Putin’s foreign policy document is ethnic irredentism.

“While presented as a kind of soft power strategy, it enshrines in official policy ideas around Russian politics and religion that some hardliners have used to justify Moscow’s occupation of parts of Ukraine and support for breakaway pro-Russian entities in the east of the country.

“The Russian Federation provides support to its compatriots living abroad in the fulfilment of their rights, to ensure the protection of their interests and the preservation of their Russian cultural identity,” the policy said.

It said that Russia’s ties with its compatriots abroad allowed it to “strengthen on the international stage its image as a democratic country striving for the creating of a multi-polar world.”

Putin has for years been highlighting what he sees as the tragic fate of some 25 million ethnic Russians who found themselves living outside Russia in newly independent states when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, an event he has called a geopolitical catastrophe.”

Comment: Germany lived this kind of policy; the Sudetenland, the Rhineland, Austria, etc. This is a recipe for endless aggression against the Stans, the Baltics, Ukraine, Poland and on and on. This document is the best possible justification for the renewal of enthusiasm for NATO in the east.

Canada is full of the ethnic brethren of the US. Should we think about the liberation of some or all of them?


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22 Responses to Putin’s foreign policy document is ethnic irredentism.

  1. longmire says:

    If I had to bet on who had a higher pain tolerance, the Russians or the West Europeans, I’d bet on the Russians.

    This die was cast a long time ago….



    • blue peacock says:

      This was inevitable. Europe outsourced energy supply to the Russians and killed their own supply by shutting down nuclear. This was done through a coalition of both conservative and green political forces. Germany being a prime example. Merkel’s Conservative Christian party aligned with the Green party to bring them to this situation aided by former chancellor Schroeder who cashed out personally being on the board of Gazprom. They laughed at Trump when he pointed out their dependence on Russian energy.

      Now they’ll bailout. The same bailout money could have been spent over the decades to build more energy resilience. This is a short term problem which will get rectified. In the medium to longer term the Russians will be losing high price paying European customers for their oil & gas and will become more reliant on lower paying Chinese.

      As far as pain threshold – Russians are losing their youth in the meatgrinder with no end in sight. The Europeans are not with the exception of the Ukrainians who at least can argue they are doing it for their national identity. The European politicians have to of course contend with the fact that their people will rightly be pissed off at their asinine energy policies over the past couple decades. That is positive for their energy policies going forward. This could turn out to be positive for Europe as their people may recognize that their Green utopia may not be what they really want.

      • TTG says:

        blue peacock,

        Germany always got a lot more of their energy from coal than they did from nuclear. Coal is still more important than gas. Even wind and solar provide a lot more energy than gas.

        • blue peacock says:


          Gas is mostly used for peakers and heat. Coal & nuclear for base load. Solar & wind providing intermittent supply of electricity.

          The issue is taking out supply capacity by removing coal & nuclear baseload. If they had replaced all their coal baseload with nuclear by constructing more generation plants, they wouldn’t be in this predicament. They would have still achieved their carbon reduction goals.

          In a way it is a good lesson. The question is will voters learn? Or will social issues continue to override economics?

    • Sam says:

      Blaming the US for the woke energy policies of Europe doesn’t make any sense. Europe is where it is because they shutdown their own energy supply to become dependent on Russian energy. The US or at least Trump did counsel them on the risks they were taking.

      California’s grid operator has just issued a level 2 energy emergency alert, upgrading from level 1 issued earlier. @California_ISO is now advising Californias to “be ready for potential rotating power outages” this evening as electricity demand may hit all time high.

      California’s situation has nothing to do with the Russia-Ukraine war. It has everything to do with woke politicians elected by woke voters.

  2. Jovan P says:

    If the Russians in the former Soviet states were treated as every other citizen, then I would see this as a justification for endless aggression.

    But if the Baltic states tear down all Soviet monuments, prescribe names to be given to Russian speaking people, banish the Russian language, enact laws which grant citizenship to descendants of ,,ethnic” Baltic people living somewhere in New Zealand and refuse to give citizenship to Russian speaking people living in their country over 50 years, then what should the Russians do?

    E.g. in 2014 the Ukrainian nationalists burned and murdered around 40 pro Russian Ukrainians in Odessa’s Union building. Nobody was held accountable.

    • TTG says:

      The Baltics don’t refuse to give citizenship to ethnic Russians. Many are citizens of those countries with full voting rights. There are still ethnic Russians from the Soviet era that refuse to become citizens of those Baltic nations. They don’t have Russian citizenship either. They are essentially stateless.

