Belarus Arrests 32 Wagnerites

Belarus was being used as a transport hub by Wagner – in this case, to Sudan – because Russian airports are currently closed to most international foreign travel, with the Belarus leadership and KGB was appraised of it.

The arrest of the 32 Wagner mercenaries and publication of their identities is a very hostile move on Lukashenko’s part.

There are now even rumors that the Ukraine is preparing to issue extradition requests with respect to several of the men, some of whom have fought for the LDNR.

There are a couple of possible reasons for this escalation:

  • Appease the zmagars (Belarusian svidomy) by publicly taking a “tough line” with respect to Russia;
  • Getting back at Russia for harboring Valery Tsepkalo, the most credible opposition candidate, who was denied registration, and fled Belarus with his two children on rumors that he was to be arrested;
  • Play a Đukanović, the mafioso Ruler for Life of Montenegro, who maintains his handshakeworthy image with the West by feeding them tall tales of Russian plots against him;
  • Having dismissed Russia’s proposals to deepen the Union State, a dramatic worsening in relations with Russia may allow Luka to offload blame for economic difficulties onto Russia.

Lukashenko is by all accounts not popular within Belarus, and while the oft quoted opinion poll showing him at 3% is BS (Internet poll, unrepresentative, etc.) it is very likely well below 40%.

(For comparison, the ~100k strong Bolotnaya protests against United Russia/Putin happened when Putin was at 60%).

However, the whitepill about Belarus is that, for various reasons that I will soon post about, “zmagarism” is much less socially influential than “svidomism” in Ukraine. This gives Russia more options in Belarus than in Ukraine, where Yanukovych/Party of Regions was the only (very much conditionally) “pro”-Russian game in town since the entirety of the Maidanist opposition was patently anti-Russia and pro-West.

Comments

  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. Korenchkin says

    maintains his handshakeworthy image with the West by feeding them tall tales of Russian plots against him;

    Don’t forget legalization of homosexual marriage

  3. So is Wagner real? I thought it was just a slang term given to generic Russian mercenaries/PMCs of various origins?

    In MSM, Wagner is some kind of Neo-Nazi Russian Mercenary General who reports directly to Putin and does his bidding. However, given what I know about Putins views on World War II and Nazis in general, MSM description seems like a stretch. It doesn’t rule out the regular, not Nazi, mercenaries/PMCs though.

  4. Belarusian Dude says

    The idea that these men were sent to aid in a coup being circulated in Western media is hilarious. Yeah, thirty dudes would show up in uniforms without guns and any support to overthrow Luka is SO credible.

    Your parallel with Montenegro is the most credible take. Nobody natively Belarusian (from zmagars to normies to Russophiles) actually buys this crap, but a Western audience will eat it up like pizza.

  5. Belarusian Dude says

    Wagner is the call sign of Colonel Utkin who is supposedly the commander of a private mercenary company registered as Evro Polis Limited, and the men under Wagner’s command are hence called Wagnerites. In Anglosphere Wagner has come to generally refer to any Russian PMC regardless of if they belong to other companies like the Slavic Corps. or Vega Concern. Supposedly the Colonel calls himself Wagner because of sympathies to and enjoyment of the aesthetic of German ulta nationalism. The men in the company are usually Eastern Europeans with an extreme right leaning including many former Azovites and other Ukrainians in a unit called “the Carpathians”. Contracts are often something like 1k a month for Evro Polis though, leading it to bejng the most popular and biggest mercenary group hence Wagner becoming synonymous with “Russian Mercenary”

  6. Kent Nationalist says

    Appease the zmagars (Belarusian svidomy) by publicly taking a “tough line” with respect to Russia;

    How is that even possible? That’s like being a Belgian nationalist

  7. Maïkl Makfaïl says

    Time to get rid of this mofo. He has forgotten his place and seems to have taken all the praises from svidomites who talk of him as a wily fox too seriously.

  8. AltSerrice says

    It seems that whatever the reason may be for this escalation it is a great insult to Russia and not something that should be tolerated. If Russia can’t control a tiny reliant neighbour then how can it expect to be taken seriously on the world stage? Russia has only to squeeze ever so slightly and Belarus would easily be brought back into the fold. Lukashenko has overstepped his bounds and it is time for him to go.

    How hard is it to either force the union state by economic and political pressure, or to engineer some protests and discord in the Belarusian government? Not hard, I should hope. It would be gross negligence if Russia had not acquired the loyalty of major figures in Belarusian politics or military during the twenty years of Putin.

    Potato dictator delenda est.

  9. AnonFromTN says

    Just a note:
    Lukashenko claims that Belarus arrested Wagnerites. Now, considering that Lukashenko also claims that he arrested pretty much every credible competitor in coming presidential elections strictly according to the law, how credible his claims are?

  10. The Big Red Scary says

    Contracts are often something like 1k a month for Evro Polis though

    Is 1k euros? And is it a typo? You can make more money driving the metro in Moscow.

  11. Thorfinnsson says

    What were the Wagner mercenaries doing in the Sudan?

    Was this purely commercial, or is there some sort of Russian state interest in the Sudan?

  12. They were paid a base 150,000 rubles in 2018 according to interviews ($2,500 according to the exchange rate in that year).

    It will be impossible to attract Russian mercs with $1,000, with those sums, they might as well go into the normal military where they have more social benefits and aren’t expendable cannon fodder.

