Strategic Rise and the Future of Balance.. 6 Books to Understand Russia’s War on Ukraine | culture

After the outbreak of the Russian war on Ukraine on February 24, 2022, readers were keen to learn about the background of the conflict and understand more about the culture of the two countries and the ties that unite them. The conflict is between two countries that, until recently, were bound by ties of history, geography and culture.

“Russian Civilization: Meaning and Fate” by Dr. Sohail Farah

In his book “Russian Civilization: Meaning and Destiny”, the academic and philosophy specialist Sohail Farah seeks to clarify the nature and characteristics of this civilization.

This Russian-Lebanese author takes a panoramic, sociocultural and anthropological view, to study the influence of the tyranny of the place on the Russian movement in the world of this world, and on its eternal yearning for spirituality.

The writer evaluates the system of values ​​that the Russians carried in their history, and tries to study the experiences and conquests made by the Russian generations in the Eurasian field. It also highlights the cultural, scientific and spiritual legacy left by the Russian peoples throughout history in their victories and stumbles, and indicates that the Russian mentality continued to fluctuate between its eastern Christian and pagan heritage, and the waves of Western rationality, until it entered with the socialist revolution in 1917 a new era It is predominantly political in nature.

And this era, which lasted for 70 years, collapsed with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. It is clear that in every era, the ruler was based on one idea that his historical choice was the best, and thus tried to imprint the mentality of the people in his character, this was the case with Ivan the Terrible, Prince of Moscow The Great and All-Russian Tsar (1530-1584) and Peter the Great, who ruled Russia from 1682 to succeed Tsar Feder III until his death in 1725 AD, as well as with Joseph Stalin, who ruled the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1952, all the way to Vladimir Putin, who He served as president as of 2000.

The author stresses that the Russian people did not enjoy under their rulers any material prosperity or psychological and life stability, and that the Russian self, under the rule of some leaders, was tormented, oppressed.

“The Russian Federation: And the Future of Global Strategic Balance” by Inad Kazem Hussein Al-Naeli

The author Enad Al-Naeli: The international political system whose interactions during the Cold War were managed by the United States and the Soviet Union (Al-Jazeera)

In his book, the author traces the shape of the international political system through different stages of time, and sees that it became multipolar before and after World War I (1914-1918), and then bipolar after World War II (1939-1945). During the period of the Cold War (1955-1991 AD), its interactions became run by two great countries, the United States and the Soviet Union, and then turned into a unipolar system after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The writer says that although the United States remains the first power in the international system, the signs of decline seemed clear, especially after the arrival of President Barack Obama to the White House (2009-2017 AD), and this is what prompted the Russian Federation to develop its policy within the framework of achieving an appropriate position in the system. International.

The author points out that Russia’s military, economic and political capabilities will reshape the global strategic balance through which the Russian Federation is trying to be the country equivalent to the American role.

“The strategic rise of the Russian Federation: and its impact on international balances (1991-2015)” by Abdullah Ali Al-Malik Al-Sabah

In this book, the author reviews the strategic rise of the Russian Federation and its impact on international balances, and stresses that the processes of international conflict and the Russian rise contributed to the “restoration” of the Crimea.

The author explains that the Russian Federation witnessed two ups and downs in the 19th and 20th centuries that a major country in the history of international relations had not witnessed.

He points out that the Russian Federation was the cradle of the Tsarist and then the Soviet empire, and mentions that the Russian Federation during the era of Putin has become in a state of strategic ascendancy, and this can be seen – according to the book – in the new Russian alliances and the rise of its role in the Middle East.

The author concludes that there are 4 scenarios for the future of Russia, in light of its internal system, which are: a totalitarian regime that leads to stagnation in the Russian political system, or a highly authoritarian regime that pushes towards a process of unequal balance with the West, or a split within the ruling political elite, and the last option is A trend sweeping Russia from Western liberalism leads to integration or rapprochement with the West.

“Putin’s Russia” .. by Lilia Shevtsova

casing"Putin's Russia".. by Lilia Shevtsova
The book “Putin’s Russia” by the Academy of American Universities Lilia Shevtsova, born in Soviet Ukraine (Al-Jazeera)

Putin’s Russia is the first comprehensive description of Russia’s turbulent transformation process and its relationship with the West. And its author, Lilia Shevtsova, an important member of the Russia-European Program of the Carnegie Endowment, says: Russia’s new leader, Putin (born 1952), has become a symbol of an astonishing mixture of continuity and change.

For a section of the Russian people, Putin embodies a link with the past of former President Boris Yeltsin (1931-2007 AD), while for the other he represented a sharp break from that past.

The author points out by saying: It is no secret to any observer of recent developments in Russia that Putin’s embodiment of power in his person was the main reason behind endemic corruption, and the emergence of influential groups with special interests that stood in the way of achieving further reforms.

