Danger of fifth column and reaction of society. Op-Ed by Victor Pelin

The way the Putinist regime treats the opposition in the own country – the physical destruction of opposition leaders, which is also not something of a novelty new, the depriving of liberty of hundreds and thousands of opponents of the regime - can become a reality in our country too if the “Fifth Column” somehow succeeds in its effort to bring the Russian World back to the Republic of Moldova. Perhaps, indeed, it is time for society to wake up and realize the danger ahead?...

He who excuses himself, accuses himself

Vladimir Putin remained unsatisfied with the impact of the interview he gave to American journalist Tucker Carlson. The blame would lie with the journalist, who avoided asking him uncomfortable questions that would have allowed Putin to provide appropriate answers. To correct the American journalist’s professional negligence, Putin offered to record an additional interview with a journalist from his court, hoping to repair the misunderstandings generated by his first interview.

Judging by the effects of the first interview, it can be said that he fully confirmed the saying – he who excuses himself, accuses himself - no matter how much he turns to historical topics and all sorts of invented arguments. In the second interview, Putin no longer referred to historical episodes or documents, but exclusively to his personal interpretations of statements by international officials or dignitaries, which we should believe were made. Understanding that the second interview was as unconvincing as the first, Putin decided to emphasize that he still intends to fight fascism and Nazism. We know what this can mean from Ukraine’s experience after this was attacked. Even under such circumstances, Putin’s interviews required further interpretation, curiously and originally, from an exponent of the Russian fascism.

Explaining Putin’s assertions

What Putin failed to explain to different audiences fell to court philosopher Aleksandr Dugin. The latter was interviewed by the state news agency RIA-Novosti, which stood out two years ago, after the aggression against Ukraine began, by publishing an article openly calling for the destruction of Ukraine and Ukrainians. In the same vein, Dugin’s interpretations boil down to the following:

  • “Putin has found the only way to convey to the general public his understanding of the Ukrainian conflict and attitude towards the West and the future of the world;
  • The Western power is our enemy, we are at war with them, but Western society, Western peoples – they are not our enemies at all. And it is very important to address them, to find access to them, to find a way to them, to explain Russia's position;
  • American conservatives, if they come to power, will be able to save humanity from the possible destruction to which it is being pushed by the globalist maniacs who have seized power in Washington,” Putin told them;
  • The West knows nothing about the history of Russia, about our peoples, about the fate of the territories of the ancient lands. These are our ancient lands. Ukraine is the old land of the Russian people, of the united Russian people, which, of course, was divided into three historical branches, then united, then divided again. This dialectic of the Russian-Ukrainian history, say, Little Russia, which at one time separated itself from the single body of the Russian people and then united, this is very important”.

Here’s what we need to learn from Putin’s two interviews and the way he intends to combat fascism and Nazism. First of all, for the sake of truth, including historical truth, to which Putin resorts, it is important to note that fascists and Nazis are those who start unprovoked wars of aggression, brazenly violating international and bilateral agreements or who stage provocations, as happened on August 31, 1939 in Gliwice, to justify the beginning of aggression against Poland, which the USSR joined. Secondly, Putin and his interpreter – Dugin - overlook, or pretend not to know, that the President of China Xi Jinping was crowned king of globalization, back in 2017: “Like it or not, the global economy is a huge ocean from which there is no escape. Everyone is trying to block the flow of capital, technology, goods, industries and people between economies and divert ocean waters into separate lakes and canals. This is simply impossible and, in fact, it goes against the historical trend.” Does the regime of Putin and its ideologues have the courage to confront Xi?

There is one more thing worth being noted. The idea of Putin’s so-called special military operation against Ukraine, to all appearances, was borrowed not from someone ordinary, but from Hitler himself, who achieved Austria’s anschluss in just two days, March 12-13, 1938. It cannot be by chance that Putin’s propaganda kept mentioning the conquering of Ukraine in two days, mockingly publishing the agenda of the airborne forces in Pskov, which included the parade through the central streets of Kiev, the festive concert of Russian artists and fireworks. But two days turned into two years of war, with about a million casualties. In this connection, the curious are advised to read Hitler’s speech  of March 15, 1938, in which this justified the occupation of Austria, and to find differences between Hitler’s historical arguments and the arguments of Putin and Dugin regarding Ukraine. In Hitler’s case, Czechoslovakia followed Austria. In our case, which country can be targeted if Putin succeeds in occupying Ukraine?