  13. Blinky Bill says

    The Wagner mercenaries were sent to Sudan “in a conflict against the South Sudan” to back up Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s government “militarily and hammer out beneficial conditions for the Russian companies,”

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has a good relationship with al-Bashir. The two leaders met in Moscow in late 2017, where al-Bashir asked Putin for support.

    On 11 February 2020, Sudan’s ruling military council agreed to hand over the ousted al-Bashir to the ICC in The Hague to face charges of crimes against humanity in Darfur.

  14. Blinky Bill says


    Shunned by the United States and other western powers for many years, Sudan has almost naturally found itself pursuing a deeper partnership with Russia. From the Kremlin’s perspective, stronger relations with Khartoum serve Russian interests in many ways. As a resource-rich country sharing seven international borders, Sudan has become a linchpin of Moscow’s ambitious foreign policy in Africa and the wider Arab world. Nonetheless, many questions about the future of Russian-Sudanese relations in the post-Bashir era are open. Especially so given the possibility of more reconciliation between Washington and Khartoum and anti-Russian sentiments among elements of Sudan’s civil society who equate Moscow with the Bashir government’s crackdown on anti-regime protestors in 2018-2019.

    Yet it is a safe bet that Russia will make major efforts to keep Khartoum within its orbit of geopolitical influence regardless of how developments in Sudan’s political arena unfold in the months and years ahead.

  15. Pulling a Milo would be an negative IQ move. It’s one thing to be the leader of an unsustainable clan-mafia statelet that’s far away and surrounded by Natist scum who’d block any real intervention, and is about to literally become wholesale Chinese property, and a larger, sustainable country right next to your border.

    Plus, if they get rid of Luka and Belarus gets united with Russia, the butthurt from the Balts, Poles and Ukrainians will be epic. Like, a doubling of the suicide rate tier epic. Would be funny to watch em squirm

  16. AnonFromTN says

    face charges of crimes against humanity in Darfur

    Darfur narrative appears to be as fake as many other Western MSM narratives, like alleged suspiciously numerous hospitals in Aleppo before it was liberated from jihadist bandits or alleged use of chemical weapons by Assad. There was so much hue and cry about Darfur in all MSM a few years ago, and then (apparently by command of their common bosses) the story disappeared from all Western MSM at the same time. It’s hard not to smell a rat.

  17. AnonFromTN says

    Would be funny to watch em squirm

    Watching scum squirm might be entertaining, but is it worth the price? If Russia were to absorb Belarus, it would have to invest a lot to revive moribund Belarus economy, which badly needs reforming. Necessary changes would take years to implement. During this time Russia would have to feed and care for ~10 million Belarus residents. The would be a huge expenditure with unpredictable results. Putin usually does not spend precious Russian treasure without certainty of success.

  18. Oh, but the Belarusian economy is only in such a state due to idiotic spending habits to show off. It’s heavy vehicle/mining equipment industry is excellent for example.

    The infrastructure is well maintained, Minsk is one of the cleanest cities in Europe etc.

    Really, the investments needed aren’t that sizable, unlike Ukropistan

  19. For better or worse, one policy that Russia has reliably stuck to is their refusal to turn on their allies, so I doubt that Russia will do anything to hit back at Luka unless it is strictly proportionate.

  20. AnonFromTN says

    Really, the investments needed aren’t that sizable, unlike Ukropistan

    Of course, compared to Ukropistan even Somalia would look like a good bet. But that’s a very low bar. Belarus would need a lot of reform and investment to make the industry it has useful and profitable. The infrastructure is in decent shape, but you only need it when you produce things worth moving via existing roads. I think Putin goes by cost/benefit ratio, and my personal impression is that Donbass has a more favorable ratio than Belarus. I might be biased, though: I grew up in Lugansk.

  21. Belarusian Dude says

    Answered this elsewhere as you know, but there’s a lot of people for whom that is good enough.

    If people speak Russian and want to get more acquainted with Russian mercenary life they can look through these channel I’ve spoken to some of the fellas and they do good stuff

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG9fK8CsL8u4NbBtcofd8lQ

  22. Does anyone know why the Dems/Deep State/ Permanent Govt are in a perpetual state of hysteria about Russia? After all these years, I still don’t have an answer:

    Lawmakers in both parties are panning the Trump administration’s plan to pull nearly 12,000 U.S. troops out of Germany.

    Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) blasted the move as a “grave error,” while Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said President Trump shows a “lack of strategic understanding.”

    “Once more, now with feeling: U.S. troops aren’t stationed around the world as traffic cops or welfare caseworkers – they’re restraining the expansionary aims of the world’s worst regimes, chiefly China and Russia,” Sasse said in a statement.

    https://thehill.com/policy/defense/509682-lawmakers-torch-trump-plan-to-pull-11900-troops-from-germany

  23. Anatoly, are you suggesting that some prominent members of the Belarusian opposition are also pro-Russian?

  24. reiner Tor says

    It’s perhaps more like Scottish nationalism.

  25. Lukashenko is being forced into this game of hardball by Moscow, believing that up to 200 members of this Russian paramilitary group were sent into Belarus to disrupt the upcoming presidential elections. It’ll be interesting to see how this new episode of Anschlus 2 plays out. Rather, Mr. Lukashenko!

  26. reiner Tor says

    This is a sensible policy, because they cannot afford to alienate several allies or relatively friendly states at the same time. Kazakhstan, other ‘stans, Azerbaijan, Armenia, perhaps other countries like Mongolia, or farther away countries like Brazil etc. That there would be a sizable commentariat at Unz supporting all this is neither here nor there.

