Who won the Cold War? After the collapse of the USSR, that is, from the very beginning of the 90s, as well as the next twenty years or so, the answer to this question to most people in the West, and in our country, seemed quite unambiguous - the Soviet Union lost. We, that is.
We ourselves recognized the communist ideology as erroneous and unpromising for further development, the huge Soviet empire collapsed into several parts, the "Eastern Bloc" in Europe ceased to exist, like the entire Soviet sphere of influence in the rest of the world, the troops stationed abroad were pulled back, and often on not only unprofitable, but simply on absolutely shameful conditions, the state economy went into a steep "peak", and the so-called privatization finished it off almost completely, the people became impoverished, and only a faint shadow of the partially preserved Soviet nuclear triad remained of the former military power. This, apparently, was the only thing that at least somehow ensured the then new Russia, which became the nominal international legal successor of the USSR, a kind of independence.
At that time we had not yet come under complete external control, but we were dependent on and under the influence of the West - yes. Gigantic amounts of capital and resources were flowing abroad, American controllers-overseers were sitting in our secret enterprises, and the first Russian president on all important issues not only consulted, but simply reported to the United States, just like a metropolitan colony ... Well, why does it still look like, if not a defeat in the war? This is how it was perceived in the world. And the Americans, and with them, as it were, the rest of the "consolidated West" as a company, rightfully, as they quite naturally thought, considered themselves the winners in this "cold" war, and we were the losers. It seems like there were even thoughts of giving out some awards, such as orders or medals, "For victory in the Cold War." So that's it. And, of course, in full accordance with this, they began to behave with us - as a winner in relation to the vanquished.
Russia is not the USSR
Russia is not the Soviet Union. It seems to be a completely logical statement. But the question is who and what meaning is put into this phrase.
In the West, from the beginning of the 90s of the last century to the present day, it sounds and understands something like this: the Russian Federation, unlike the USSR, is no longer a highly developed world superpower, which has the right to its own independent domestic and international policies, as well as on their own national interests, including those outside their own borders.
In Russia itself, apparently, this same statement is now perceived from a completely different side: the Russian Federation, unlike the USSR, is not the country that collapsed, having lost its own ideology, economy and army, but an absolutely new independent and rapidly developing state world-class, with a new political, economic and social structure, as well as with its own national interests, both on its own territory and beyond, based precisely on the fact that this new country is the legal successor of the Soviet Union in the international and historical field ...
And these very two fundamentally opposite understandings of the same, seemingly, for all indisputable fact, inevitably come into conflict with each other. This contradiction, in turn, results in confrontation in the international arena. Since neither side wants to retreat from its understanding of the phrase "Russia is not the USSR", and both do it all exclusively, as it is presented, proceeding from the instinct of their own self-preservation. And the confrontation emanating from a sense of self-preservation, that is, the existential danger felt by the sides of the confrontation, inevitably leads to war. The only question is in what form this war will be waged (or is already being waged), as well as if the ultimate goal of the rivals is the complete destruction of the enemy or is it still achieving some kind of "status quo".
To understand all this better, one must first understand what the Cold War is all about, who took part in it or is participating in it, what are its goals. From this, the fact of victory or defeat in this war, if any, will become clearer. And also, based on this, and the current situation.
Who started the Cold War
I’ll say right away - not us. The very term "Cold war" appeared in the West back in 1947 to explain, apparently, initially to themselves and their peoples, what, in fact, this very West was already doing in relation to the USSR. Since the overwhelming majority of the population, quite recently, the states allied to us in the Second World War, with this understanding, had serious problems. The "honor" of the invention of the Cold War belongs to the long-term adviser to several US presidents on foreign and economic policy, businessman and multimillionaire Bernard Baruch, who first used this name in his speech on April 16, 1947. Moreover, as usual in America, this speech itself was initially devoted to purely internal affairs - calls for the continuation of the mobilization of the US economy, which was already strongly mobilized during the war, lengthening the working week, restricting the rights of trade unions, refusing to hold strikes, etc. ... etc. Since the world war ended, ordinary American citizens had reasonable questions about the need for all this. And here, please, there is an explanation - a new "cold" war with the Soviet Union.
