In his famous article in Izvestia, Vladimir Putin spoke in favor of creating a single integration zone on the territory of the former USSR with the subsequent formation of a supranational Union.
This quite logically follows from many of his previous statements about the fate of the USSR.
It was Putin who was the first state figure in post-Soviet Russia who described the collapse of the USSR as a global geopolitical catastrophe. It was Putin who formulated the principle of its self-determination, fundamentally new for modern Russia: “We have preserved the core of the territory of the USSR and called it the“ Russian Federation ”.
If earlier, modern Russia was defined by official propaganda as “non-USSR” - something opposed to the USSR - then Putin fundamentally changed the interpretation to “preserved territory of the USSR”.
When drawing up documents on the Customs Union this summer, he referred to him as “the first real step towards reintegration in the territory of the USSR”.
In late August, at the bike show in Novorossiysk, dedicated to the reunification of disunited peoples - it was Putin, speaking from the cruiser with the significant name “Mikhail Kutuzov”, repeated the slogan of the Marines who held the bridgehead on the Little Land: “Movement is only ahead!” The media did not give This is of particular importance, but it was almost obvious that the slogan was not pronounced by chance.
And the continuation followed - in a programmatic article resembling the programmatic article “Russia at the Turn of the Millennium”, published on December 30 of 1999 of the year, one day before Yeltsin’s resignation and Putin’s entry into office and. about. President of Russia.
Then Putin wrote about the need for strong state power and the consolidation of society, economic policies aimed at fighting poverty, ensuring the growth of the welfare of the population, statehood, patriotism and justice.
Now - raised the question of the reunification of the country.
Some criticize this goal, declaring it “the restoration of the USSR”, that in their understanding is a deliberate evil. At the same time, it is stated that it is impossible to solve such a task.
Others also see the option of restoring the USSR, but since they relate to this differently, the goal itself is also positively assessed.
Putin stipulates that we are not talking about the restoration of the USSR. But the question, in any case, is the creation of a deeply integrated interstate union with supranational authorities.
One can argue whether this is a single state or not. But it is obvious that this can be nothing more than a single country.
How will the powers of the levels of government be related and how they will be called is a question of the next order.
The fact that the people support this is clear from the polls. In Russia, say, 62% regret the collapse of the USSR and would like to restore the Soviet socialist system. In Ukraine, 52% of citizens today are for returning to the USSR. In Tajikistan, in the middle of 90, two thirds of the population signed for reunification with Russia.
In Armenia, under Ter-Petrosyan, a law was passed banning a referendum on this topic, initiated by the Communist Party, which offered to answer whether citizens support joining the Union State with Russia. It was obvious to everyone: a referendum would give a positive result.
Even in Latvia among businessmen one can hear the words: "Latvia dreams of a Russian protectorate."
Of course, all the republics of the USSR are in a different situation and in different degrees are ready for active inclusion in the integration processes.
But two points are important here. First, the idea is based not only on a general and unconditional political and historical the need for reunification of the country, but also for the massive support of the majority of citizens of almost all republics. Second, it is not only beneficial for the republics, but also interesting and necessary for their business.
But as in a foreign one, which is explainable, so in the Russian press the idea of reintegration as a goal of Russian politics was met with a certain skepticism and criticism.
If we discard the principled ideological nationalists, we can distinguish three conditional groups that are unprofitable or undesirable for the reunification of the country.
The first is a certain part of the local republican elites. In the autumn of 91, it was they who played a key role in the dismantling of the USSR. And not even because they were his ideological opponents: they tried to defend themselves against the destructive policies waged in Moscow by Gorbachev and Yeltsin. The failure of the Emergency Committee confirmed them in the opinion that the forces and resources capable of stopping the catastrophe no longer exist in the Center. Local elites tried to protect themselves and their republics from the consequences of the return from Foros Gorbachev and the impending dictatorship of Yeltsin.
But, like the Russian republican government, they liked the idea of “dividing up the inheritance”, the prospect of being in the position of the highest rulers of the regions, not accountable to anyone. And having felt themselves as such, they quite predictably began to consider the power and the proclaimed sovereignty of their republics to be their most significant asset.
The advantages of sovereignty were felt not by ordinary people — they received the drawbacks of separation from a common country — but local elites and rulers. They got:
- economic resources: in one case - gas and oil, in the other - an attractive area for tourism, in the third - a drug trafficker;
- the power and the right to decide the fate of citizens without restrictions;
- independent access to world politics: from the pleasant opportunity to directly, personally meet with the leaders of the countries and speak under the international protocol in the highest status, to the opportunity to trade the fate of their country and thus sovereignty, which gave it the right.
Not to mention the possibility of taking loans, to enter into certain programs of cooperation, to receive financial support for certain aspects of their policies.
It is no longer the interest of the people, the nation, not a question of national sovereignty - it is a matter of private interests of political groups that parasitize on the power position of political groups. And naturally, they can lose a significant part of these benefits and resources during the reunification of the country.
It is obvious that practically none of these separatist elites have done anything better during the time of their separation than the life of the peoples of their states than they were twenty years ago.
But if not only citizens, but also the business of these republics are interested in reunification, and there is no political elite, then the interests of these elites contradict the interests of the nation, at least they cannot be considered national elites. Their upholding of what is declared “independence” cannot be considered as upholding the interests of the nation — it is only upholding a kind of “neo-feudal privilege”.
Even if only ordinary citizens would support reunification, and they would be opposed by the interests of business and the interests of the political class — that would be enough to prefer the interests of the majority of citizens. And the subjects of reunification and reintegration should not be considered the interests of the privileged minority, but the interests of the majority interested in the reunification. If the elites retain a real opportunity and themselves successfully fit into the new relations of the united country.