  27. reiner Tor says

    From afar it seems that Belarus would be way better, but I have no idea how the population would react.

  28. Kent Nationalist says

    Scotland was an independent country for c. 700 years. Belarus was made up by Stalin sixty years ago to facilitate stealing Kresy from Poland.

  29. Mr. Hack says

    A Piotra Muzionak does a credible job in establishing that Byelorus falls into a chategory of civilization described as a “sub-civilization” known as a “Western Ruthenian” one that developed separately from what he describes as a “Eurasian civilization” between the fall of the Rus Empire to the 19th century. The formidable period of this separate development would be from 1240-1480 when the Northeastern Slavs (Russian) fell under the influence and control of the Golden Horde, and the Byelrusian and Ukrainian lands fell under the sway of the Grand Duchy of Lithania, later to be known as the Commonwealth.

    For centuries the population of Belarus and Ukraine, assimilated with Balts or Sarmatians, has lived in the same territory, and today is mainly ethnically homogeneous. In contrast to the Belarusians and Ukrainians, the North-Eastern Slavs assimilated with the Finno-Ugric tribes (the first wave of assimilation), and later with the Turkic peoples (the second wave of assimilation), and the area of their settlement, as a result of the capture of other nations, increased dozens of times to form the territory of modern Russia.

    https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2048&context=ccr

    On pg. 44 he goes into some detail reviewing the scientific literature regarding the differences in genetic structures of these two civilizational poles. This should be of special interest to our resident researcher of DNA topics, Anon4. who enjoys this kind of thing. Overall a good read that sheds a lot more light on the topic of Byelorusian independence, than just that it was a made-up country by Stalin.

    .

  30. Hyperborean says

    I can understand a pagan, atheist or Catholic nationalist promoting this, but how do you synthesise yhe contradictions of merging the views expressed there with your Orthodoxy?

  31. Belarusian Dude says

    There were neither a large number of Turkics, nor Finno Ughrics, nor Sarmatians (unless you’re willing to believe Polish Sarmatism) on the territory of modern day Belarus. Belarus is quite slimy a product of native Slavic tribes.

  32. Blinky Bill says
  33. And Baltic people. I suspect you guys are partially Lithuanian. However Balts and Slavs are almost the same.

  34. The truth is the truth. At least for the first two hundred years, Orthodoxy fared well within the Commonwealth. In 1596, as the Polish element was achieving the upper hand in the central government, and the Union of Brest was promulgated, it wasn’t until then that the Orthdox church within both Byelorus and Ukraine began to experience great discrimination and outright destruction. BTW, these were also the seeds that ultimately destroyed this “Commonwealth” that had ceased to be a commonwealth or all of its people, especially its huge Ruthenian population.

  35. Hyperborean says

    The truth is the truth. At least for the first two hundred years, Orthodoxy fared well within the Commonwealth. In 1596, as the Polish element was achieving the upper hand in the central government, and the Union of Brest was promulgated, it wasn’t until then that the Orthdox church within both Byelorus and Ukraine began to experience great discrimination and outright destruction. BTW, these were also the seeds that ultimately destroyed this “Commonwealth” that had ceased to be a commonwealth or all of its people, especially its huge Ruthenian population.

    Not that, I meant the “Orthodoxy as an Eurasian marker” idea this employee of a Mormon university more indirectly and more directly at times refers to.

  36. AnonFromTN says

    From afar it seems that Belarus would be way better, but I have no idea how the population would react.

    The majority of the population would be better off, as Russia would become a donor, and Belarus an acceptor of funding. That’s what makes it an iffy proposition for Russia: it already has few donor regions and many regions, inside the RF and outside, sucking its resources.

    I don’t know much about current Belarus. Most importantly, I don’t know what fraction of its population is sane. I can name several groups that would be unhappy:

    1. Those calling themselves “zmagars” (or “litvins”) – these have the same deep-seated inferiority complex as Ukrainian “svidomy”; they see themselves as “patriots”, while actively destroying their would be country. As current Ukrainian joke puts it, “it does not hurt as much that we fucked up the country, what really hurts is that the Russians were right”. Zmagars have exactly the same worldview.

    2. Lukashenko and his sidekicks – he is too dumb to run a McDonalds, let alone a country, even as inconsequential as Belarus; he would lose his status and, being a dumb nonentity, would never attain anything comparable; his delusions of grandeur would make him suffer.

    3. Those directly or indirectly funded and supported by the Empire and its sidekicks – they would have very hard time in Russia, would likely fade into fringes and become butts of internal jokes, like Navalny.

  37. Belarusian Dude says

    The Baltic admixture is minimal. Most people pretending to be Lithuanian were originally Slavic anyway, and are located largely in the far North. To be frank, admixture from Jews is likely larger than that of Baltics.

  38. Mr. Hack says

    I may have missed it, but I’m not sure that Muzionak uses “Orthodoxy as a Eurasian marker”, and on the contrary feel that he’s assigned more of a tenuous status to religion within both Byelorus and Ukraine, pointing out the nuances of the religious undercurrents within both areas:

    Thus, it is difficult to agree with the classification of civilization along religious lines, especially with regard to Belarus and Ukraine. We agree with the views of F. Koneczny who believed that “there is no distinct causal relation between race and civilization, nor between language and civilization” (cited from P. Eberhardt, 2016). We can only add that it is true in respect to the religious approach used to separate civilizations. For example, the religious approach excludes from Western or Latin civilization such countries as Greece and Romania; it would be hard to believe these countries would accept that.

