Staunton, April 6 – Aleksandr Dugin, who appears to be increasingly influential in Kremlin circles, says that Moscow views Baku’s UN vote on Ukraine a “an unfriendly act,” that “the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is in Moscow’s hands,” and that “an Azerbaijan hostile to Russia will instantly cease its existence.”
Dugin, who describes himself as a Eurasianist but who has been classified as a fascist by many Western experts, added that Moscow is carefully watching who supports it on Crimea and who does not and that “we shall see who are our friends and who are our enemies” and act accordingly.
Like Vladimir Zhirinovsky with whom he is sometimes paired because his statements are often outrageous but reflect, if one strips them of their adjectives and adverbs, the direction the Kremlin under Vladimir Putin is going, Dugin makes it clear that no country in the post-Soviet space, or perhaps even beyond, is safe.
He says that “the only guarantee of the territorial integrity of all the post-Soviet states is Russia itself. If Russia does not want to be a guarantor of the territorial integrity of these states, then their territorial integrity will be violated … In a confrontation with Moscow, not one post-Soviet state will exist in its current borders.”
“For the time being,” Dugin adds, “Russia supports the juridical demands of Azerbaijan on Karabakh.” But if Baku opposes Moscow, that could change, and the situation could end in ways Azerbaijan would not like.
Dugin, 52 and the son of a GRU lieutenant general, has been a feature of the extreme right of the Russian political spectrum since 1980. In fact, he first attracted attention as a member of the semi-fascist occult circle, the ‘Black Order of the SS’ in 1980. Then, in the late 1980s, he became a member of the far right anti-Semitic Pamyat group.
From 1993 to 1998, he was an ideologist for the National Bolshevik Party of Eduard Limonov, ten served as an advisor to Duma head Gennady Seleznev, and as president of the Center for the Expert-Consulting Council for Problems of National Security in the office of the chairman of the State Duma.
In 2001, he re-invented himself as head of the Eurasian movement, and since 2008, he has been an unofficial advisor and ideologist of Putin’s United Russia Party, the result of his evolution from his earlier anti-Soviet and anti-communist views to his current brand of Russian nationalism and imperialism.
Azerbaijani commentator Zafar Guliyev provides a checklist of some of Dugin’s more outrageous positions, views that Guliyev accurately describes as being informed by “totalitarianism of a fascist kind” and that reflect Dugin’s commitment to a highly authoritarian political system in Russia and support for Russian imperialism abroad.
Among these are:
- “We have come to proclaim the era of the Great Cleansing. Our goals is to establish a new army, the army of Eurasia.”
- “Our goal is a Eurasian Empire.”
- “Our ethics are based on the proposition that death is better than shame. If you cannot be strong, it is better that you not exist at all.”
- “The country needs new people … Joyful and pitiless.”
- “It is completely incorrect to call fascism an ‘extreme right’ ideology. This phenomenon is more accurately characterized by the paradoxical formulation, ‘Conservative Revolution,’” a phrase Putin’s propagandists have often used.
- “Russia has many shortcomings and problems, corruption is very strong, and there is a moral collapse, but in comparison with Europe, we are living in a golden age.”
- “An important aspect of the Eurasian worldview is an absolute denial of Western civilization. In the opinion of the Eurasians, the West with its ideology of liberalism is an absolute evil.”
“The Russian Ivan as an individual is nothing, but the most Russian thing in him is everything. The idea is everything, the stage is everything, but the individual is nothing.”
- “In the society which Russia needs there must not be representative democracy, a market economy … or the idiotic, anti-natural, and perverted ideology of human rights.” They must be gotten rid of.
Having provided these quotations from Dugin’s writings, Guliyev notes that these “paranoid neo-fascist plans” are not those of some marginal figure but rather of an individual who has “already found a real response in the Kremlin, in Russia itself, and even among some beyond its borders.”
To some, he says, such plans must seem “completely absurd;” but then he asks, is it not that case that “out of such absurdities arose the world wars [of the past]?” And Guliyev suggests that everyone should remember that initially, many in the 1930s dismissed fascism as a marginal phenomenon. “And then what happened?”