THE events of recent years have clarified a lot; the West has taken off its mask to demonstrate to all that the containment of post-Cold War Russia has always been its strategy. It wants to dominate our country in disregard of the basic principles of the UN Charter and the results of World War II.

The time has come to state bluntly that the West has taken the path of war in hopes of destabilizing Russia and replacing the people in power with its puppets – in other words, to finally solve the Russian question. Moreover, this confirms what Russian diplomat and poet Fyodor Tyutchev wrote in the mid-19th century: Russia “by the very fact of its existence denies the future of the West.” Our existence as a country very different from them is their main problem. We are a stumbling block, even if we do not interfere in their affairs. They are the meddlers.

We are a stumbling block because we insist on equality in international relations, because we serve as an example of sovereign and independent behavior. This undermines their hegemony in the world: The West can no longer treat the rest of the world as its neocolonial possession.

They no longer conceal their determination to destroy us and our history; to take revenge for the victories of Alexander Nevsky, for the crushing defeats of Napoleon and Hitler.

Our history is full of ups and downs: The Time of Troubles, invasions from the West, perfidious elites. But we have survived. We have always found the strength to save our country, keep our faith, and remain loyal to our historical calling.

The mission of Russia and Russians in this world means living by the truth and asserting the truth in our relations with other states and people. Russia and its mission are absolutely indispensable to the world.

It is no wonder why the West shifts its sins of colonialism and imperialism on us.

This is a Patriotic War in the true sense of the word, one of the many we have fought in the past. Once more the “great Russian word,” as Anna Akhmatova wrote in her time, is on the scales of history together with our culture, our way of life, and the immortal soul of our people. The civilized West no longer conceals this.

Russia has been “canceled” because it stirs up twinges of conscience in the West. It has canceled our contribution to world culture; it has canceled Dostoyevsky, the Gospel for de-Christianized Europe; and it has canceled Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Chekhov, who inspired European and world literature, whose works are a reflection of our Motherland, its fields, forests, rivers, and the soul of our people.

Fully aware that depriving people of their history and culture is a sure way to destroy them, Kiev and its de facto Western allies supplemented their military threat with a threat to our historical identity. They encroach on our Great Victory; they force Russians to share their ancestral land with neo-Nazis and to interact with them. They are determined to avenge the defeat of their Nazi ancestors in the Great Patriotic War and post factum rehabilitate Nazism as a product of their Western civilization.

Who could have imagined that we would have to fight Nazism once again to complete what we had started during the Great Patriotic War?

This began at a time when the liberal idea is slipping into deep crisis, when liberalism is gradually moving toward new totalitarianism, when freedom of speech and conscience is infringed upon.

By defending its own freedom, Russia is standing up for the freedom of all other peoples, including those of Western countries. We will never allow an ultraliberal worldwide revolution; a possibility of which is confirmed by efforts to set up a Democracy International – a Demintern of sorts – to follow in the Bolsheviks’ footsteps.

We are responsible for the struggle, sacrifices, suffering, and hardships of many generations of Russians; for their defeats and victories, achievements, and breakthroughs to the heights of the human spirit.

Regrettably, the citizens of Ukraine have made their choice, letting themselves become infected with anti-Moscow Russophobia and undisguised fascism. Of course, not all of them have accepted “Kill the Russians” as a religion. Those who are not loyal are suppressed by the criminal regime that is waging a war by criminal means and methods.

Very much like in the past when we fought Nazi Germany, we will fight until our victory. There will be punishment of the guilty and magnanimity after the victory.

It is not our fault that Ukrainians elected a government that brought national disaster upon their country.

It is not our fault that Ukraine became a classic failed, “Weimarized” state that readily assumed the role of a “frontline state” in the anti-Russia policy of the West as a means of existence. Hitler’s Germany played the same role, even though it had certain aggressive plans toward other Western countries. London and Paris betrayed themselves in the Phoney War and paid dearly for it. This is why they suppress the memory of this shameful episode of their history. Ukraine, which boasted of its armed forces and its readiness (unlike all Western countries) to fight Russia, fell into the trap of aggressive nationalism.

We learned the lessons of June 22, 1941: We opted for preventive action rather than wait for an attack. It was a wise decision: According to a huge amount of gathered information, Kiev had been planning to invade our territory and defeat us “on behalf of the collective West.”

We can say in clear conscience that we built our relations with Ukraine on an equal footing and never tried to pressure it. As for Soviet nuclear weapons, this was an international project promoted by Washington; we agreed that Soviet nuclear weapons should not be divided among the post-Soviet states, which would have meant nuclear proliferation. We settled other problems, including those within the CIS, related primarily to the social needs of our citizens.