  39. Hyperborean says

    Bulgaria is apparently an Eurasian country, but Greece and Romania are not.

    Do you believe Bulgaria is an Eurasian country, if yes, why? If not, why not and why do you then believe the author included this categorisation? Are Bulgaria’s Orthodox neighbours Eurasian, why or why not?

    It is obvious that after the capture of Belarus and Ukraine by the Russian Empire there were a number of events dictated by the Orthodox Russian church in both countries.
    All Greek-Catholic churches visited by about 70% of the Belarusian population
    suddenly turned into Orthodox ones in 1839. Nevertheless, in spite of an almost 200-
    year colonial period, the religious spectrum of Belarusian-Ukrainian and Eurasian
    civilizations differs significantly. It was shown in a recent study (N. Sahgal, A.
    Cooperman, 2016) that Russia and Bulgaria, countries with a similar proportion of
    Orthodox population, had a significant part of Muslims (the Orthodox to Muslims ratio
    was 7:1 and 5:1, respectively), whereas in Belarus and Ukraine, Muslims constituted a
    small proportion of the population (the ratio was 150:1 and 50:1, respectively)

    At the same time, Russia and Bulgaria almost have no Catholics, while in Belarus and
    Ukraine the Orthodox to Catholics ratio is 6:1 and 8:1, respectively. Similar results
    were obtained with the assessment of the ratio Christians to Muslims in Russia – 7:1, in
    Bulgaria – 5:1, in Belarus – 90:1, in Ukraine – 27:1 (P. Murzionak, 2015, p. 67-68).
    Thus, it is difficult to agree with the classification of civilization along religious lines,
    especially with regard to Belarus and Ukraine. We agree with the views of F. Koneczny
    who believed that “there is no distinct causal relation between race and civilization, nor
    between language and civilization” (cited from P. Eberhardt, 2016). We can only add
    that it is true in respect to the religious approach used to separate civilizations. For
    example, the religious approach excludes from Western or Latin civilization such
    countries as Greece and Romania; it would be hard to believe these countries would
    accept that. It seems the same conclusions can be applied to both Belarus and Ukraine.
    Civilization is an integral structure that has distinct ethnic, linguistic, religious, and
    mental signs multiplied by the historical experience, heritage and development of the
    society and people. It seems that in this sense, mathematical modeling could
    demonstrate more evidence of a difference between Belarus and Ukraine and Eurasian
    countries such as Bulgaria and Russia

    If Orthodoxy doesn’t matter, why mention the decline in Orthodox believers? What about the decline in Catholic believers? Why mention it at all?

    At the same time, we share P. Eberhardt’s opinion5 that the role of religion in the life of human communities will slowly diminish. Speaking about Belarus, 41.1% of the population today are non-believers. The role of the Orthodox Church in Belarus is deliberately exaggerated. According to various official polls, the Orthodox Church
    covers less than half of the Belarusian population (48.9%) and the number of active
    members is rather low (20-27%) (Gallup, 2007; Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the
    Republic of Belarus, 2011; P. Murzionak, 2016).

    Then there is how he stated it in the introduction:

    Russian / Eurasian / Orthodox civilization (hereafter the Eurasian civilization)

    (I will forgive the silly use of Huntington’s categories since he published this in an American journal.)

  40. Mr. Hack says

    Many of the commenters to this blog over the years have liked to point out that “Ukraine” means borderland. In many ways it really is, being right in the center of Europa and Eurasia. Perhaps, Bulgaria should be looked at similarly. Also, the current allignment of the Ukrainian Orthodox Churh (the larger one by membership), with the Ecumenical Patriarchate is also a sign that Ukraine is tipping towards its European varaint, rather than to its Eurasian one. Ukraine’s decision to join the European Union rather than the CIS structures is another clear example of this tilt.

    (I will forgive the silly use of Huntington’s categories since he published this in an American journal.)

    Perhaps, I shold likewise disregard anything that you write within this American blog (the owner and chief editor is an American, most of the blogs and entries have to do with American topics, the language used is English) for similar reasons? 🙂

    Don’t worry I wont, I actually enjoy your intelligent replies here.

  41. Wagner

    …does not exist, and never did. One would think Mr. Karlin of all people would disregard an outright bullshit hoax first propagated by Fontanka and then amplified by khokhol clowns.

  42. Perhaps if one considers slave labor for poles with regular beatings and depopulation as a choice, lol.

  43. Blinky Bill says
  44. Mr. Hack says

    Proverbs 16:27 Idle hands are the devil’s workshop

    A lesson that America’s leadeship would do well to memorize.

  45. Hyperborean says

    Perhaps, Bulgaria should be looked at similarly.

    But if we qualify Bulgaria as a liminal state, then most of the Balkans should by reason have the same or similar status. Which is an acceptable debate, but not quite how Mr. Muzionak seems to want it.

    Also, the current allignment of the Ukrainian Orthodox Churh (the larger one by membership), with the Ecumenical Patriarchate is also a sign that Ukraine is tipping towards its European varaint, rather than to its Eurasian one.

    This response makes more sense than Mr. Muzionak’s contradictions.

