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RUSSIA XXI

< Issue No 3 from 2002 yr. >

The Struggle on Two Fronts. The Conceptual and Analitical Memorandum

Analyzing the current situation in Russia the author comes to conclusion that we are witnessing not a reform, not a revolution but an Experiment, which switches on and unfolds the civilization disaster. The Experiment is a result of the Soviet elite groups' consensus the origin of which is to be sought in the situation in the Soviet elite in the later Stalinist period. This consensus was being planned in bowels of the stagnation period and was launched during the «perestroika» years. The Experiment’s strategic meaningful potential and its final target is the struggle against the Reason and History. In the course of this struggle «homo sapiens» is to be destroyed. The struggle is carried on by virtue of psychosocial terror as well as by virtue of indirect methods, i.e., splitting of the society into pre-historic regressive archaic forms and post-historic social and cultural technologism (post-modernism etc.). As soon as the social mass is split into secondary archaic fragments and political post-modernity is achieved, it is senseless to speak of political struggle against the Experiment since the antagonistic social environment has acquired a diffuse character. The struggle against the alliance (or alloy) of archaism and post-modernity requires a crystallization of proper social material, peculiar forms of activity, and intellectual war on two fronts. This crystallization may rest on contraposition of the Experiment and fundamental value orientations that in Russia and in the world as a whole are connected with concepts of the Soviet heritage. In the present day political environment lack of transparency and ambiguity reign supreme and form the nourishing medium for the «patriotic opposition». However under the new circumstances only «small social bodies of higher density» (i.e., masses of intact and sound life able to reproduce anti-regressive samples of life and activities and to transmit them) can counter the archaistic and post-modern regress.

Alexander I and the Problem of War and Peace in Europe (1815-1825)

The article is focused on the role of Alexander I of Russia in shaping the European order in the aftermath of the Vienna Congress. The author argues that Europe owed a spectacular period of «long peace» from 1815 to 1853 largely to Russian emperor`s views on international politics and his dogged persistence in implementing them whatever the adds against him. His idealistic concept of the Holy Alliance, which aroused so much criticism among contemporaries and historians, ultimately proved to be quite effective an instrument of staving off a major conflagration on the continent.

Marked with a Thousand Years Schism: Moscow and Rome on the Threshold of the 21th Century

In recent months the public opinion in Russia as well as abroad has been once again drawn to the problem of relations between Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church or, speaking in broader terms, between Catholics and Russian Orthodox believers. The decision of Vatican to establish four Catholic bishoprics on the territory of Russia in which the Russian Orthodox Church leaders saw an encroachment upon their «canonic territories» served as the pretext for deterioration of these relations. The issue has transgressed the limits of purely legal dispute and touched the broad masses of believers as well as the high echelons of politicians. Relying on strong arguments of those people who consider the very notion of «canonic territories» as an invalid stationery innovation and considering the accusations of proselytizing aggression on the territory of the Russian Federation that are usually addressed to the Catholic Church as unfounded the author transfers the issue in a broader and deeper historical context. The author focuses her attention on the staring contradiction between the consent the Russian Orthodox Church has granted to the principal ideologic assumption of post-Soviet Russia (i.e., «entering the European alias civilized community») and its desire to retain, as a norm of behavior for its flock, the traditional apprehension in regard of Catholicism. However, Catholicism constitutes the historical foundation of the European civilization. Sure, preceding from so contradictory assumptions the Russian Orthodox Church confronts a difficulty in elaboration of a clear and consistent line of behavior. The failure of the Russian Orthodox Church’s attempts to prevent the Pontific’s visits to the East Christian space or at least to the CIS countries is the convincing evidence of this impossibility. Analysis of the process' dynamics leads the author to conclusion that the stubborn attempts of the Russian Orthodox Church to solve the problem of its influence by appealing only to the power intervention of the state and by artificial instigation of its flock’s fear of the Catholic proselytism threat just divert the Russian Orthodox Church from grasping the problem’s essence.

1942. The Red Army: from Defeats to Victories

The author considers events of 1942 in a new light. He believes that the Russian politicians and military commanders who had overestimated the failure of Hitler’s blitzkrieg near Moscow and the USA entry to the war experienced a fit of euphoria and assumed that the Germans could be defeated as soon as in 1942. Sobering came only after the Russian winter offence failed and disasters in the Crimea and under Kharkov opened for Germans the way to Stalingrad and the Caucasus. Heavy fighting’s of summer and autumn of 1942 gradually taught the Russian troops the art of modern war. Powerful military-industrial base established in the east of the country, readiness of the people for self-sacrificing and maximum straining of all their forces allowed to reverse the military fortunes on the fronts in autumn of 1942. The author reveals the inseparable relationship between «Uranus» operation in the south and «Mars» operation in the central Russia, analyzes roles of these operations in the autumn-winter campaign of 1942. According to the author, the failure of «Mars» operation was a single operation’s defeat, which nevertheless allowed win the strategic victory under Stalingrad. Thus the military leadership sacrificed the operational success to the strategic one. Achievement of the radical turning point of the war was finally ensured.