Brandon Martinez / Non-Aligned Media
Russian “President” Vladimir Putin has once again bemoaned the collapse of the Soviet Empire.
The demise of the USSR “absolutely wasn’t inevitable,” Putin said in a recent meeting with Kremlin leaders, arguing that the communist empire and dictatorship should have been “transformed” instead.
The comments echo previous remarks in 2005 when he said that the collapse of the Soviet Union was the “greatest catastrophe” of the 20th century.
Russia’s Communist Party boss Gennady Zyuganov noted that, after shoring up an unprecedented majority for his party in recent rigged parliamentary “elections,” Putin now has as much if not more power than past Soviet dictators.
Putin served for 16 years in the KGB as a foreign intelligence officer before being appointed by Yeltsin to head up the FSB in 1999. After which he was hand-selected by the Yeltsin mafia “family” as prime minister, then duly “elected” president after exploiting suspiciously timed bombings that swept Russia. He has since alternated as president and prime minister of the federation for 16 years consecutively, shadowing Soviet dictator Leonid Brezhnev whose rule lasted 18 years.
The nostalgic comments have been used by some as proof of Putin’s neo-Soviet imperialist intentions, with critics theorizing that he seeks a rebirth of some modified form of the Soviet imperium. His unqualified support of “Novorossiya” (New Russia) armed insurrectionists in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass province bordering Russia is seen as further proof the Kremlin has neo-colonialist intentions towards its neighbor and former colony. Wikipedia describes “Novorossiya” as a historical term of endearment for lands coveted by the Russian empire:
Novorossiya (from Russian: Новоро́ссия, Romanian: Noua Rusie; literally New Russia) is a historical term of the Russian Empire denoting a region north of the Black Sea (presently part of Ukraine). It was formed as a new imperial province of Russia (Novorosiiskaia guberniia) in 1764 from military frontier regions along with parts of the southern Hetmanate in preparation for war with the Ottomans. It was further expanded by the annexation of the Zaporozhian Sich in 1775. It at various times it encompassed the Moldavian region of Bessarabia, the modern Ukraine′s regions of the Black Sea littoral (Prychornomoria), Zaporizhia, Tavria, the Azov Sea littoral (Pryazovia), the Tatar region of Crimea, the Nogai steppe at the Kuban River, and the Circassian lands.
And this is the name that Russia’s rebel proxies in Ukraine are using to describe themselves and their pseudo-“state,” shredding doubts and official Kremlin denials that this is in fact their true function: to cleave off eastern lands from Ukraine to encompass a “Greater Russia” which includes the annexed Crimea.
In addition to “Novorossiya,” Putin’s other geopolitical pet project is variously called the “Eurasian Union” or sometimes “Eurasian integration,” which ultimately seeks unification of the economic spheres of Russia and neighboring Eastern European and Central Asians states – all former colonies of the USSR. This is seen by Putin and his inner circle as a major step towards the consolidation of regional power back into the hands of the Kremlin oligarchy.