RUSSIA AND THE "EASTERN ISSUE"
. This is becoming all the more important since Islam is turning into a most serious geopolitical, demographic, financial, and military factor. Hypothetically a moment will come when the Islamic states try to realize their geopolitical aims in world history without hesitation and consultations with their Western patrons. The Sublime Porte that for five decades has been a loyal NATO ally on the southern approaches to Russia and an outpost of «democracy» clearly shows that it is out for a revanche. It seems that NATO and the United States being aware that the Turks had twice marched on Vienna in fact occupied Bosnia with the help of the Dayton mechanism.
The Yugoslav drama that is unfolding at the crossroads of world civilizations reflects all the contradictions of the world, the twentieth century, and the Yugoslav nation. The contempt of Eastern barbarians for many centuries under laid Western cultural and historical consciousness. The Roman Catholic pressure on Orthodoxy was going on for many centuries. These contradictions are the sad result of competition of two projects of the paradise on Earth that required no God: the Marxian and the liberal. These contradictions are spiritual and geopolitical rivalry on the post-Byzantine territory and around Russia when the historical Russian state disappeared. Just like in the nineteenth century, others decide the future of the Balkan nations.
By the second half of the nineteenth century the Eastern issue had acquired a definite shape. This shape allows discerning all the aspects and levels of the contradictions and the moving forces of world history, which, by that time, had moved to the forefront of European politics and created its secret springs. This makes it possible to identify certain patterns.
During the preceding two centuries the subjects of international relations that preserved their roles to our days had been taking shape. As early as the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the balance of forces in Europe changed cardinally: the strongest powers left the stage by the end of the period. Poland, Eden, and Turkey declined while England inspired by the Puritan conviction of its superiority and business activity was swiftly advancing. At the same time Russias might increased — this was of tremendous importance for the balance of forces in Europe. By that time Russia had turned into a huge empire stretching from the Baltics to the Pacific — the size unrivaled in Europe since the Roman Empire.
By the end of the eighteenth century the country had finally developed from Rus to Russia. The Orthodox civilization free from the Catholic Kulturtrager aggressiveness could survive only by spreading to vaster areas. All Russian czars were aware of this, consciously or unconsciously, starting with Alexander Nevsky who saved Orthodoxy from the threat of being engulfed by Catholicism to Peter the Great. The latter did not appreciate Russian originality yet was the first to discern the countrys and the nations huge potential. He was aware of the new geopolitical needs of his state that lay paralyzed by Sweden and Poland that pressed on it from one side and the Crimean Khanate, a Turkish vassal, on the other (the Crimea was, in fact, part of the Golden Horde that had conquered Orthodox Taurida).
This transformation went through confrontation on the Ugra River, the Time of Troubles and driving the Poles away from the Kremlin they desecrated. Reestablishment of the shared historical destinies of three Slavic nations — the Malorussians, Byelorussians, and Velikorussians — was of special importance for this transformation. Together, they became unassailable and immune to the anti-Orthodox pressure. Russia gained access to seas: the Baltic in the northwest, the Black in the south where she entrenched herself in the Crimea, and to the Pacific thus completing development of Siberia and the Far East. It was in this process and along this road where Russians shed their blood that Potemkin got the title of Tavricheskii (Taurida), Rumiantsev, Zadunaiskii (trans-Danube), Suvorov, Rymnikskii (the Rimnik river in Romania), Dibich, Zabalkanskii (trans-Balkan), Paskevich, Erivanskii (Erevan), the Muravievs, Karskii (Kars in the Caucasus) and Amurski (the Amur).
One finds it hard to visualize the world in which Siberia and the Far East fell an easy prey of China and Japan. What would have happened to Europe which, having turned the Eastern Slavs Catholic came into a direct confrontation with Asia represented first by nomadic Mongolians and then the Turks who at least once reached Vienna?
«Civilized» Europe saved by the Russian outpost from many devastating marches found it hard to accept these geopolitical shifts. Pushkin wrote: «In its attitude to Russia Europe has always been equally ignorant and ungrateful.» The Catholic West tried to deprive Russia of her status of a Black Sea power through the Crimean War and the humiliating Paris Peace (»neutralization» of the Black Sea is amazingly close to the present situation.) Nearly ten years were needed for illustrious Chancellor Gorchakov to recover the lost rights. The famous circular letter of 1870 showed the world that Russia had «concentrated.» The shortsighted «Anglo-French» Europe paid for Russias humiliation with a new European power coming to the scene: Germany united by Prussia.
The «Russia and Europe» problem is not new. There is nothing new «in the discovery that other nations do not know us and do not understand us. They are afraid of Russia, do not sympathize with her and rejoice at her weakening,» wrote Ivan Ilin with a tinge of bitterness. He continued: «Mikhail Lomonosov and Alexander Pushkin were the first to grasp Russias originality, her dissimilarity from Europe, and her non-European nature
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