus: “The objective [of the denazification of Ukraine] is the peace of future generations of Ukrainians and the possibility of finally building an open Eurasia — from Lisbon to Vladivostok.” The parallel de-Europeanization of Ukraine and Russia is only a prologue to the de-Europeanization of all of Europe, as political scientist Vladimir Mojegov suggests: “Our goal in Ukraine is not to move the anti-Russian area 1,000 kilometers to the West, but to create on our western borders a bridge and a springboard to a new Europe, not to the current Europe of chaos and decadence, but to the Europe of Tradition.”