Virgiliu Pâslariuc: Ukrainians do not want to be part of Russian imperial idea

“The USSR disappeared not because it ran out of funds, but because it remained without words, which is that ideological support that ensures the perpetuation of an empire by building a connection between the center and the peripheries, Doctor of History Virgiliu Pâslariuc, MP of the Party of Action and Solidarity, stated in a public debate hosted by IPN News Agency.

“The day of May 9 turned out to be the only idea that can be implemented to justify the imperial ambitions of Russia,” said the historian. As to the failures of the USSS, he said the center collapsed from economic viewpoint, while the military aspect remained only virtual. Now Putin tries to revive the past and create a nice past for Russia, but has no prospects and no future project.

The speaker noted that Russia has always been a very good student of the West. It borrowed its models and created things that reached the peaks of the European values. “Let’s remember the Russian culture that is European in essence. Tchaikovsky, Glinka created exceptional music in a European style. The same is true about literature, technologies. Technologies were imported also during the Tsarist period and during the Soviet period. The “great spurt” was implemented with support from American specialists,” stated Virgiliu Pâslariuc.

But the results achieved by connection to the West are history now. The question is, what Russia remains with? Russia’s economy now accounts for about 2 percent of the world economy.

The historian projected Russia’s invasion of Ukraine onto the ideological realities of the Soviet empire, when the USSR, Ukraine and Belarus were full-fledged members of UN. “In the Soviet Union, Ukraine was incorporated into the “Soviet” imperial idea. It was on equal terms with Russia. In the tsarist period, the nucleus of the empire consisted of Velikorusia (Great Russia), Malorusia (Little Russia) and Belorussia, but in the USSR they followed the Leninist idea implemented by Stalin – to “cement” it not on the vertical, but on the horizontal...Now Putin wants to return to the idea of the vertical of power and he realizes that Russia cannot be an empire without Ukraine”.

“But it is one thing to conquer space and it is another thing to gain the population’s loyalty. In this regard, the Ukrainians see things differently. Russia looks at the Ukrainians as at a component part, while the Ukrainians consider they are a nation and this does not suit their opponents. Everything, including the maidan, started because the Ukrainians wanted to follow a different path. And the big challenge came – Crimea, Donbas. We are now witnesses to the climax of the confrontation. Everything depends on the resources that the parties will manage to employ,” concluded Virgiliu Pâslariuc.

The public debate entitled “Why did all empires of the world disappear, why didn’t any of them revive?” was the 248th installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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