The war in Ukraine is being waged against Western values and in favor of a pan-Slavist Eurasian mythology based on Eastern mysticism and hostility to all things considered Western, such as the Vatican or homosexuality. It is an ideology which weaponizes the Orthodox religion as an arm of the Russian state.
The intrinsically racist concept of Russian domination assumes that there is a single ethnic, linguistic and cultural entity that stretches not only to all Russian-speaking and Slav peoples, such as Ukrainians and Belarusians, but also non-Slavic countries such as Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Armenia, Georgia, and Kazakhstan.
It is assumed that common interest requires Russia to control the sovereignty of these lands. Moscow effectively denies some of them, such as Ukraine, the right to be a separate nation with an independent state, a view which has been expressed by Putin himself.
The Moscow patriarch regards Moscow as the “third Rome” protecting Christianity against Western heresy. According to this vision, the confrontation with Ukraine and the West is part of the fight against the Antichrist — it is a vision which is complementary to Eurasian mysticism.
Some commentators have called this ideology Rushism, a Russian brand of fascism which is based on a feeling of moral superiority of the Russians over other nations, states, systems, and civilizations. The myth of the Great Patriotic War in which Russia saved the world against the German Third Reich is a central plank of this ideology. In this way, all opponents of Moscow automatically become “Nazis,” which explains how the central objective of the aggression in Ukraine becoming “denazification.”
It also explains the desperate search for any Nazi links in the past of Western countries now seeking to join NATO, and Sergey Lavrov’s absurd assertion that the greatest anti=Semites tend to be Jews, such as the Jew leading the Ukrainian states. As a part of this theory, he pointed to Hitler, who he alleges had some Jewish blood.
The philosopher Michail Epstein has called this “schiso-fascism,” in other words fascism dressed up as anti-fascism. But it is an ideology which has become accepted by millions of Russians who justify the war in Ukraine on the basis of their feeling of cultural superiority over Ukraine.
The disturbing novelty in this approach however is the way Russia has returned to seeing war as a means for realizing objectives. A rebirth of the Clausewitz doctrine that war is merely a continuation of diplomacy by other means. Moreover, justifying genocide as a means to an end.
This means that the West can no longer treat Russia in the way it has been treating it until now. It must take account of genocidal Rushism and deal with it.