Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov hammered BBC interviewer Steven Rosenberg, putting the veteran journalist on his own heels several times in an outright fiery interview.
It should be noted that this interview took place in Russia. It is further noteworthy that Steven Rosenberg is an excellent choice, for he himself speaks Russian in the interview. In doing this, no context is loss. The only places that obviously suffer in this video are a few misplaced phrases in the English translation, but these are obvious enough for the reader to understand what Mr. Lavrov really means.
This interview was noted by Alexander Mercouris, our own Editor-in-Chief, his daily videocast about the situation in Ukraine. As a shamelss plug, (and for good reason!), if you have not watched his daily videos, you should definitely have a look. His views, and those expressed by the men in the BBC interview show amazing depth and intellectual honestly that most Western (or Russian) media often ignore. These are further amplified and to great effect by the daily Duran video featuring both Alexander Mercouris and Alex Christoforou, our Editor. Highly recommended!
That concludes the shameless (but needed) plug.
Some personal takeaways from the Lavrov interview. These don’t mean you should agree with me – please, think for yourselves! But in my own efforts to be intellectually honest, I noted the following:
It is very easy for the Westerner to cast blame on Russia as the “aggressor nation” by all the commonly accepted rhetorical justifications for military action of any kind
Russia’s point of view, as expressed by FM Lavrov, does not appear to satisfy these justifications.
The West is being very selective about its view on the situation in the region over the last thirty years, and especially so since the Maidan Revolution in 2014. Lavrov fills in the gaps very well here.
Some first time observations:
FM Lavrov stated very clearly that Russian national pride is involved in this. Behind this statement though is the vision of Russkiy Mir, the uniting of Russian peoples in all lands under one banner. This may not mean one nation, but perhaps a group of nation-states aligned with Moscow.
However, this is not a political power grab, it is, for Mr. Lavrov, “protecting our own.”
Russia does not care any more about what the West wants. Its patience has been exhausted by some thirty years of being lied to by the US, Great Britain and NATO powers, some of whom are doing quite a bit of sabre-rattling these days, namely, Poland and the UK.
Some admissions: I am on the Russian side of this argument. However, this interview is very, very effective at making the argument posed by the West. I do not think that FM Lavrov gave very satisfying answers about the civilian casualties or the disruption in the civilian population in lands that are experiencing the warfare. I think that it would be very helpful to get information about this. To be sure, it may not have been within the boundaries of time in this interview to cover this, but I would like to see more about it. Graham Phillips and others on the ground in the Russian-controlled areas do help a lot (we link to their work here), but hearing something corroborated by multiple journalists and the Russian government would, in my opinion, be very helpful.
All kinds of psychology, attitudes and viewpoints are present in this interview, and my takeaway is that it was very good. My family (who is Russian, and very non-Muscovite conservative) watched it with me at home. I wondered how they would react, and their response was, essentially “Steven refuses to understand, and each side believes the way it wants to.”
Thiis invites a discussion of Russkiy Mir in much more depth, which I will attempt to unpack in a further report. However, one thing is very important to understand:
The pride of Russians for their own lands, people and culture does not ostracize those who are not Russian. This is the basic difference between the “Slava Ukraina!” crowd and Russkiy Mir, because the Ukrainians are driven by the Nazi-inspired idea of “only our race, only real Ukrainians, and the rest, especially Russians are not welcome, and perhaps should be eliminated by force.”
It is precisely this set of attitudes that was brought into play following the Maiidan coup. It was made immediately evident in the attacks against the Russian-speaking Donbass peoples, and the Ukrainian government’s abysmal lack of support for Crimea and its Russian-speaking people, who overwhelmingly voted to rejoin a country that wants them.
Russkiy Mir is not the creation of a “Russian only” nation. It is not Nazi, nor fascist.
In fact, the one country that should understand Russkiy Mir better than any other on earth is my own homeland, the United States of America. But with the US swamped in its Soros-inspired culture and race wars, and with this set of truly Nazi-esque attitudes not limited to Ukraine, but increasingly common throughout the West, the Americans are going to have a very difficult time understanding that the Russians are doing what the US once prided itself in doing.
More to come.