And this war itself was started by the "Westerners" too, and much earlier. It's not a secret for anyone today that even before the end of World War II in Europe, being officially in allied relations with the USSR, the British and Americans were already hatching plans to strike the Soviet Union, and even using parts of the German Wehrmacht and SS, together with their own armies. But the military and industrial power of the USSR at that time was so great that even after the Americans had a working atomic bomb in 1945, the hopes of the Western "allies" for their own victory in such an adventure seemed rather illusory to them. And when in 1949 its own atomic weapons appeared in the Soviet Union, all feasible Western plans for confrontation finally turned exclusively into a "cold" form - the "hot" one was already threatening mutual destruction. Moreover, it must be honestly noted that at that time there were no real plans of an attack on Western Europe, and even more so the United States, on the part of the USSR - the country was occupied by something completely different after the terrible war it had endured.
It was necessary to restore literally everything and everyone, including Eastern Europe, which was in the Soviet zone of control. After all the horrors of the Second World War, a certain theory about the possibility of the spread of the "World Revolution" by force, which had previously existed among some "hot heads" in the communist party elite, has finally sunk into oblivion. And the expenditure of considerable resources on armaments was then precisely a reciprocal, defensive nature. And all the available historical facts only confirm this. The clearest example is the openly anti-Soviet military bloc NATO was created by the Americans in 1949, the "Warsaw Pact" emerged only six years later and exclusively in response to this.
The consolidated West, thus, unleashed this very "cold" war against us, simply out of fear to fight for real. And this war was fought, but with a different weapon - economically, the media and propaganda, espionage, an increase in the arms race, indirectly - through local conflicts in third countries, etc. That is, as if surreptitiously, despicable and cowardly, so that God forbid not to really run into it. Perhaps after the Second World War they finally realized what Otto von Bismarck had in mind when he urged Western peoples never to openly fight with Russia.
The "consolidated West" is not exactly the West
We often use the term "consolidated West", and this phrase is also often criticized for its vagueness and ambiguity. I think that here, in order to understand the situation, again, it is necessary to formulate more precisely what it is all about. From my personal point of view, at this moment in time this is not some kind of amorphous concept, but a very specific and well-established list of states. Namely, countries with Anglo-Saxon and Germanic cultural and linguistic roots. From overseas, it includes the United States, Canada and Australia, in Europe these are the British Isles, the Scandinavian states, Germany, France, Switzerland and Benelux. All the other allies who have joined this consolidated West at the moment are what are called weather vane states - wherever the “wind blows,” they turn there. Moreover, in this rather extensive list of "weathercocks" there are really large and developed militarily and economically, such as Turkey, Italy or Spain, as well as openly aggressive and, as it were, deliberately pro-Western members of NATO, such as Poland or the Baltic states.
But all of them, from a historical perspective, one way or another to this very consolidated West, as well as to the conditional East, have repeatedly changed their relationship and alliance, and dramatically. And this happened, almost always, under the influence of the outside, and not because of a spontaneous change in some internal consensus of these countries and their leaders. None of them simply can afford this in the modern world order. Therefore, they can be written into rigidly "consolidated" with this very "real" West only very conditionally and with great reservations - the political wind will once again change and ... blow away all this consolidation in some other direction, as, I repeat, this has already happened more than once. So the list of our real enemies is quite specific and not that great in comparison with the rest of the world. And it is not at all tantamount to everything that we are used to identifying with Western civilization, as such, the "golden billion" or even with members of the North Atlantic Alliance. It is much smaller.