Russia’s national idea – occupying and subduing Europe

We have convinced ourselves that, in fact, Putin and Dugin complement each other. The statements made by Putin during the two interviews are nothing but the interpretation of Dugin’s ideas that are widely spread, including in the Republic of Moldova, and were publicly expressed in 2013, during the meeting of the Izborsky Club: “Today, Russia feels an acute shortage of the national idea...  Visiting different European countries, I got an idea of how to solve the problem of the national idea. I will express it as a proposal, as a hypothesis, then perhaps society or, first of all, the state will decide to accept it or not. The point is that we must occupy Europe! Conquer it! And attach it... Look at Europe’s armed forces. There are almost inexistent. Of course, there is the NATO bloc, but the truth is that NATO, as we see from the example of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, does not interfere in tough operations. We already got into a fight with their friend Saakashvili. We came out victorious. There was a lot of noise and there was a kind of ballet on water in the Black Sea, with American cruisers... While South Ossetia and Abkhazia are ours! So, let’s invite Europe to be itself. We will establish protectorate over it and that’s it!”.

From the aforementioned, we see that Aleksandr Dugin, one of the reanimators of Russian fascism, the author of “Fascism Unlimited and Red”, is consistent. In this work, he noted that Russia had gone through two ideological stages - communism and liberalism, and was about to enter the era of Russian fascism - a combination of nationalist conservatism with a passionate desire for genuine profound change. Dugin’s ideal, as this can be perceived from his work, is to push the world toward a purifying apocalypse, after which the Great Eurasian Empire of the End will be born. Duginist eschatology recently incorporated Russia’s war against Ukraine: “Our God was crucified... Was this the mistake of our God, Jesus Christ? No, it was a sacrifice to save humanity. The beginning of this special operation [war against Ukraine] is a kind of religious act... We will see the consequences later. This is one of the greatest decisions in the history of the world, because religiously and geopolitically it was the beginning of the struggle against Satan.” Not accidentally Putin often threatens to use the red button, just as it is not by chance that Russian propaganda calls, practically daily, for the nuclear bombing of the capitals of Western states. We must also not forget, even for a moment, that the Russian Orthodox Church has fully became involved in support of the war of aggression against the brotherly Ukrainian people.

Therefore, Putin’s intentions to combat fascism and Nazism are interpreted and justified by the ideologist of the Russian fascism, Aleksandr Dugin, whose merit is limited to adapting the Eurasian doctrine to the needs of post-Soviet imperialism.

The Fifth Column and use of Comintern methods

By insisting on the need to combat fascism and Nazism, Putin suggests that a global propaganda effort is needed. In this regard, according to credible sources, the Russian authorities are currently closely studying the experience of the Comintern in the 20s-30s of the twentieth century regarding the spread of communist propaganda. It is somewhat natural that this should be so, since the Russian fascism, unlimited and red, cannot ignore Bolshevik elaborations and methods. One of the reached conclusions is that Russia should strengthen its “Fifth Column” in unfriendly states, as levers of influence on public opinion in those states. The same sources state that the Security Council of the Russian Federation should be responsible for coordinating various efforts in this direction.

The abovementioned revelations regarding the intentions of establishing the “Fifth Column” in the states of the world seem to be late. The point is that subversive bodies like this have been in place for a long time. For example, a branch of the Izborsky Club, the purpose of which is to spread the ideals of Russian imperialism, was established in Moldova back in 2016. Moldovan politicians created the branch of this club about two years after Aleksandr Dugin presented his national idea – conquering Europe, becoming comrades with this, thus sharing the imperialist ideals with this. Currently, after eight years of work of the Moldovan branch of the Izborsky Club, we know that the leader of the Party of Socialists (PSRM) of the Republic of Moldova is still an expert of this body, an admirer of Putin, who never misses an opportunity to show his loyalty and he thus expressed his delight at the interview given to Carlson. Igor Dodon’s colleague – MP of the Bloc of Communists and Socialists (BCS) Bogdat Țîrdea – is the founder  (see page 7) and head of the Moldovan branch of the Russian imperial body. There are particular obscurities about the former governor of Gagauzia, Irina Vlah, who participated in the founding meeting of the Moldovan branch of the Izborsky Club, but who is currently the founder of the Moldova Platform. Is there any connection between the two bodies, in the sense that the branch of the Izborsky Club simply changed its name? For now, we do not have an answer to this question, but Irina Vlah’s insistent plea in favor of the military neutrality of the Republic of Moldova, despite its enshrining 30 years ago in the Constitution, is strange. Normally, any plea for peace and neutrality should be preceded by condemnation of wars and aggressors. This is lacking in the case of Irina Vlah’s pleas, especially since she knows in detail the stated goals of her colleagues in the Izborsky Club, including those related to the reconstitution of the Russian empire, as well as those of Dugin regarding  the occupation of Europe.

