Is it possible to weaken Russia by throwing Catherine II, Pushkin and Soviet soldiers off the pedestal

“Soft power of Russia” is the name of the international round table, which takes place every year at Vernadsky Crimean Federal University in November. Last year, its participants proposed to measure the “soft power” of our country in … Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov or Pushkin.

The battlefield is the hearts of the people

In physics, force is measured in newtons, and current is measured in amperes. So why not measure the “soft power” of the Russian state, for example, in Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov or Pushkin? Why are they worse than Newton and Ampere? – explained in the Crimea.

This year, the main question that the organizers of the round table have set for themselves is what role does “soft power” play during the special military operation in Ukraine?

The term “soft power” was introduced into scientific and political circulation by the American scientist Joseph Nye. In his definition, “soft power” (soft power) is the ability to obtain the desired results in relations with other states due to the attractiveness of one’s own culture, moral values ​​and foreign policy, and not due to coercion or financial resources.

“Today, the so-called collective West is using both “hard power” against Russia, pumping Ukraine with modern weapons, and “soft power,” Doctor of Political Sciences Professor Sergei Yurchenko. – When describing current events, the concept of “hybrid war” is often used. It includes both actual combat actions and actions that are aimed at shaping the corresponding political and psychological attitudes in people. From this point of view, the fronts of a special military operation lie not only in the geographical, but also in the mental space, in the minds of people.

This is expressed primarily in attempts to “cancel” Russian culture as our main non-military resource. The fact that culture is the main source of Russian “soft power” is pointed out by Joseph Nye himself. According to him, Russian literature, fine arts, music look very bright in the eyes of other peoples.

You can’t build the future with Bandera in your head

The most visible, although by no means the only, illustration of attempts to “cancel” Russian culture is the “pushkin fall” in Ukraine. Since the beginning of the SVO, more than twenty monuments to the Russian national genius have already been destroyed. This is how an attempt, unfortunately, partly successful, is being made to recode the consciousness of the citizens of Ukraine. To change the historical memory of current and future generations, historical symbols are overthrown, which facilitates the process of manipulating consciousness, Yurchenko believes.

Ukraine’s rejection of Russian culture only makes it weaker. Having lost the developed economy and infrastructure it inherited from the USSR, it is now also losing Russian culture as one of the greatest cultures in the world. By throwing Pushkin off the pedestal, Ukraine is not weakening Russia, but itself.

As the head of the Crimea noted Sergei Aksenov, commenting on the plans of the Odessa authorities to dismantle the monument to the founder of the city, Catherine II, on the grounds that it supposedly has no historical value, “these who occupy Odessa and other Russian cities today do not represent historical value. The Empress will definitely return to her rightful place, and Bandera’s garbage will be thrown into the dustbin of history. And he added: “As practice shows, along with the monuments to Catherine, Pushkin, Lenin, the heroes of the Great Patriotic War, heat, light and other benefits of civilization leave the territories of the former Ukraine. These territories are returning to the primitive state in which they were before the beginning of “Russification” and “Communization”. So forward to the past. Because you can’t build the future with Bandera in your head.”

Outside of Ukraine, monuments to Russian cultural figures are not touched yet, but there is an active dismantling of monuments to Soviet soldiers – the liberators of Europe. There is a revision of the results of the Second World War, the task of which is to put on the same level, to equalize Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

In the same row of soft pressure on Russia is an attempt to isolate our country in various areas, including sports. Now the best illustration is the World Cup in Qatar, which began a few days ago, to which our country was not allowed for purely political reasons.

Read also:

• How Crimea and Russia can make more friends

American “Himers” are powerless in front of Russian classics

The most promoted world rating of “soft power”, Global Soft Power, is calculated by the British company Brand Finance. It evaluates the “soft power” of states in terms of the following indicators: business and trade, governance, international relations, culture and heritage, media and communication, education and science, people and values, and the effectiveness of the fight against COVID-19. By tradition, new annual ratings appear in March. In 2021, the British ranked Russia thirteenth in their rankings, behind Germany, Japan, Great Britain, Canada, Switzerland, the United States, France, China, Sweden, Australia, South Korea and the Netherlands. And this year, our country was deleted from the rating altogether, saying that Russia’s “soft power” is discredited against the backdrop of the conflict with Ukraine.” Thus, the Brand Finance company demonstrated its political engagement, and its rating, being unable to either reduce the achievements of the great Russian culture, let alone “cancel” it, turned into a tool for manipulating public opinion, Yurchenko explained.

Meanwhile, the NWO, having provoked hatred in the West, at the same time made Russia a leader among the countries of the “non-gold billions” fighting for sovereignty and a fair distribution of world resources. Fresh confirmation of this is the recent visit to Moscow of Cuban President Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel, intensive cooperation with China, Iran, India, and the growing authority of such international organizations as BRICS and SCO.

Figuratively speaking, with a competent approach, Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Chekhov can provide us with no less help in the current civilizational confrontation than the most modern weapons systems.

Memorial sign to Pushkin at Cape Fiolent in Sevastopol
© Alexey Vasiliev/PG

Proof of this is the history of the return of Crimea to its native shores, in which it was “soft power” that played the most important role, expressed in a much greater attraction for the inhabitants of the peninsula of the Russian language, Russian history and culture. We see the same thing in the Donbass, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, with the difference that Kyiv, with the help of the West, used “hard power” to try to keep these regions under its control. And in vain: in the end, the American “Himers” will be powerless in front of the Russian classics.

The most “round” cultural anniversaries of Russia – 2022

January 6 — 150 years since the birth of Alexander Scriabin.

28 January — 125 years since the birth of Valentin Kataev.

28th of February – 100 years since the birth of Yuri Lotman.

March 31 — 150 years since the birth of Sergei Diaghilev.

The 21st of April – 100 years since the birth of Stanislav Rostotsky.

October 15 – 125 years since the birth of Ilya Ilf.

May 21st — 150 years since the birth of Nadezhda Teffi.

June 7 — 150 years since the birth of Leonid Sobinov.

August 1 — 200 years since the birth of Apollon Grigoriev.

October 31 — 100 years since the birth of Anatoly Papanov.

December 16 – 200 years since the birth of Nikolai Danilevsky.


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