The situation is even more complicated with the population of these countries - even in the most consolidated West, the policy of their states in relation to the conditional East, as well as the widely advertised modern Western "values" are not approved by a much larger number of their own citizens (in percentage terms) than the same, for example , in Russia or China in relation to the West. And in these very "weathercocks", especially in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, most peoples have big problems both with Western "values" that are often very alien to them, and in general with self-identification of themselves, as a part of the Western community in its modern, not much to their liking, the form. Yes, thirty years ago they were all there, to the West, quite openly aspired. And now the realization came that either they did not come quite where they wanted, or the very goal of this striving in real life turned out to be not quite what they expected.
What are we fighting for?
If we do not take into account various long-standing conflicts in Europe itself, when a certain prince from one state did not marry a certain princess from another, and thereby insulted some royal family, as well as religious clashes of about the same or even earlier period , then all serious wars are fought for resources in one way or another. For the last hundred years, so sure. These resources can be very different - land, access to something, mineral wealth, water and even the population of certain territories as an available labor force and markets for their own goods (now they are beautifully called "spheres of influence"). That is, all this as a result is purely material wealth. But the pretexts for this can be very diverse - who has enough imagination for that. This is religion, and some long-standing disputes between peoples, and ideological differences, and support for certain rights or freedoms, and protecting someone from something and vice versa, and restoring some kind of justice, etc. and so on, almost ad infinitum. Here I mean, of course, the advancing side - with the defenders, everything is more or less clear. And all this in order to give aggression some semblance of legitimacy and / or arouse among the masses, who, in fact, are doomed to shedding blood and other victims in someone's personal or state interests, a feeling of the necessity or inevitability of such actions.
The most honest of the major world aggressors in this regard was, strange as it may seem, Adolf Hitler - he immediately said that he needed new territories and resources to enable the development of the German people, which seemed to lack their territory. He even promised his soldiers to share the conquered lands directly with them. And the destruction of communism, the restoration of justice after the defeat of Germany in the First World War, etc. already, as it were, in addition to the main goal.
And with the "cold" war of the United States against the USSR, everything is the same. But not so honestly - no one spoke about resources there. They spoke exclusively about ideological differences and the threat from the Soviet Union. Ideological differences consisted in the fact that in the USSR there was a different political and economic structure, which was in some ways better, but in some ways it was not at all - just different. And the threat lay in our very ability to adequately confront the United States in the military sphere. Another such country or even a group of countries in the world simply did not exist at that time. This was what annoyed me. That is why they began to fight with us, but not for real (because of the possibility of this most adequate answer), but so, carefully, "in a cold way." Because you can fight to the death only for an idea, or defending yourself and your land. And here the war, whatever one may say, is all the same for resources and finances, but why are they needed if you are ultimately destroyed?
The incontestable proof of the absolute "lack of ideology" of this very "Cold War", and the motivation of everything by purely material considerations on the part of the West, are just the events of our days.
Cold war 2.0
Many times we can hear arguments about whether or not it is possible to talk about the continuation of the Cold War, which, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, was supposed to end. This topic has entered the public discourse especially seriously after the introduction of various Western sanctions against our country, as well as with the onset of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014. The very last reason for the next discussion of this issue happened just the other day, when American President Biden openly insulted Vladimir Putin, calling him a murderer - no one had ever allowed himself anything like this in relation to the leaders of Russia and the USSR. But this is still being discussed with us, I repeat. And if you open the English-language sources, we will see an interesting thing - the terms "Cold War 1.0" and "Cold War 2.0" that have been used there for a long time. As for the first "Cold War", 1.0 according to their classification, then everything is clear, it dates from 1947-1991, this is the moment of the collapse of the USSR and, as it were, the victory of the West. The title of the Second or "New Cold War" first appears publicly back in 2008 in a book by British political analyst and journalist Edward Lucas. And from that moment on, it was firmly included in the political vocabulary of the West. At the same time, it is absolutely clear to everyone that there could be no question at that time about any threat to the West in general and the United States in particular from Russia, I'm not talking about some kind of ideological confrontation - the system is already the same, capitalist, market. At that time, the Russian Federation is headed by President Medvedev, who is very handshake in the West, and the country itself is inscribed in all Western political and economic institutions, as they say, "there is nowhere at all ...". So what's the problem?
