This implies the establishment of an alliance on the post-Soviet space, above all in its European part, of modern states based on human rights, freedom, respect for your fellow man, the separation of powers, a competitive market economy and a civil society which provides creative opportunities. This is the strategy underpinning the creation of a third global centre of power, a Russian-European centre on level footing with the centres in North America and South-East Asia. And this is what Putin’s politics and the article are seeking to prevent.



The Russian regime, just like its Soviet predecessor, never asks or warns anyone. In 1979 nobody warned our people about the military invasion into Afghanistan. In 1994 they launched a war in Chechnya, once again without any discussion. They proceeded in virtually the same way in Ukraine and Syria.

And in this sense Putin’s article has yet another separate and special feature: this article was a warning. Even though it was addressed not so much to us as to a notional version of the West, it was published on the eve of what is called elections in our country3, and this makes Russian citizens its active recipients to a material extent. Russia’s citizens will have an opportunity to express their views on the policy proclaimed by the President. We can vote “for”: for Russia’s right to a significant proportion of the territories of neighbouring Ukraine, for a plan to strip Ukraine of its sovereignty and statehood, and accordingly for the opportunity to wage war with Ukraine at any moment in time. This means voting for United Russia, the Communist Party of Russia, the Liberal Democratic of Russia and A Just Russia – Patriots – For Truth.

However, we can also vote against such a policy — for peace, the prospects of mutual understanding with the European Union, for equal and amicable relations with Ukraine and Belarus. And this means voting for Yabloko.

It goes without saying that the geopolitical and military and political course implemented by Putin will not be contingent on the views of a small proportion of the electorate, all the more so as too much is known in advance about the “results’ of these elections. To engineer a change of course, as many people as possible must vote against a war with Ukraine. However, in the current environment of depoliticization, the utterly abased and despicable state propaganda, dumbing down and falsifications, the majority of the population is deprived of the chance to realise that war might become reality and that this is the underlying message of Putin’s article. At the same time, however, for the time being it is still possible to say “no” to war and chauvinistic expansion, and this opportunity must be used. At least for history’s sake.