The Western world’s threat narrative seeks to disrupt the concept of multipolarity by imposing sanctions and military deterrence.
On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech at the Federal Assembly, which received significant attention, particularly from Western media, as the first anniversary of the Ukrainian war approached.
Although Western analysts anticipated an aggressive tone from Putin’s speech, it did not materialize. Their expectation was primarily that Putin would make statements about “shifting gears” in Ukraine and declaring the beginning of a new phase in the operation.
However, Putin’s speech focused more on domestic issues in Russia. He recalled how the Soviet economy faced difficulties in its final days, stating that the Soviet Union began creating a market economy, similar to that of Western countries, but the result was the Russian economy becoming “dependent on the West as a source of raw materials.”
While these are well-known facts following the collapse of the Soviet Union, what made this repetition significant was that it was directly declared by the President of Russia during a time of war. In the same speech, Putin’s use of the phrase “ordinary Russians did not feel sorry for those who lost their yachts and palaces abroad” in reference to oligarchs, was also significant and complementary in this regard.
Regarding the war, Putin’s speech had an ideological tone rather than military, contrary to expectations. In a more clichéd expression, Putin explained how he viewed the “big picture.
Putin openly declared that the war with Ukraine was not only fought against Ukraine but also against the “masters of the Kiev administration,” and that Russia defended not only its interests but also the principle that the world should not be divided into “civilized countries and others,” stating that “Western elites have turned into a society of unprincipled lies.”
The decision to freeze Russia’s participation in the START agreements was undoubtedly one of the most critical issues addressed in the speech. Putin’s remarks preceding this decision indicate that it was made from a historical perspective: “There was a time when the USSR and the USA did not view each other as enemies. That time has passed. Our relations have deteriorated, thanks to the USA’s desire to build a world order based on its model and with only one master.”
The local and regional crises since the USSR’s collapse and the Maydan coup in 2014, which has escalated into violent conflicts, are significant indications that Russia is on the brink of a political and economic transformation. Although the Russian leadership is unlikely to return to a “Soviet model” as feared by the West, this transformation will not only impact Russia but also the emerging new world outside the so-called “Collective West” (US/EU, NATO).
This transformation has already been named: Multipolarity.
Following Putin’s speech, the visit of Wang Yi, the head of the Foreign Affairs Commission Office of the CCP Central Committee, to Russia can be considered as the first handshake of this new era.
As expected, the meeting between Wang and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov conveyed the message that “China and Russia are moving forward confidently towards a multipolar world formation.” During his meeting with Putin, Wang also noted that China-Russia relations are “resisting pressure from the international community and progressing steadily.”
For almost a century, the intellectual circles and policymakers of the West have associated all their theses on the region with first the Soviet and then the “Russian threat”. Because the Russian threat is essential for the consolidation of Europe and the existence of NATO and media design for the Collective West.
With this awareness, Putin said the following not only last year, in 2014, but also exactly 16 years ago in his famous speech in Munich:
“I think it is clear that NATO expansion has no relation to the modernization of the Alliance itself or to ensuring security in Europe. On the contrary, it represents a serious provocation that reduces mutual trust. And we have the right to ask: against whom is this expansion intended?”
The answer to Putin’s question was clear, and all the developments of the last 16 years have confirmed it. However, the fundamental perception of the Western public, including Turkey, is that NATO’s expansion and the aid to Ukraine started after the February 2022 attack by Russia.
The Western media had predicted a similar outcome for China’s expected peace proposal. However, unlike the doomsday scenario painted by Western media, China’s peace proposals included rational and practical solutions:
Putting an end to the Western sanctions on Russia, avoiding the use of nuclear weapons, establishing humanitarian aid corridors for civilians, and keeping the grain corridor open.
Regardless of China’s “centralistic” stance, the Western media has echoed the same concerns about China’s alleged military and economic aid to Russia.
Although these analyses may point to specific “threats,” they could also be considered the West’s ’wishes.’ Despite their messages of peace, the Western elites are not afraid of escalation; on the contrary, they seem to want it. This has become the main intellectual preoccupation of the Western ruling classes as the “Russian invasion” narrative.
The threat narrative is designed to undermine the idea of multipolarity, which is being led by Russia and China, through sanctions and military deterrence.
Simultaneously, as the sanctions against Russia backfire on the European economy, the perception of “Russian involvement” is being used to destabilize the socio-economic concerns of the European people, who are becoming an increasingly organized force. This tactic has been frequently employed by Europe, as evidenced by the theories about the Yellow Vest Movement in France, which emerged long before the Ukrainian conflict, suggesting that “Russians are leading the movement.”