And the problem happened like this - for the first time since 1991 Russia "raised its head" and really showed that it will no longer put up with absolutely everything that is imposed on it from the outside. First, this was voiced by Vladimir Putin in his famous "Munich speech" in 2007, and in 2008 the Russian army suppressed the aggressive actions of Georgia towards South Ossetia and the peacekeeping contingent of the RF Armed Forces stationed there. In short, our country has again awakened to an independent life, which inevitably entails an awareness of the existence of its own national interests. The need for the absence of which we have been convinced for so long. And for the Western "partners" all this meant nothing more than a possible close end to the profitable and unpunished robbery of everyone and everything as the only winner in the last world war, albeit a "cold" one. To which they have become accustomed for almost twenty years. That is, again, someone is economically hurt, the possible loss of "spheres of influence", and this is the reason for the war. And if it is really scary to fight (and they are scared), then again "in a cold way." So a new "cold" war has begun for our resources and against our interests. Or continued, as you look at. But in any case, we did not go “on the offensive” again.
True, in the case of "Cold War 2.0", from the point of view of the West itself, again, there are some significant differences from that "first" - not only Russia (like the USSR once) is indicated as an adversary, but also China. It is these two powers that are considered to be violators of a certain "world order" in the Western understanding of it, and if we simplify it greatly, they simply refuse to obey the will of the United States in everything. That is, if earlier the consolidated West fought only with the Soviet Union (the Warsaw bloc, Cuba, Vietnam and other socialist countries-allies were really only satellites of the USSR without much independence in their decisions), now it is already a full-fledged war on two fronts, with two strong different and truly independent opponents. Moreover, each of these opponents is highly developed in certain, one might say, complementary areas, and is also strong enough in and of itself, without even entering into some kind of anti-Western coalition with each other. And this, together with its own growing internal political and economic problems, makes the position of the United States and its allies much more precarious than in the previous Cold War.
From a historical perspective
Recently, on various programs or in political conversations, I often hear the following:
"History teaches us that it does not teach anything" - the phrase itself is initially stupid. Therefore, it is very strange to hear it from the lips of some respected public and political figures who regularly appear in our media space. In every school there are children who study well, and there are poor students. And this is not because the school doesn’t teach the students with poor students, but because some, for various reasons, cannot or don’t want to study. It is the same with historical experience - history does not teach anything only to those who are not capable of it. But such “pathological failures”, unfortunately, are enough among political leaders of the highest level. Only this is a different question - about who this or that state is able to choose as its leader, and about the quality of the elites in these states in general. The leaders of modern Russia, China or Israel, for example, are hard to reproach for neglecting historical experience. But in Ukraine, in the structures of the EU or the United States, typical failures are now in power. In terms of history, of course ... Although he is a Losers, he is a Losers, everywhere and in everything. For the same problems in the fight against coronavirus, the situation with the economy and the domestic political agenda, you can compare exactly the same countries that I mentioned above. And what will we see? In the Russian Federation, China and the same Israel, and according to these indicators, everything is much better than in Ukraine, the EU and the United States. So history, apparently, should be treated more attentively and respectfully. And she teaches almost everything, you just have to want it and be able to use it.
So just on the basis of historical parallels, one can also consider the events of the "cold" wars. Since, in essence, it is still a war, it is quite possible to compare them with a real war - "hot". I use "cold" wars in the plural, since this is a classification of their own apologists and inventors - those who started both of these "cold" wars against us. Although from our point of view, all this can be perceived as one and the same war. In general, there is no difference - on a historical scale, the result will be the same, only the comparisons are different. But from whatever point you look, there are common features - the "cold" war is a global process, that is, it should be compared with World Wars. There were two of them. One after another, two decades apart.