More importantly, under the conditions of support for reunification by the majority of the people, disagreement with the reunification of the elite or part of the elites cannot, in principle, be considered as a factor forcing them to reject reunification.
The second group, which is not interested in reunification and, of course, is focused on resisting it - those who adopted the self-name “liberals”. And those of them who in one way or another established themselves in the rest of the USSR republics (more in the West, less in the East) - and those that continue to exist in Russia.
They won the most after the disaster in the country twenty years ago. They received freedom, access to the media, support for Russia's political and economic rivals, and the possibility of lobbying for various financial and industrial groups (especially in the 90s).
Being considered liberals - and therefore, opponents of nationalism - they should support the reunification of the country, declaring themselves supporters of international integration and globalization, overcoming national isolation. But with certain exceptions, they are already speaking out and will be his critics.
The first reason is that if Putin and the Russian authorities succeed in achieving this goal, this will lead to an increase in their support in society and strengthen both domestically and in the world. But they do not need any success Putin. In 2000, Putin’s criticism for any reason became the profession of “liberals”. And what is more important - the representation of oneself in the West as defenders of democracy and the last stronghold on the path of “authoritarianism and Russian imperialism”. Their task is to frighten the world by Putin and earn political and other dividends in competing countries, creating the image of freedom fighters from themselves: “Restore the USSR! Russian imperialism is preparing to jump! ”
But there is one more important point that predetermines the unprofitability of the reunification of the country for them: they no longer feel like its citizens, they do not identify themselves with it. They have a different self-determination, due to the fact that in fact it is more comfortable and convenient for them to live in the West - or, at least, to have the opportunity to constantly go there.
But even living in Russia, they want to see her as a kind of continuation of the West. They need a protectorate regulated by Western standards, in which, if possible, they should play the role of EBSE commissars, looking from the West, in time informing him of all the problems that are being committed in Russia.
They do not need Russia to strengthen, they do not need its ability to be independent. A single integration space - and through it the reunification of the country - is for them the obligation to live by the norms of this, and not of that world. The reunification of the country is an obstacle in their personal integration into the system of other self-identification.
Formally, they are all citizens of Russia. But they are not its citizens in the actual civil, not the legal sense of the word. They are citizens, if not nationals - of other countries, of a different system. The countries and systems of your dreams.
For this type of people, the word "cosmopolitan" was used before. But this is wrong and unnecessarily complimentary. The classic cosmopolitan considered himself a citizen of the world, not identifying himself with any city, state, or ethnic group. These are not. They do not care where they live - they want to live where it is good, comfortable and rich.
They only say that they are citizens of the world. Their dream is to be citizens of the USA (England, France, Switzerland, etc.). They do not strive to be citizens of the world - they work out the right to citizenship in the countries - the masters of this world.
The reunification of a country is the consolidation of its position in competition with other countries - and its definite confrontation with them. And for people of this type - it is a violation of their usual comfort and the inevitability of choice. Which however, they have already done - and which they are unlikely to forgive the people and society.
The third and most unexpected group, focused on confronting the task of reintegrating the country, is the Communists. More precisely, a definite, not even nationalistic (everything is clear with this), - but an internationalist, leftist, but dogmatic part of them.
To a certain extent, this is unnatural: it was they who had not let us forget about the USSR for twenty years. It was they who carried his banner and made them shamefully hide their eyes and justify those who forgot what country he was born in. But today, when the idea, saved by them, begins to turn into the possible political will of Russia, they begin to fall into dogmatic resonance, arguing that this is not at all what they had in mind. Speaking for the USSR, they agree to reunite him and the country only if it is created solely according to their drawings: as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics proper. With socialism and the Soviet government of workers.
The problem is that these are different tasks, tasks of different stages.
If a person is a supporter of socialism and Soviet power, he must defend these goals and these ideals. But within the framework of the ideology he professed, this is usually called the tasks of the socialist revolution.
But in the same ideology there are the tasks of the democratic revolution - which include overcoming the fragmentation of the country, its reunification. What system should be in a reunited country is an important question. Very important. But to solve it - you need to have this union.
And these groups of communists, in fact, put the question this way: either the country will be socialist, or let it be fragmented.
This could be understood if they themselves were ready for real action to reunify the country and say: we do not need a single integration space. We ourselves have enough strength, resources and determination to restore our Soviet Union. But they do not. They hold the banner, which is more than worthy, and stand with him on the spot, without taking a step forward. And when someone takes this step forward, even without this banner, they go berserk.
They can be understood - they saved and saved this idea and this banner. But now they are intercepted from them and move on. They hurt. But they should be offended only on themselves that they could not take advantage of the almost universal support of this idea - and lead the people along.
And above all - because they generally remained in the world of words, not actions, they argued about programs for twenty years, and when someone tried to act according to the principle: “Every step of a real movement is more important than a dozen programs,” they could not even remember that these are the words of Marx.
Today, they argue that the reunification of the country not in the form of the USSR "will become a bourgeois collar around the neck of all peoples," and therefore today "the Communists do not want and cannot implement the reunification of a capitalist country."
The reunification of the country is a natural political and historical task. Like the one that the Spaniards decided during the Reconquista, the Italians Garibaldi in the times of Rissordimento, Abraham Lincoln and the unionists during the civil war for reunification, Germany under Bismarck.
For the peoples of the USSR, divided during the largest geopolitical catastrophe twenty years ago, this is the same as for any other peoples in history.
There will be a problem of reunification of the country at this stage or not - but the task is indicated. Those who do not want to solve it and will oppose it will not only oppose Putin. In this case, he expressed the desire of the majority of the country's citizens. They oppose the country. Oppose its people.