    Perhaps, I shold likewise disregard anything that you write within this American blog (the owner and chief editor is an American, most of the blogs and entries have to do with American topics, the language used is English) for similar reasons?

    To clarify, I would have criticised him for using Huntington’s peculiar map, however, since it is in common use in America I saw little utility in criticising an individual for a field-wide idiosyncrasy.

    Many of the authors on this board are, to be honest, quite… unique. There are some rightist writers whose views I don’t object but whom I nevertheless find uninteresting, either due to their writing style or due to their focus on internal American affairs. I think Karlin and Durocher’s articles tend to be the most interesting.

    As for the comment sections, while there are good-quality commenters at some of the other parts there is also a large sea of detritus. Unless Karlin uses a particularly catnippy title that attracts low-effort attention from other sections, the commenters here tend to have more productive comments.

  46. Mr. Hack says

    Be that all as it may, I think that if you just concentrate on what he has to say about Byelorus, you might be be just a little bit judicious and admit that he does at least have a good argument (if made originally by a V Kaplevich):

    There is enough scientific evidence for the designation of Belarusian-Ukrainian civilization to Western civilization (N. Bekus 2011; Z. Kohut 2001; V. Kuplevich, 2013; R. Szporluk, 2001). For example, V. Kuplevich (2013) identifies 15 key factors which point to the European nature of Belarus, including the 1,000-year history of Belarus; the presence of European civilizational processes in Belarus (the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Counter-Reformation, the Union of Brest, the Enlightenment); the presence of European institutions (Parliament, the Sejm, the Magdeburg rights, town halls); and modern state-building processes, as well as the integration of Belarus into the European political, cultural and economic life. For example, the Magdeburg rights held sway in many Belarusian cities of the GDL: Brest (1390), Grodno (1391), Slutsk 1441), Polatsk (1498), Minsk (1499), Braslau (1500), Navahradak (1511), Mahilou (1577), Pinsk (1581), Vitebsk (1597), Druia (1618), Orsha (1620), and others. This is in contrast with Muscovy, where there was no such European institution.

  47. Peter D. Bredon says

    Talk about a misleading headline! I was hopeful some govt had finally cracked down on those annoying Wagnerites. Give the Ride of the Valkeries a rest already.

  48. Mr. Hack says

    If you haven’t already, check out Dovzhenko’s masterpiece of Soviet propaganda extolling the virtues of mass collectivization and use of the tractor as a very real symbol of modernity. “Earth”:

    http://rayuzwyshyn.net/dovzhenko/DovzhenkoImages/Earth/Collectiviationposter.jpg

  49. Blinky Bill says
  50. sudden death says

    There is certainly a subset of relatively publicly known/active Belarus people with Slavic names and Baltic surnames – Lukashenko current presssecretary Natalja Eismont or publicist Alexey Dzermant come to mind, which seem to indicate Baltic ancestry, while themselves are not pretending to be Lithuanians anyhow atm. Have no idea how statistically large is that subset in overall population, but there certainly are people who were originally Baltic, but became Slavic over time, especially in modern Western Belarus.

  51. sudden death says

    After a quick googling it seems Natalya Eismont had original Slavic surname, but took current Baltic sounding one from her husband Ivan Eismont after marriage, so the example still stands still.

  52. Hyperborean says

    For “European civilizational processes”, does this exclude Greece and other nations that laboured under the isolation of the Turks from the European sphere?

    Concerning “the presence of European institutions”, I don’t really like the Liberal ideological end-implications of emphasising Europe’s “Athenian” heritage over her “Spartan” heritage, but even if we use this metric then shouldn’t the oligarchic merchant state of Novgorod qualify as Russia’s “Athenian” side?

    Then there are the examples of Peter and Catherine the Great (and Lenin?) who showed that authoritarianism was compatible with, and one might argue, was contributive towards aiding the increasing influence of West-Europeanisation in Russia.

    I have posted this paper before that argues that Tatar states (in this case the Crimean Tatars) were less autocratic (not that this is necessarily a positive in a medieval context) and more democratic than stereotypically depicted.

    https://eprints.lib.hokudai.ac.jp/dspace/handle/2115/51098 (note that the author is a Pole)

    Rather than rely on vague examinations that could just as easily be used to paint Ukrainians as inheritors of nomadic Eurasianism (to give an example, though Edgar Knobloch’s resentful anti-Soviet book Russia & Asia: Nomadic & oriental traditions in Russian history focuses primarily, as could be guessed from the title, on Great Russian society, he does spare a few pages to dismiss Oriental Ukrainians and Ukrainian Cossackdom, a bit ironically given AP’s and, I believe your, use of Cossacks as arch-Central European elements) perhaps it might be more fruitful to examine the internal dynamics driving Muscovy’s militarism.

    From a speculative perspective perhaps Muscovy should be seen as Prussia/the Baltic Order-States, Novgorod as the northern Hansa states and the west, central and south part of the East Slavic lands as the western, central and southern parts of Germany.

    Such a viewpoint is, as I have said, a bit speculative, but no worse a distortion of history than many other preexisting ones.

    Of course, there are those who argue that Prussia was not fully a “Western” state, but at least when it concerns Germany it is easier to see that many of these Athenian partisans care more for Western Zivilisation (culminating in the present-day degenerate and contradiction-fraught American Imperium) than they do for European Kultur, which exist in a (perhaps slightly more theoretical in the past, but definitely active in the present) state of conflict, whether they realise/admit it or not.