    • Bill Roche says:

      If you want to talk about Baltic mistreatment of ethnic Russians who continue to live in E/L/L then be aware that there are many Russians living nearby who travel into the Baltics but are offended by them. Offended, why? Because they cant use Russian rubles, they have to show their passports, signs and official paperwork are not in Russian, some E/L/L refuse to speak Russian (and how many Russians ever bothered to learn Latvian?) and they have to pass through local customs to rtn to Russia. They are offended by the existence of the Baltic states. Many Russians continue to regard the Baltic states and Finland as little Russians. The Finns and Balts don’t. This is more than irredentism. It is Russia’s centuries old refusal to accept their neighbors as sovereign states. Ukraine, in the summer of ’91, had the audacity to declare as a free people w/o the protection of NATO. Russia “knew” it would deny Ukrainians true sovereignty. All that was unsure was “when”. When the events of 2014 made it clear to Putin that bullying wouldn’t do, war was necessary to reduce the obstinate Ukrainian before the Russian. Call it irredentism, hegemony, or downright imperialism, it is a bad feature of the Russian personality.

      • Jovan P says:


        the mindset of some Russian who is offended by foreign languages in the Balts, or their money, local customs or whatever is the problem of that Russian.

        But the treatment of ethnic Russians as second-class citizens is a problem of the Baltic states.

      • Richard Ong says:

        What campaign of “bullying” in Ukraine did Russia engage in that was proved a failure to Putin?

        And if I understand your thinking it took eight years before the Russian personality got around to implementing its characteristic “irredentism, hegemony, or downright imperialism.”

        What has actually been seen since is eight years of the AFU shelling of the Donbas region with reportedly 14,000 civilian deaths. And counting. Oh, THAT!

        Then there was the clamor for Ukraine to join the ever-expanding NATO, presumably to soon provide a new home for cruise missiles and ABM radar to protect Europe against the ballistic missile threat from “Iran.” Apparently, the plan was for the Russians to swallow this like complete rubes.

        Personally, I don’t see the signature Russian irredentism, hegemony, or downright imperialism at work here. They have been consistent in their support for some kind of autonomy for the DPR and LPR and, of course, it’s a Known Fact that the Ukrainian government’s writ would run to the Russians border and the tip of Crimea to this very day had Nudelman not dabbled in the now-signature American regime change fatuity in 2014, preceded and followed by a vigorous presence of US and UK military personnel instructing the AFU and its nutcase auxiliaries in the latest, tip top NATO procedures, techniques, and how-tos. Suspiciously resembling something along the lines of eventual integration if you catch my drift.

        El jefe in the country just to the east at some point asked out loud against whom is all this NATO expansion directed exactly, which I thought was a fair question, though that’s just me.

        So entirely absent from all of this entirely was the slightest, the most minisculist evidence of any Russian intent to grab, take, or snatch any Ukrainian territory. The status of Crimea is sui generis and events there are well known but even so STILL they only followed the genius US machinations of 2014.

        Presently, the SMO still does not evidence a far-reaching Russian intention to quote acquire territory unquote. Even after incorporating Crimea they made NO move to do the same with the DPR and LPR.

        • Bill Roche says:

          RO: Ukrainian Russian history d/n begin in 2014. Ukraine tried in 1900 to seek independence from Austria and Russia. Ukraine tried again after 1917 to seek independence from Russia. It tried again from 1917 until 1922, and continued to fight for independence from Russia through 1952. Upon the collapse of the S.U. in 1991, Ukraine declared freedom from Russia. This all happened B/F 2014. If you don’t know the bullying Moscow asserted on Kiev from ’91 until ’14 you were not watching, or you were ignoring, or you took a Russian position. I would bet a billion Rubles that every Ukrainian knew that sometime down the road from ’91, Russia would move to crush Ukrainian sovereignty. This war is simple to understand. Ukrainians want independence and Russian say no! Are you surprised that Finland, E/L/L Poland, and Slovakia understand this so clearly but other nations further west d/n? Here’s the answer, Russia doesn’t threaten them. You see no Russian imperialism b/c you don’t want to. Here is a reaction to imperialism for you to consider. After the fall of the S.U. every Balt and Slav on Russia’s western border turned whatever arms they had east. They fear Russia. There must be a reason for that??

          • Richard Ong says:

            Your history of Ukraine before 1991 is irrelevant. It got its wish to be a sovereign nation after 1991 and for 31 years Russia did not contest or interfere with that. As I said, correctly, but for the outrageous (and never-ending) US regime-change meddling in 2014 — “Yats is our guy” — Ukraine would be intact and would control even Crimea even now. Right now.

            You speak of Russian bullying but provide only an irrelevant account of the ups and downs of its earlier history, every bit as confusing as that of any other shape-shifting “nation” or people affected by the momentous turbulence of the entire region. Historical maps of the entire region resemble a fireworks display or or shifting kaleidoscope image. But, wait, Russian attitudes toward Untermenschen!

            Not to mention that for most of the 20th c. “Russia” actually was “the USSR” which was sui generis and, however malevolent and abberational it was, it too dealt with the odd circumstances pertaining in the aftermath of WWII from which it emerged with horrible damages.

            Your evidence of the Russian idea of Untermenschen is anecdotal and such attitudes are nowhere to be discerned in or inferred from anything Putin or Lavrov have said. Quite the contrary.