If we take from the point of view of the West, that is, that there are two wars, then we need to start with the First World War. As a result of this war, Germany and Austria-Hungary were defeated, in fact, losing vast territories and statehood, and were also placed by the Western allies in an extremely humiliating, as well as economically and politically dependent position. Russia withdrew (or rather was withdrawn) from hostilities due to internal contradictions, also with the loss of the state system and vast territories, both those that originally belonged to it and those that were due to it in the event of a victory over the Austro-German Union. Yes, and Russia itself, taking advantage of the internal turmoil, the former Western allies also decided to plunder well, and they even succeeded in something. But what is such humiliation for really strong and developed nations? And this is nothing more than the effect of a compressed spring, which sooner or later will try to take its original form. This is exactly what happened. Taking into account the educated public, I will not cite here the well-known facts, describe the history of the Second World War and the accompanying events of the interwar period. But this "spring" quite naturally unclenched after about twenty years. And as a result, it seemed to no one, including the winners of the First World War, who created all possible prerequisites for the Germans to unleash the Second. But at that time, these same winners survived - do not forget that in that war both the USSR and China were just on the same side with them. Although here I extend the comparison with the spring to the Soviet Union as well.
If we consider the "cold" war as one continuous action, then there is also a parallel with the events of the closest to us historically World War - the Second. Let us remember how Hitler's Germany, having already managed to "consolidate" around itself practically the entire analogue of the modern European Union by force, went on the offensive against the USSR. Then as now, we lost gigantic territories with millions of our people, a huge blow was dealt to the economy and industry, and our military forces seemed to have practically lost the ability to resist. But it seemed so to our enemies. They already buried us, prepared a parade on Red Square and were also going to receive their awards for the victory over the USSR. They again forgot about a strong, developed and strong-willed people, as well as about the effect of a compressed spring, which again worked. As a result, those who thought they had conquered us flew back even further than where they originally came from. And we got ours back, and even with a little extra.
If we consider this parallel, then now the events are approximately consistent with the winter of 1942-43. There are still many of our lands in the power of the enemy, but there have already been the first serious victories, the partially restored economy and industry have already begun to provide the necessary support to the front, and the morale of the newly gaining strength of the army has also recovered after the constant setbacks of the initial period of hostilities. The "spring" slowly but surely went in the opposite direction.
In 2021, a war is going on against us, it doesn't matter if it is "first" or "second" in someone's classification. It is important that it is there, and it is important how we feel it on ourselves. Yes, we are under pressure, they continue to attack us on all fronts, it is still hard for us. But it is already clear that our powerful internal "spring", compressed by the force from the outside, has already inexorably gone in the opposite direction. And how strong its back blow will be depends only and exclusively on ourselves. And from no one else. Our enemies against us will still use everything they have, all their strength and capabilities, regardless of whether we strike with full force. So you have to hit with all your might at once - the harder we hit, the more we will achieve. We may not have a chance for another try. As then, in 1942, there is nowhere to retreat. These are the rules of any battle and any war, even "cold" - economic and political, even "hot" - with tanks and missiles.
Or maybe just not to fight?
In 1991, we ourselves ended the Cold War, or at least actually tried to do it. Proceeding from the fact that they themselves believed in the Western, and their own, to be honest, the propaganda that told us about a certain ideological background of the Cold War. They abandoned ideology, changed the economic and political system, heeded everything that was told to us from the West and integrated into their "coordinate system". And what did you get in return? “They brought us to our knees, robbed, humiliated and took away the territory. Everything happened the same as if a real war had been lost.
And as soon as they suddenly raised their heads and hinted at their own interests, a new war was immediately started against us. And what's the difference as it is called - "cold", "hot" or, for example, "hybrid". It's still a war. The purpose of which is not to let us develop and take away what we have. Everything, at the root. And we don't need to make ourselves illusions that our enemies will always be headed by "Losers" - we are now just so lucky. In a period of danger and consolidation, strong personalities often come to power. And they can turn to history and quickly understand, if they have not yet realized that the only way to prevent the spring from unclenching is to destroy it completely or break it into small safe pieces.
