Nytt

Yale-professor Timothy Snyder sier europeerne litt brennkvikt må forstå at krigen i Ukraina ikke handler om Ukraina. Den handler om Europa. Destabilisering av Europa er Putins mål, sier Snyder.

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EU må velge verdier fremfor penger, hvis det skal vinne over Putin, sier Snyder i et intervju med den litauiske avisen Delfi.

The main thing to remember is that Russia’s Ukraine policy is not really about Ukraine. It’s really about Europe. The attempt to destabilize Ukraine is part of a larger attempt to destabilize Europe.

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Russian policy is engaged in the project to try to weaken Europe by supporting anti-European political parties, by supporting separatism inside Europe just as it supports separatism in Ukraine. Trying to destroy the Ukrainian state is a way of demonstrating European weakness and humiliating European states. Recruiting individual nation states for energy projects is a way of weakening the European Union.

I don’t know how they all will turn out. I am personally hopeful that European leaders will understand all this as a challenge to an order which works very well for them and will take the opportunity to think through energy policy, to think through the future of Europe. I don’t know how it will turn out. It’s much easier to destroy things than to create things.

Putin forsøker å splitte og herske på mange fronter. Når Norge gir lisenser til en av oligarkene hans i Nordsjøen, lar man Putin få en fot innenfor.

Når Ungarn nekter å være med å reroute gass til Ukraina skjer det samme. Ungarn har en større ideologisk mottakelighet for Putin enn Norge, men hvis man undervurderer den maktpolitiske faktor, blir man lurt.

Det har vært lite om Putins ambisjoner og tenkning i norske medier. Heller en slags beklagelse over at samarbeidet har stanset opp. Man håper det kan tas opp igjen. Men Snyder forteller noe annet. Han sier Putins mål er å knuse den internasjonale lov og orden.

Han gir inntrykk av at det kun er USA som profiterer på den og har gått sammen med Kina. Det er et farlig spill, for Kina har mer å tjene på et slikt sammenbrudd enn Russland. Den russiske eliten frykter en allianse med Kina.

Venstresiden har i årtier hevdet at verdensordenen er bestemt av USA og at de profiterer på den. Dermed plasserer de seg på samme side som Putin.

What’s worrying is the idea that international law or international order is the same thing as American power. The equation of international law with American power is very upsetting, because what follows from that is that there is no reason to follow international law, since all these rules are not really rules. They are just things that the Americans invented.

And that’s dangerous for everyone who benefits from international order, which is pretty much everyone in the world. If you just throw out international law or if you though out state sovereignty, as President Putin has done in other remarks, then you are inviting the world of anarchy which is not good for anyone including Russia. In the long run, it’s not good for Russia if its eastern border with China is not a real border. In the long run it’s not good for Russia if there is no legal way to carry out trade, for example.

It’s not that these arguments are wrong. The international order that exists is not some function of the American power. It’s that these arguments, if you take them seriously, are harmful for everyone and, probably, much more harmful for Russia than for China.

Propaganda

Snyder sier Putins propaganda er effektiv så lenge mottakeren ikke har forstått at den er uten hemninger og ikke føler sannheten som noen forpliktelse.

Russerne forstår oss mye bedre enn vi forstår dem. De spiller på det liberale samfunns skyldfølelse. Hvis noe går galt, er det «vår skyld», sier Snyder. Og det har fungert inntil nå. Men etter Krim og MH17 dalte Putins stjerne. De fleste har fått øynene opp for hans hensynsløshet, men kvier seg fortsatt for å ta konsekvensen av den.

It’s best to think of Russian propaganda as political marketing campaign, where you are totally unconcerned with the truth and with the consequences of the lies you are telling and you are concerned with constituencies.

The two most effective Russian propaganda lines were, first, that in Ukraine all of the Ukrainian revolutionaries where fascists. That was nonsense, of course, and had no basis in reality, but it distracted the press, especially the German press, for several months. And they still keep that up in the minor key.

And the second very effective propaganda line is that this is all a geopolitical struggle. The reason that’s effective is that if it’s a geopolitical struggle, that means only the Americans and the Russians are involved, that you can forget about the Ukrainians, you just cannot mention them, you cannot talk about them. It’s also effective because many Europeans would prefer not to take responsibility for their European neighbour Ukraine. And if it’s a geopolitical struggle, that means the Americans should have to take responsibility or maybe Americans are even involved.

 

«Geopolitikk» har en dårlig klang på norsk. Det betyr maktspill. Makt har i det hele tatt blitt noe suspekt. Dermed er man, ironisk nok, lett offer for de som virkelig driver maktspill.

 

les hele intervjuet med Snyder.

 

Snyder er særlig kjent for boken Bloodlands, om hvordan det store beltet i øst – Polen, Ukraina og Hviterussland, ble til sammenhengende killing fields fra den russiske revolusjon og til 1945.

http://en.delfi.lt/central-eastern-europe/historian-timothy-snyder-ukrainian-crisis-is-not-about-ukraine-its-about-europe.d?id=66368672