  53. Greeks and Catholics really destroyed the Church, didn’t they? It’s a historical fact that the Russian Orthodox Church maintained lineage to the true Church much longer than any of the others. European “religion” is still being modernized into nothingness.

  54. Mr. Hack says

    For “European civilizational processes”, does this exclude Greece and other nations that laboured under the isolation of the Turks from the European sphere?

    It does, only that it emphasizes Greece’s classical period that is ceremoniously considered the progenitor of Western civilization, giving it a foundation in the arts, philopsophy, literature, architecture, governance etc; The period that you describe is not looked upon fondly by Greek historians nor Byzantologists – rather simlarly as most Ukrainian, Byelorusian and Russian historians view the period of the Mongol (Turkik) yoke.

    There were many cases of authoriatinism throughout Europe, not just in Russia, with varying degrees of positive contribution to Western civilization. But even in Russia today, we see that the authoritarian control of Putin is hiden behind a veil of pseudo or erzats democrac symbolism – why is this so, if an authoritarian form of government is theorietically more palatable than a democratic one? Why pretend that Russian governance today is anything but authoritarian?

    Rather than rely on vague examinations that could just as easily be used to paint Ukrainians as inheritors of nomadic Eurasianism

    Why waste any time on such empty speculations, when Murzionak and other reputable historians have already quite succinctly put forth such a convincing thesis tying in a Western Rus (Byeolrus and Ukraine) cultural and political orientation to a Western European civilizational pull for quite a few centuries of its history? Something that you haven’t addressed at all in your reply (see comment #47).

  55. AltanBakshi says

    There were many cases of authoriatinism throughout Europe, not just in Russia, with varying degrees of positive contribution to Western civilization. But even in Russia today, we see that the authoritarian control of Putin is hiden behind a veil of pseudo or erzats democrac symbolism – why is this so, if an authoritarian form of government is theorietically more palatable than a democratic one? Why pretend that Russian governance today is anything but authoritarian?

    Your amazing powers of analogy never stop amazing me!

    Strange that China utilizes democratic symbolism in its constitution and politics, even stranger that Soviet Union even under Stalin did so, hmm what a puzzle!

    Because its an international norm nowadays that the rulers get their legitimization by the will of the people Likewise there was a different norm in the end of the 18th Century when all the European powers allied multiple times so they could crush the French republic. This is one reason why non-democratic governments use democratic symbols and institutions. But the reason with Russia is much much simpler, its a democracy, as much or even more than many western countries. But no matter what I would say to you, you would never ever change your predisposition. Majority of Russians approve, support or are politically apathetic regarding Putin and his rule.

    Check yourself https://www.levada.ru/en/ratings/

    Levada by the ways is NGO and a very prestigious polling and sociological research organization. It even got declared as a foreign agent in 2016(wrongly in my opinion).

    You really have a gall. You and AP always make impossible criteria for Russia to achieve, but then when its about your beloved failed state, then you are as optimistic as some Komsomolets, brainwashed by propaganda, was during the 30’s regarding Soviet future(at least that view was more based on the reality and at least he was brainwashed, whats your excuse).

    Hey I claim that Ukraine is an undemocratic oligarchy! Why rulers there always have such horrible ratings, and why there is entrenched class of magnates that really makes the decisions? Clearly oligarchic class just pretends to have a democracy there so they could mask their rule and legitimize their power! If you would have any intellectual honesty you would accept that my claim is at least as realistic as yours is, although I believe that its more realistic, but better not to ask too much from you(like EU with the Ukraine).

  56. Mr. Hack says

    Believe me, I’m even more amazed at your inadequate response to come up with any reasons not to accept the thesis that Byelorus and Ukraine (unlike Russia) have had a long history of taking part in events and trends that belong squarely in the Western European tradition. 🙂

  57. Baltic sounding

    Those two last names actually sound Western Baltic, kind of ancient Prussian (like Herkus Mantas). But there were also Dniepr Balts and Balts living as far as the Oka river (V.Toporov has written about this extensively). They practiced cremation. There was a pocket called the Galindians who lived around Moscow and possibly parts of Belarus (mentioned in Russian chronicles as late as the 12th century).

  58. AltanBakshi says

    Honestly that part of your text was such bullshit, that I didnt even bother to answer it. Claiming that Russia is authoritarian or non-democratic is somewhat more respectable and more common position to argue in western circles, that is sometimes even understandable if one gets all his news from NYT, or WaPo etc.

    Your arguments on Western European tradition depends on too much on lines drawn on a water, like its said in some cultures. Its too subjective and biased point. If you would know something about the history then you would know that the GERMANS(where is Poland, where is Ukraine?) historically thought that they are not part of the Western Europe or civilization, so it was thought till middle of 20th Century and even then only regarding the West Germany. Only after the unification of the Germany people started to think that Germany as whole is part of the West. But I knew that you know as much about Deutscher Sonderweg as an ass would know. After all historical illiteracy is your forte as it is with all Malorusian and Albanian nationalists. I could continue this, but even my stupidity of trying to explain you has its limits for I know that you believe as strongly in your worldview as a Wahhabimuslim believes in his own(without indoctrination in Madrassah hahaha). So whats the point?

  59. Mr. Hack says

    Honestly that part of your text was such bullshit, that I didnt even bother to answer it. Claiming that Russia is authoritarian or non-democratic is somewhat more respectable and more common position to argue in western circles, that is sometimes even understandable if one gets all his news from NYT, or WaPo etc.