The author says that the events of 2004 (the Beslan school hostage crisis) proved that Russia’s calm appearance is deceptive, and stresses that there are many questions still accumulating: How will Putin be able to combine his dictatorial methods with economic liberalism? How viable is the Russian political system? Will Russia move toward dictatorship, or will Putin – or any other power – try to stop this process?

“The chancellor.. Angela Merkel’s epic career” by Katie Marton

Chancellor's cover;  Angela Merkel's epic career
Hungarian-American Marton: The period in which Hitler and Stalin took over the reins of power took more lives in Ukraine than anywhere else (Al-Jazeera)

Katie Marton says that Ukraine, the second largest country in Europe, has always been a victim of geography. German Chancellor Adolf Hitler (1889-1945 AD) and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin sought to subjugate this part of the continent, exploiting its fertile lands rich in natural resources and iron, Natural gas, and oil.

Ukraine is strategically located to the east and west. The writer shows that in the period in which both Hitler and Stalin took over the reins of power, more lives were lost in Ukraine than anywhere else in the world.

The author believes that the enmity between Merkel and Putin has historical roots, as the latter was a Soviet intelligence officer in Dresden, the second largest city in East Germany, which was characterized by being a brilliant center for arts and music, in addition to being a recruiting area for Russian intelligence agents.

She adds that Putin did not share Merkel’s joy after the fall of the Berlin Wall, while Lyudmila, his wife at the time, said, “We had a terrible feeling that the country that almost became our homeland will soon vanish.”

According to the writer, that city was the headquarters of Lieutenant-Colonel Putin, who succeeded in spying on the Germans in the eastern and western sections and quickly mastered German, and confirms that one of Putin’s most important tasks at the time was to recruit scientists and businessmen from major companies, as he met those he sought to recruit in a bar or Tor was a frequent visitor, which was characterized by its dim lighting, and is located in the center of Dresden near the Bellevue Hotel, which is run by the Stasi (the former East German intelligence service).

And remember that on December 5, 1989, one month after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Lieutenant-Colonel Putin came out angry from the three-storey villa, located in the Angelica Strassa 4 neighborhood, the headquarters of the Soviet intelligence in Dresden, Putin prepared to face the worst case when he found He was alone and without support in front of the masses of Germans against the Russian presence in Germany. She added: Putin began destroying hundreds of Russian intelligence documents and classified files in a small wood-burning stove.

And she continues, “A few months later, with the advent of the year 1990 – the year that witnessed the birth of the political Angela Merkel – Putin fled from Dresden with his two daughters in a used Trabant car, and took with him a used washing machine dating back 20 years ago, and he said bitterly: The Soviets dropped all Something simply and left.

Eurasian Russia: The Time of President Vladimir Putin, by Dr. Waseem Kalajia

In the book “Eurasian Russia”, the author seeks to explore the depths of the recent period of Russia’s recent history, its role and place in our contemporary world. It is located on a vast plain and is the third largest country in the former Soviet Union.

The author notes that Ukraine is an industrial country and an exporter of civil and military technological equipment, with a population of 52 million, according to 2014 indicators, and more than 40% of the population of Russian origin. He says that Ukraine is a sister country to the Russian Federation by ethnic and sectarian standards. For centuries, it has remained a cornerstone of the Orthodox Slavic power, and has been integrated into the Russian Empire since the 17th century. The writer points out that there are several similarities between the reality of the Ukrainian East and the reality in Belarus, which derives from its past with the rest of the Russians (the populations of Ukraine and Russia Federal) belonging to the Slavic-Byzantine Cultural Circle.

The writer believes that Russia’s loss of Ukraine, in short, is not only geopolitical, but rather a loss of part of history, memory and components of Russian identity.

He reviewed the importance of Ukraine for Russia and Europe by saying, “Ukraine is no less important from the point of view of the European Union, it is the largest country outside the European Union, and has always been considered the edge of the European East and the end of the West of the continent. Thus, the Russian Federation, without Ukraine, does not constitute a Eurasian empire.”

As for the importance of Ukraine for Europe, according to the author, it stems from the fact that it is considered as the dividing wall between the Russian Federation and Eastern Europe. After Poland, Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2004, Ukraine became a neighbor of great importance to the European Union. On the one hand, it is considered a bridge Between Europe and the Russian Federation, on the other hand, it is a buffer zone between them.

The author concludes that if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its large population, large resources, and presence on the Black Sea, then the Russian Federation will automatically restore its wealth to become a powerful imperial state, extending across Europe and Asia. a formidable power over Central Europe, turning Poland into a geostrategic pivot on the eastern frontier of a united Europe.