What about the communist methods that the “Fifth Column” should use to spread Putinism? These methods are also widely used by the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM), which through the party press persistently propagates Russian propaganda narratives, justifying Russia’s aggressive occupation war against Ukraine, distorting realities, glorifying Stalinism and its totalitarian methods. For now, there is an impression that through the shameless plagiarism practiced by PCRM, propaganda cannot be effective. Probably, it is done for the sake of the balance, but this will become clear later.
About the fate of the Fifth Column’s agents

It should be noted that the notion of “Fifth Column” was revived by Vladimir Putin to counterpoise the opposition. Obviously, applying Putinist terminology to the case of the Republic of Moldova, we come to the conclusion that politicians who are part of bodies that promote the agenda of Russian imperialism cannot be considered as being part of the opposition. This also refers to propaganda journalists involved in disinformation and promotion of the Russian agenda.

In this connection, it is useful to draw attention to the recent interview of the former Putinist propagandist, former editor-in-chief of Latvia’ss Sputnik news agency, Marat Kasem. After this was detained by Latvian law enforcement agencies, the heads of Russian propaganda intervened in defense of the propagandist, but the situation suddenly changed, Kasem agreeing to confess and even disable the propaganda of the “Fifth Column”. Obviously, Kasem’s interview didn’t attract the audience attracted by Putin’s interview, but the interested public and the Republic of Moldova, including Putinist propagandists, should watch the interview that reveals the methods of co-opting agents for the “Fifth Column| and keeping them under control. The first thing that stands out is the confirmation of the use of communist methods in the process of converting agents – blackmail. This is the preferred tool of the intelligence services. In second place is taken by the luring with the entry into the balance of future agents of the “Fifth Column”, followed by the imposition of renunciation of their own visions by strictly following instructions (guides, etc.).

In the case of Marat Kasem, blackmail referred to the threat of disclosing information about his private life. It’s easy to guess what it was. Respectively, we could assume that many, if not most, propagandists in the Republic of Moldova are blackmailable and are in Marat Kasem’s situation. So, in order to free themselves, they could follow his example, breaking the vicious circle in which they have found themselves.


Hybrid warfare is in full swing and will still take a long time. The goal of the Putinist regime is very clearly determined and started to be openly propagated. The methods of achieving the goals are, in principle, clear, especially since the Russian press warns us about the Kremlin’s additional plans to strengthen the “Fifth Column”.

The Putinist arguments to combat fascism and Nazism are current, but they must be uprooted in Russia, which revived them through the ideas and works of Aleksandr Dugin. As for the fight against globalism, Russia can try and start with China and its leader, Xi Junping, who, with the growth of his country’s economic and technological strength, has become the main promoter and defender of globalist processes.

Under these circumstances, the authorities and public opinion of the Republic of Moldova should mobilize to expose and counter the activities of the “Fifth Column” on the territory of the country. The detected dangers need to be adequately addressed, by strengthening the segment of society that wants to avoid becoming hostage to the Duginist bewildering ideas. Obviously, there is a need to identify effective and legal measures and methods to combat propaganda and disinformation. Otherwise, the consequences could be disastrous for the future of the country and its European path. The way the Putinist regime treats the opposition in the own country – the physical destruction of opposition leaders, which is also not something of a novelty, the depriving of liberty of hundreds and thousands of opponents of the regime - can become a reality in our country too if the “Fifth Column” somehow succeeds in its effort to bring the Russian World back to the Republic of Moldova. Perhaps, indeed, it is time for society to wake up and realize the danger ahead?

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