    You must be new to this blog, for many, many of the commenters here have expressed opinions that are not antithetical to my own, believeing that Russia is an authoritarian state, referred to anywhere from “oligarchic” to even “mafia like”. I read both in Russian and Ukrainian, so I’m able to get plenty of differing viewpoints about what’s going on within these two countries. How about you, do you read in any of these two Slavic languages? BTW, this is the second time in two days that I have to remind somebody that this blog, UNZ Review, is indeed to be considered a Western resource, even though many of its thought provoking articles are written about international matters. so get off of your high horse and come back down to earth and get a bearing as to where you are and where you’re communicating.

    Your arguments on Western European tradition depends on too much on lines drawn on a water, like its said in some cultures. Its too subjective and biased point.

    Well at least I’m drawing my lines somewhere, unlike you who is lost within some nihilistic vaccum, unable to answer a simple question, without resorting to cheap colloquialisms:

    I’m even more amazed at your inadequate response to come up with any reasons not to accept the thesis that Byelorus and Ukraine (unlike Russia) have had a long history of taking part in events and trends that belong squarely in the Western European tradition.

    The “events and trends” that I have in mind are clearly spelled out within comment #47. I might recommend that you not involve yourself with anything having to do with a topic that you know little about, Byelorusian or Ukrainian history specifically. So far, I’m not impressed and you look like a complete neophyte, so don’t waste anybody’s time here, unless you really have something to add to an intelligent conversation.

  60. AltanBakshi says

    So you are not answering any of my arguments?

    I’m even more amazed at your inadequate response to come up with any reasons not to accept the thesis that Byelorus and Ukraine (unlike Russia) have had a long history of taking part in events and trends that belong squarely in the Western European tradition.

    The “events and trends” that I have in mind are clearly spelled out within comment #47. I might recommend that you not involve yourself with anything having to do with a topic that you know little about, Byelorusian or Ukrainian history. so far, I’m not impressed and you look like a complete neophyte, so don’t waste anybody’s time here, unless you really have something to add to an intelligent conversation.

    But first you have a problem that I did not answer to your civilizational question, and now
    you write that its better for me not to answer? Make up your mind! How you could have any claim of intellectual honesty if you just dont answer any arguments set by one who criticizes your statements , you just say that I possibly dont know anything about the subject matter or that I possibly am just wasting others time? Even though Im the one who reasons and who tries to build some kind of case for the arguments that I employ.

    You must be new to this blog, for many, many of the commenters here have expressed opinions that are not antithetical to my own, believeing that Russia is an authoritarian state, referred to anywhere from “oligarchic” to even “mafia like”. I read both in Russian and Ukrainian, so I’m able to get plenty of differing viewpoints about what’s going on within these two countries. How about you, do you read in any of these two Slavic languages? BTW, this is the second time in two days that I have to remind somebody that this blog, UNZ Review, is indeed to be considered a Western resource, even though many of its thought provoking articles are written about international matters. so get off of your high horse and come back down to earth and get a bearing as to where you are and where you’re communicating.

    I tried to explain why I only wanted to reply to the democracy question and not to the civilization question. What the hell you are blabbering, like I dont know that UNZ.com is an American site? And dont play stupid, you know as well as I know that its more common to claim that Russia is undemocratic than its to claim that Russia is less part of Western civilization than Ukraine/Belarus. Yes you probably have noticed that English is not my native language, but still I thought that I made myself clear.

    There is enough scientific evidence for the designation of Belarusian-Ukrainian civilization to Western civilization (N. Bekus 2011; Z. Kohut 2001; V. Kuplevich, 2013; R. Szporluk, 2001). For example, V. Kuplevich (2013) identifies 15 key factors which point to the European nature of Belarus, including the 1,000-year history of Belarus; the presence of European civilizational processes in Belarus (the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Counter-Reformation, the Union of Brest, the Enlightenment); the presence of European institutions (Parliament, the Sejm, the Magdeburg rights, town halls); and modern state-building processes, as well as the integration of Belarus into the European political, cultural and economic life. For example, the Magdeburg rights held sway in many Belarusian cities of the GDL: Brest (1390), Grodno (1391), Slutsk 1441), Polatsk (1498), Minsk (1499), Braslau (1500), Navahradak (1511), Mahilou (1577), Pinsk (1581), Vitebsk (1597), Druia (1618), Orsha (1620), and others. This is in contrast with Muscovy, where there was no such European institution.