Furthermore, the threat is being exploited to propagate the notion that the far right, which has gained strength by taking an “extra-systemic” position amidst crises like the migrant crisis and economic recession, is being “strengthened by Russian support.” By latching onto the “Russian outbreak,” the West is deflecting crises caused by its own policies.
These crises include the global economic crisis of 2008, the Arab Spring of 2011 and the resulting migration movements, the 2014 Ukraine Maidan Coup, the Brexit, and the COVID-19 pandemic that began on December 31, 2020.
The Western world’s threat narrative seeks to disrupt the concept of multipolarity, led by Russia and China, by imposing sanctions and military deterrence. These sanctions, which have hit the European economy like a boomerang, are being used to destabilize the socio-economic concerns of the European people with the perception of “Russian involvement.” This method has been frequently used in Europe, as seen with the theories about the Yellow Vests Movement in France.
Furthermore, the far-right, which has gained strength due to crises such as the migrant crisis and economic recession, is being portrayed as “strengthened by Russian support” through propaganda. The West deflects even the crises caused by its own policies by attaching them to the “Russian outbreak,” including the global economic crisis in 2008, the Arab Spring, the Ukraine Maidan Coup, Brexit, and the COVID-19 epidemic.
While this situation strengthens the demand for security, stability, and prosperity among the peoples of Europe, the potential left-wing centers that could have addressed these demands have been liquidated since the Cold War. The far right has been maintaining and increasing its mainstream position in European politics for years, as evidenced by the rise of far-right parties in Italy, Sweden, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
As a result of this erosion, those who are showcased in the name of the left in the USA and Europe are now positioned against “Authoritarian Russia.” In summary, the immigration wave, economic crises, and far-right tendencies in Europe are basically the result of the Collective West’s actions, of which Europe is also a part. However, the Western media focuses on the “Russian threat.”
The aim of prohibiting or restricting Russian and Chinese media under the guise of “freedom of the press” and accusing them of disinformation and propaganda is to solidify the “Russian threat” narrative. The “Free West” continues to silence alternative voices.
We should recall the US media campaigns against the Soviets in the past and their current operations against Russia in Europe through the US Global Media Agency (USAGM). Organizations such as Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) (formerly Radio for the Liberation of Bolshevism) have been established directly by the CIA, using Nazis, and have expanded to include countries like Cuba and China. However, it is Russian and Chinese media organizations that have been banned, restricted, and labeled as sources of disinformation.
In summary, all these events are connected to the disintegration of the Soviet Union and, even earlier, to imperialism’s attempts to use Ukraine as a base against the USSR/Russia in the last century.
As a result, Ukraine has been turned into a stronghold of czarist supporters during the October Revolution, Nazism during World War II, and extreme right and neo-Nazism after the Maidan coup.
The competition between those advocating complete surrender to the West and those seeking friendship with Russia began in post-Soviet Ukraine and culminated in the victory of the former with the Maidan coup in 2014.
This is the underlying reason for the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine, which is now in its ninth year, with the Russian operation merely ushering in a new phase. The fact that the crisis took on an international dimension was only a matter of time.
It is evident that this longstanding conflict aligns with the picture that Putin drew in his speech. The war’s participants are following a well-defined course.
Even Ukrainian leader Zelensky, in his motivational speech on the war’s first anniversary, highlighted Western weapons such as “Himars, Patriot, Abrams, IRIS-T, Challenger, NASAMS, Leopard” as proof of his country’s resistance unifying the world. However, the new world order extends far beyond the West.
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One thought on “The West’s Narrative of the ‘Russian Threat’: A Tool for Destabilization and Hegemonic Control”
Never read a better analysis of the overarching ideological framework governing the evolving geopolitics around Ukraine. Kudos also to Erkin for quoting Putin’s incisive understanding of Russia’s protracted struggle with what he terms as the “Collective West” that he has consistently been upholding over the last 16 years ; only that others couldn’t follow what he has been saying all along until Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine last year ! Clearly the West is unsuccessfully trying to contain the emerging multi-polarity, which Russia and China are responsibly championing, by even trying to mislabel it as an unstable bipolarity. If this was so, how would the West explain the emergent vibrant multinational entities such as SCO, BRICS, OBOR etc. doing exceedingly well despite all sorts of hindrances and West-hatched sanctions. At least half a dozen other poles, dominating different sectors and realms, can be discerned with Russia and China merely facilitating their healthy emergence in the interest of reviving and salvaging humanity from gradually slipping into the Western dug abyss !