            If you want to talk about bullying in Ukraine talk about Ukrainian hostility to Russian speakers, the Odessa massacre, and the shelling of Donbass civilians. But, no, you want to talk about 20th c. Ukrainian yearnings.

  3. Christian Chuba says:

    Canada was never part of the U.S. It would be more like our S.W. border states becoming a separate country because of the large number of non-U.S. citizens and then disenfranchizing U.S. citizens. It would create a class of people who are stateless. This is the situation in the former Soviet republics. In Latvia Russians were not allowed to vote.

    Putin always talks about the former Republics. Poland is not on that list. Of course, eastern Europe should be concerned about their security. All nations should.

    • TTG says:

      Christian Chuba,

      Ethnic Russians who become Latvian citizens can vote in Latvian elections. Those who don’t want Latvian citizenship, can’t vote.

  4. Barbara Ann says:

    Thanks for bringing this decree to our attention Colonel, I think it is important.

    At the risk of presenting a contrarian view I followed Patrick Armstrong’s sage advice in ignoring what the West writes about Putin and reading what he himself writes – for there is surely little doubt that Putin is the author of this decree. I would recommend those interested read at least as far as point 30 in the 117 point document and ask themselves why their national leaders have not issued similar decrees championing their own national culture.

    It doesn’t read as an irredentist policy to me, rather a policy to protect and defend Russian culture against the culture-destroying progressivism of the globalists which threatens to engulf us all. It stresses the multiethnic nature of Russian culture (c.c. the ‘multiculturalism’ of the West which IMO is nothing short of anti-culturalism) and mutual respect for other national cultures, within Russia.

    The first principal of the Russian Federation’s humanitarian policy abroad includes “..the promotion of traditional spiritual and moral values”. It talks about countering “..the aggressive implantation of neoliberal views by a number of states”. We are left to guess which, but I expect it includes the one whose current government calls conservative patriots an extreme threat to the country.

    But this is the clincher: “The Russian state abroad is increasingly perceived as the guardian and defender of traditional spiritual and moral values, the spiritual heritage of world civilization..“. And later: “Russian culture is the most important integral part of world culture” (my emphasis). What is this other than an announcement that Russia sees itself as the (indispensable) third Rome and defender of traditional moral values – and of civilization itself?

    Of course some of it jars with the SMO. For instance “Russia.. ..recognizes national and cultural identity..” But Putin has made clear he does not see what he perceives as a Ukraine hostage to the West as falling within the definition of a nation. On the other hand the following does not sound like a plan to march into the FSU countries in Europe: “It is necessary.. ..to promote the expansion of Russia’s cultural presence in the Central and Eastern European regions, taking into account the readiness of regional states to do so”.

    I do not think Russia’s cultural aspirations can be compared to the Third Reich’s, primarily as I do not read here any notion of the racial superiority that characterized the later. There is no pan-Slavism here either – the morpheme “Slav” appears just twice in point 96 in a pretty innocuous context. I would however expect those who persecute ethnic Russian “compatriots” in their own countries to be the targets of retribution. Yes this is R2P, but on paper at least there is no justification here for neocolonial or imperialist expansion.

    http://prezident.org/articles/ukaz-prezidenta-rf-611-ot-5-sentjabrja-2022-goda-05-09-2022.html (in Russian)

    • Pat Lang says:

      Barbara Ann
      We differ in our understanding of this document.

      • Barbara Ann says:


        Putin has demonstrated irredentist leanings elsewhere and I’d not disagree with your assessment that NATO would be wise to prepare for the worst. Actions, after all, speak louder than words.

    • Bill Roche says:

      B.A. You don’t understand the Russian mind. All Slavs/Balts/Finns b/l to mother, they are all inferior. They are precisely similar to the Third Reich’s “unter mensch”.

      • Barbara Ann says:


        Maybe I don’t but please point me at the literature which shows the Russians thinking of the Ukrainians & the rest as subhuman. One needs to be very careful with comparisons to Nazism and its uniquely horrifying attitude to non-Ayrians. Subordinate and inferior maybe, but untermenschen?

        • Bill Roche says:

          BA, this is not an attitude born of Russian literature. You will not find it in Russian art, dance, or music, however wonderful they are. It is not necessarily held by the educated Russian (although it may). I know of this attitude by speaking to Russian/American immigrants, some my own family, some not. I’m 76, I have detected it since childhood. It may be disguised, but the veneer is very thin. Cut beneath it and you will find “Russian Superiority”. It is reserved for other Slavs. Neighbors of Russia, I suspect, may recognize it.
          In the case of Ukraine the verdict is clear. Ukrainians do not exist as a separate people and Ukraine is not a separate country. All belong to Russia. Belong is not used casually. Putin really means “belong”. Although he has said this, I would bet the majority of Russians agree w/him. Belong, does not imply country man, or equal. Belong implies a man who is less.

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