In fact, it was the Soviet government and its shortsighted policy that created the problem of Soviet Ukraine. It relied on the ethnic factor and rejected the European tradition of equal rights of all citizens. The Minsk Agreements of February 2015 were signed to transform Ukraine into a contemporary European state. They could have launched federalization, approved by most regions (including in western Ukraine). In fact, federal states predominate in Europe. This is not only Russia and the Federal Republic of Germany but also Great Britain, which 25 years ago chose the road of informal federalization as part of the so-called devolution. But for some unknown reason, Kiev was dead set against the federalization of this fairly large country consisting of regions with their own, very specific histories. And we will not go into detail about the desire of the Soviet leadership to pacify local elites with territorial gifts – Donbass and Crimea being two pertinent examples.

Hence the territorial question. It should be said that Ukraine was not alone. While cursing the Soviet Union, neither Poland nor Lithuania abandoned Soviet borders: They received from Stalin up to a third of their current territories. So the problem of sovereignty and borders is an objective one; it is directly related to the results of World War II and demands a comprehensive solution involving the local population, which must not be considered as merely belonging to one territory or another.

Our Western partners and Ukraine’s leaders chose to blatantly lie about the implementation of Minsk-2, a document backed by a UN Security Council resolution and thus by the US; moreover, they cynically bragged of their deceit. They did not realize that trust and confidence, the bedrock of interstate relations, was crumbling. No agreements are possible without it. They should have thought about that if they wanted to end the conflict in Ukraine at the negotiation table.

In fact, the Ukraine conflict is a direct result of the fallacious NATO-centric European security architecture. Russia consistently tried to solve the problem to no avail. All our proposals, even the most innocuous ones (including a framework European security agreement), were flatly rejected. We heard the last of them on December 15, 2021.

Therefore – and this should be clear to our Western partners – a Ukrainian settlement is possible only as part of a package agreement on European security; otherwise, such crises will repeat themselves. What do they think about it? So far there has been no comment.

The demonization of Russia and its leaders continues unabated. The goal is obvious: To show that there is no need to negotiate because there is nobody with whom to negotiate. It would be interesting to know what sort of strategy the West has for getting out of the mess they have made that has become a “trap within a trap” for them.

Today, we have good reason to say that we were attacked in 1994, when NATO adopted its expansion decision. It is no wonder that George Kennan said that “expanding NATO would be the most fateful error … in the entire post-Cold War era.” This revived the logic of confrontation with Russia. At a NATO summit in January 1994, President Clinton warned that a new dividing line in Europe would be “a self-fulfilling prophecy of future confrontation” and Russia’s alienation. What would he say today? In that same year, Henry Kissinger in his book Diplomacy supplied a historical and theoretical basis: We should be ready in case Russia chooses the wrong path. He continues today to insist (in his book Leadership, published in 2022) that state leaders should know history – the whole history, not just selected bits and pieces.

The Maidan and the coup d’état in Ukraine marked a turning point: Containment entered an acute phase. As before, Russia did not act in haste: It took the will of the people – in Crimea and Donbass – into account. It wanted to give the new Ukrainian leaders a chance. How did they respond? With preparations for war with Russia backed by massive Western support! As if Kiev had no other problems. In fact, it was the only post-Soviet republic that failed to regain its Soviet GDP level.

Europe should know that confrontation was not our choice; they should not blame us for their problems. This is a plot against them and against us. Somebody in Washington prefers to keep us separated, to deprive Europe of a chance to become an independent geopolitical actor. The Americans are making short work of Europe’s economic interests. As if that were not enough, they passed their Inflation Reduction Act!

But we do have major grievances against the EU: It never discussed with us the attachment of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) agreement to the Association Agreement between the European Union and its Member States. This was a provocation, pure and simple. This document infringed on our interests, but we were told that this was not our business. They wanted to profit at our expense. They never included Russia in the Eastern Partnership that they allegedly wanted to use to “tie together” the space between the EU and Russia. Why? Probably because they wanted it to become a buffer or a cordon sanitaire.

We are not abandoning Europe and do not reject positive elements of the common European heritage. Very much as Peter the Great thanked the Swedes at Poltava for their lessons, we thank the EU today. We will wait – we have enough patience. We have enough potential partners. The rest of the world is a virgin soil for fruitful and mutually beneficial cooperation.

Germany deserves special mention. In the past, we were close to each other in many ways, including dynastically. We respected and respect Germans for qualities we never had but needed. We reconciled after the war. Today, they are on the side of our enemies. Why? Do they want to convince themselves of what they have already been convinced of more than once before from their own experience? We do not hold a grudge, yet the Germans should realize that what they are doing today undermines decades of cooperation, good relations, and mutual trust. This will be on the conscience of the German people, who are helping the British and Americans destroy Russia. This is no joke! The status of an occupied country explains nothing. It is not Russia that is destroying the German economy, which is becoming a resource for the re-industrialization of America after the sabbath of globalization. May God judge you, Germans! No matter what, we will torch your tanks as we did 80 years ago – nothing personal.

We are not making threats, but the West, primarily Europe, which has become a hostage in our conflict with the US, should know the following: If this is an attempt to exhaust us economically and psychologically, to force us to start a general mobilization, we have other and cheaper methods to explain to the Western elites that they are playing with fire. We have already accumulated a considerable escalation debt: Too many red lines have been crossed. We will proceed from our national interests.