    Oh where to start? First I could say that absolutely no one thought in the 19th Century that Poland was part of the Western civilization, part of the Christendom yes, so the historical narrative that you employ is quite modern. Oh why Im entangling myself on this maze of your anachronisms? For clearly you have noticed that the cultural self identification in Europe has varied quite much depending on the period. If we are talking about the middle ages, then yes there was the Western Christendom(which Rus definitely was not part), if we are talking about the 19th Century then all Russian Europe was part of the Eastern Europe and was foreign to the Westerners, many travelogues of that time noticed that Poles changed completely in the level of civilization when crossing the border between Prussia and Russia. Also in the 19th Century Germans thought that they are not part of the West, like I wrote already to you. Then during the Cold War situation changed again. For these things borders, definitions of cultural zones and so on are subjective and depend on many different things and on their changing relations(prevailing religion, geopolitics, internal politics,wars, artistical trends etc etc). But for you there is just one aim, to prove magical Europeanness of Ukraine and Belarus in comparison to Russia. Although anyone who has been in Russia and Ukraine can easily say from experience that those countries resemble more each other than either one does resemble Czhechia or Germany. And how in the hell Union of the Brest is any sign of Western Civilization? What you have been smoking? There isnt anything comparable in Western Europe(except France for a short period, and we all know how it ended), either they had unitary religion and persecuted minorities or the model of the Holy Roman Empire, cuius regio, eius religio. Actually Western European researchers would think that your viewpoint is unhistorical, after all Germany had all these institutions but the end result was centralized Prussian led Germany and Nazi Germany. Which would have continued without Allied intervention. And how much Magdeburg rights served Ruthenian population in comparison Jews and Germans? After all in many towns Rus people were minority during and after the PLC rule and they were populated by Jewish, German or Polish bourgeoisie and craftsmen. Also what are these magical “modern state building processes?” Then the town halls, yes Russia had them https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A0%D0%B0%D1%82%D1%83%D1%88%D0%B0

    Then we are left with the Sejm, which was very peculiar Polish institution and things were totally different in most European countries. Let use France as example, the estates generals gathered very rarely, actually before the famous estates general assembly in 1789, the last time before that gathering was in 1614, of course there were also regional parliaments with very limited powers that king could override. But those before mentioned institutions had much more power in medieval times, but so too did Rus with Veche. Okay German Reichstag resembled Sejm somewhat, but its not like Russia had nothing resembling parliament, they had Zemsky Sobor, of course it was different than Sejm, but so too Sejm was different from the Parliament of England, most Polish Magnates would been executed if they would been English aristocrats, after all taking of foreign bribes, which was customary in PLC, was there a capital offence.

    There is a difference between us, I, even with my limited knowledge of English, try to refute your arguments and then only afterwards I insult you, as you deserve, but you never refute me, you just insult right away. Like okay Im in a “nihilistic vacuum,” but can you explain your reasons to state so?

    So here is a list of my arguments, although you pretend that they dont exist, if you want to show that you have standards for yourself and the others, then please answer even some of them

    -Why you dont notice elementary stuff like why countries employ fake democratic institutions
    -Why you employ vastly different criteria regarding Russia and Ukraine in everything(although its self explanatory, your subconsciousness sets lower standards for Ukraine, very understandable)
    -Why I am lost in nihilistic vacuum?
    -How Ukraine is democracy if rulers and legislative assembly(tsentralna rada) enjoy lower ratings of approval than Russias ruler and Duma?
    -Why Russia is not democracy if its ruler enjoys approval of majority?
    -How could you not know about the Sonderweg, after all its something elementary in German history?
    -How does your theory of Ukraines and Belarus Western Europeanness or that they are part of the Western European civilization hold water after reading about historical German attitudes regarding the Western Europe?

  61. You’re really making all of this way more complicated than it need be, and I don’t think that your abilities to rattle off a few unrelated points about the “changing relations” of civilizational poles really impresses anyone here? and BTW, I do think that an allegiance to the Papacy is indeed a signal of a “Western” orientation, whether you call it “Western Christiandom” or “Western civilization”.

    Let’s just try and stick to the script, as given to us by Mr. Muzionak who maintains that in many ways the historical development of both Byelorus and Ukraine differed from that in Russia primarily because of its prolonged involvement within the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth, and I would even add to its later involvement (at least for Western Ukrainian territories) under Habsburg auspices. Because of these prolonged historical processes, these two countries can easily feel at ease existing with a modern Western orientation. Here are the areas that he includes to make his point:

    Involvement with:

    1) the Renaisance
    2) the Reformation
    3) the Counter Reformation
    4) the Union of Brest
    5) the Enlightenment
    6) the inclusion of dozens of towns in both Belarus and Ukraine that had secured Magdeburg charters.

    And as hard as you try and pooh pooh the institution of the Sejm, it was far more progressive than anything being offered within Russia during those times.

  62. Ukraine and Belarus are both artificial constructs as are their respective ethnic groups. They are an off shoot of the Rus/Ruthenians just like the Russians.
    Those wishing to divide Russia have come up with all sorts of schemes to claim Russia is fake and has nothing to do with Belarus and Ukraine. In reality it is one nation 3 states.

  63. AnonFromTN says

    In reality it is one nation 3 states.

    That could have been ~90% correct several decades ago. I don’t know about Belarus, last time I was in Minsk was 40 years ago, At that time no one, except the radio, spoke Belarussian, the people spoke Russian. Belarussian was heavily promoted by the USSR without much success.

    However, as far as Ukraine goes, things have changed. Last time I was in Kiev eight years ago, visiting my cousin. At that time everyone in Kiev spoke Russian. In fact, speaking Ukrainian was considered as shameful as farting in church. Only radio and TV spoke Ukrainian, exactly like in the USSR. Today if you ask Russians whether they feel that Ukrainians belong to their nation, or even are brothers, 6-7 out of ten would say “no way”. Ukrainian governments (all of them since 1991) thoroughly screwed up the country while getting kickbacks from the oligarchs who stole everything they could. They used nationalism as a fig leaf for their thievery. The populace (or at least a significant fraction of it) apparently bought this BS.

    Every country has the government it deserves. So, Russia has Putin, whereas Ukraine has a succession of thieves and clowns, some being both at the same time, like Porky. To each his own.

  64. Belarusian Dude says

    Blacks in America took Anglo names, what’s your point?