And if we ourselves, trying to move forward, do not learn to look back into history and learn from our own and others' mistakes, then others will do it faster than us. Victory in any war can only be the destruction of the enemy, either physically or as a state education. So that the "spring" does not suddenly unclench back again. After the collapse of the USSR, the West decided that this was the final victory, not taking into account the fact that Russia itself is also a separate and completely independent and self-sufficient state education, unlike all the former republics of the Union. Now they got it, but too late - the "spring" has already gone back.
But we shouldn't expect that we will somehow push the enemies back now, and they will leave us alone - nothing like this will happen. Now we must destroy them and sign the imaginary Reichstag again. If not physically, then as strong and centrally controlled state entities of a global scale - the United States and the EU. And then this very concept of "consolidated West", which is hostile to us, will disappear. Now, by the way, the Americans and their allies themselves have made this work easier for us by making the PRC an enemy, which is in fact the world's number one economy, with a population of one and a half billion and its own modern army, including its complete nuclear triad and space grouping. And, as you know, "the enemy of my enemy ..." in this case, if not just a friend, then certainly a situational ally. And now it is necessary to use it. Both to us and to the Chinese. Based on our own rich historical experience of communication with this most consolidated West. And the conclusions from this experience are very simple - to voluntarily integrate into their system means to sign a death sentence for oneself, and not to destroy this consolidated West, at least economically and politically, means to keep the death sentence that they signed to us long ago. And there is no third option.
This is how one should treat this "Cold War 2.0" and behave accordingly. In war, as in war. How would this war be called.
Objectives based on this:
1. Conclude an official military-political alliance with China. It is clear that we have many contradictions and different interests, but, as in the Second World War between the USSR and the Anglo-Americans, one common goal at the moment is clearly more important for us and for the Chinese. In this case, the entire consolidated West, even with all its capabilities, will still immediately become a weak position - there is simply nothing to oppose the joint power of the Russian Federation and the PRC in the world today. Even if it does not come out with an alliance, then at least jointly and in coordination with China to carry out all important economic and political actions on the "western front".
2. To work actively at the SCO and BRICS sites - the consolidated West is far from the whole world. We need to spread our influence and look for our own, albeit situational, but allies. Expand your own spheres of influence.
3. Use economic, political and informational levers to tear apart this very Western consolidation as much as possible. And do not be ashamed of this - we are still accused of this anyway. Start with the “weather vane”, the positions of which are the weakest. Then purposefully "sow the seeds of discord" both within Europe itself and in the EU-US transatlantic pact. And in this, too, there is nothing new and impossible, all this has happened historically and more than once. The main thing is to remind Europeans more often that they are still separate, independent and distinctive nations, and not some kind of common mess, into which the United States wants to turn them in its image and likeness. And by the way, it is also much more convenient to deal with all this together with the PRC - in this case, we will be able to offer the Europeans together, even in economic terms, exactly more than the States.
4. To do with the US itself exactly what it did to us throughout this "cold" war - to bring in and in every possible way inflate there all possible internal contradictions and conflicts on national, racial, political, historical, economic and other grounds. And the situation is now very favorable for this - the country is politically split, there are racial problems and a huge issue with illegal migration, the situation in the economy also leaves much to be desired and rests solely on the "printing press" of the FRS and exchange manipulations. And the United States can be split from within, depriving it of its status as a world superpower. There is nothing impossible in this. In 1985, too, no one in the USSR would have believed that in five years this superpower would simply begin to fall apart ... And they must be split in such a way, knowing the history, so that their "spring" no longer had a chance to unclench.
In no case can we just defend ourselves anymore, we must immediately go over to the offensive and actively involve any possible allies. Otherwise, the aggressor will finally squeeze us ... Everything is exactly the same as in the winter of 1942. The war is on ...