We are fighting for our survival. Our Motherland is in danger. We have all we need not only to win but to develop confidently and progressively. Today, having detached ourselves from the Western system, we can act independently; we no longer depend on the West. Here is an example: The Soviet Union’s postwar economic and technological breakthrough taught the West to abandon provocations and all sorts of intrigues of the Ukrainian type.

Our society should mobilize and use all our resources. Patriotism worked many miracles in Russia’s history.

It is not enough that the economic blitzkrieg against Russia failed (that was their stupid miscalculation but also our success) – now we need to prove that this conflict has revealed the creative forces of our people, especially our young people, to whom we will transfer our country.

Everyone needs to realize that our breakup with the West was inevitable and very much needed. We should thank them: They helped us abandon the road that we were following by inertia. Our Western orientation was leading nowhere. Having exhausted the resources of normal development, the West turned to the ideas of “transhumanism” and all sorts of antihuman rubbish, which is not as harmless as it appears. We hope that sooner or later everything will normalize. America will have to resign itself to the status of one of several leading powers, and the West – to the status of one of several regions of the world that is not dominating and living at the expense of others.

The global environment has become very competitive, and the competition will be over axiological systems and development models in a world of cultural and civilizational multipolarity. We must not lag behind.

We are restoring historical continuity in our development. We lost it twice in the past: after the Russian revolution of 1917 and the Soviet Union’s disintegration, when, mesmerized by the West, we fell into its ideological slavery. Now we must complete the process of normalization: Our country must be worthy of its great history and place in the world community.

Professionals and those who return from the front must occupy worthy posts in all areas of our life.

We must not allow the West to impose on us any agreement that falls short of the aims of the Special Military Operation. It must provide firm assurances regarding the security of our western borders. In the last 30 years, the West has consistently refused to give us such assurances. It is hard to believe that they would be willing to give them to us today.

We cannot and will not tolerate for long this circus when, directly involved in the conflict on the side of Ukraine, NATO pretends that it has nothing to do with it. At the very least, its members are ensuring the strategic depth of the regime by supplying it with arms and ammunition. Is this neutrality? The West insists that it is not involved in the conflict. This means that it also must not claim any role in conflict settlement. The decision will be made by the people of Ukraine after the end of the SMO.

In the summer, the Ukrainians insisted that everything should be decided on the battlefield. Well, no problem. Kiev wanted a war – let it fight! Hypocrisy is unacceptable: Your weapons and ammunition are killing our citizens – soldiers and civilians. Your armaments are being used to commit war crimes. Somebody should be held responsible: This is not arms trade; this is military assistance. If the West is a military ally of Kiev, it should say so; it should explain everything, including possible threats to its own security, to its electorate. They are acting at their own risk, and people should be aware of this.

We cherish diplomatic relations just as much as our vis-à-vis do. We are ready to sever diplomatic relations with unfriendly and openly hostile countries. This is logical; this cannot and should not be excluded. Nobody should be shocked if this happens.

As Germans were at a certain point in their history, many Ukrainians have been misled by a feeling of (fictitious) superiority over other peoples – primarily Russians. There is no real evidence of their superiority, since all our achievements were common. This feeling is reinforced by the absurd myth that the West has classified them as members of the European family of nations and Russians as “Asians.”

Aggressive nationalism in any form never does any nation any good. It flourished in Europe between the wars, and we know how that ended. We are being led back into the future. We have no common path with Europe as we know it now. We will fight to ensure its worthy future in full accordance with the ideals of Enlightenment. Over the past two centuries, Europe has been rapidly and progressively losing its devotion to those ideals. Our grandfathers and fathers fought for Europe and those principles. Now it is our turn.

If the West and primarily the US are not ready for a long conflict in Ukraine (which they imposed on us), they should say so. They should stop fueling the fire with their arms supplies: Ukraine will never pay for them. Ukraine as an anti-Russia is a geopolitical project of the West; Ukrainians should not pay for it. On the other hand, as obviously responsible for the devastated country, the West should pay for its restoration: If you like sledding, you should like to carry the sled.

Ukraine has demonstrated its failure as an independent state. It was a product of the Soviet system and could exist only as part of the Soviet Union. Therefore, the disintegration of the Soviet Union was its first disaster. Today, we are witnessing the second. Ukraine took the same path as Germany before it: from a failed state and, after the Treaty of Versailles, through Weimarization, to the triumph of aggressive nationalism and a national disaster. The only difference is there is no nation – only a repressive state that uses criminal methods.

Germany as an empire was doomed to failure; it plunged Europe into a disaster. Two world wars were needed to normalize it, primarily through federalization. In the case of Ukraine, Europe cannot afford such luxuries: Ukraine has been soldered together by “iron and blood” over the past eight years. Russia must put an end to this.

It seems that the American elite feel good only when others feel bad. They are spoilers, meddling everywhere in the world (including in Russia); they interfere in the domestic affairs of other states after neglecting their own. We cannot and must not accept this.