Even if the USSR collapsed, the countries of the post-Soviet space remained a media and energy colony of Russia, MP Virgiliu Pâslariuc, doctor of history, stated in a public debate staged by IPN.
The university professor noted that after the breakup of the USSR, the ties between the people in the post-Soviet space were yet rather powerful and this center has been fueled from the center, from the Kremlin through cultural products, through the media. “Even if the USSR collapsed, we remained a media and energy colony of Russia. Vladimir Putin, using the energy resources, managed to maintain his influence. An empire exists until it is allowed to exist. The empires fail when they do not have resources. Speaking about this “Russian world”, we see that it is an attempt to maintain the spirit of unity in the post-Soviet states,” he said.
Asked based on what principles the USSR worked, Virgiliu Pâslariuc said those principles were rather harsh and less human.
“The costs of changes in the USSR weren’t taken into account. There was practically no cost for anything. The human life wasn’t considered a value. Mobilization was ensured through the spirit of sacrifice. The number of victims used to achieve the objectives didn’t matter. Having a demographic reservoir, a great mobilization capacity, those things worked then. We see such things repeating now in the case of the war in Ukraine. Now that Russia has a regular, well-organized army, the limits of the Russian expansionism that got used to guerilla warfare only were seen,” said the MP.
Speaking about the war in Ukraine, Pâslariuc said Russia’s interest in this country continues to be big as Ukraine in the USSR was an energy hub and the empire needs to take the energy sector under control.
“For Russia, for Vladimir Putin, it was extremely important to gain control over the region as, besides the strictly symbolical aspect, Ukraine has an important economic significance,” said Pâslariuc.
He noted that the Soviet empire cannot be restored for a number of reasons. One of them is that this project of Putin, to unite the Russian world, is based only on elements of the past and does not have a plan for the future.
“A lot of people wonder if this imperial project has yet a future. The Soviet empire is legitimized by a bright future, promises of a better life. Putin’s current narrative refers to the past. Any political project cannot be based on the past only. It should have projections for the future. The absence of a project for the future makes the Soviet project a failed one and makes this disappear form the narrative of the post-Soviet states,” said the MP.
He noted that Russia is gradually isolated and Moldova should adopt a firm geopolitical position in this regard. In 1940, Moldova wasn’t given this chance. The Ukrainians use this chance now.
The public debate entitled “Why did the USSR appear and how did it work? Why does it cause nostalgia yet?” was the tenth installment of IPN’s project “100 years of USSR and 31 years without USSR: Nostalgia for Chimeras”, which is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.