The West – indubitably – has lost Russia, and is losing Eurasia too

by Alastair Crooke, Strategic Culture:


There perhaps was a momentary shrugging-off of slumber in Washington this week as they read the account of Sergei Lavrov’s démarche to the U.S. Ambassador in Moscow: Russia was telling the U.S. – “We are no longer at peace”!

Not just ‘no longer at peace’, Russia was holding the U.S. responsible for the ‘cluster strike’ on a Crimean beach on last Sunday’s Pentecost holiday, killing several (including children) and injuring many more. The U.S. thereby “became party” to the proxy war in Ukraine (it was an American-supplied ATACM; programmed by American specialists; and drawing on U.S. data), Russia’s statement read; “Retaliatory measures will certainly follow”.


Evidently, somewhere an amber light flashed hues of pink and red. The Pentagon grasped that something had happened – ‘No going around it; This could escalate badly’. The U.S. Defence Secretary (after a pause since March 2023) reached for the phone to call his Russian counterpart: ‘The U.S. regretted civilian deaths; the Ukrainians had full targeting discretion’.

The Russian public however, is plain furious.

The diplomatic argot of ‘there now being a state of betweenness; not war and not peace’ is but the ‘half of it’.

The West has ‘lost’ Russia much more profoundly than is understood.

President Putin – in his statement to the Foreign Ministry Board in wake of the G7 sword-rattling – detailed just how we had arrived at this pivotal juncture (of inevitable escalation). Putin indicated that the gravity of the situation demanded a ‘last chance’ offer to the West, one that Putin emphatically said was to be “No temporary ceasefire for Kiev to prepare a new offensive; nor a freezing the conflict – but rather, needed to be about the war’s final completion”.

It has been widely understood that the only credible way to end the Ukraine war would be a ‘peace’ agreement emerging through negotiation between Russia and the U.S.

This however is rooted in a familiar U.S.-centric vision – ‘Waiting on Washington …’.

Lavrov archly commented (in paraphrase) that if anyone imagines we are ‘waiting for Godot’, and ‘will run for it’, they are mistaken.

Moscow has something much more radical in mind – something that will shock the West.

Moscow (and China) are not simply waiting upon the whims of the West, but plan to invert completely the security architecture paradigm: To create an ‘Alt’ architecture for the ‘vast space’ of Eurasia, no less.

It is intended to exit the existing bloc zero-sum confrontation. A new confrontation is not envisaged; however the new architecture nevertheless is intended to force ‘external actors’ to curtail their hegemony across the continent.

In his Foreign Ministry address, Putin explicitly looked ahead to the collapse of the Euro-Atlantic security system and to a new architecture emerging: “The world will never be the same again”, he said.

What did he mean?

Yuri Ushakov, Putin’s principal Foreign Policy adviser (at the Primakov Readings Forum), clarified Putin’s ‘sparse’ allusion:

Ushakov reportedly said that Russia increasingly has come to the view there is not going to be any long-term re-shaping of the security system in Europe. And without any major re-shaping, there will be no ‘final completion’ (Putin’s words) to the conflict in Ukraine.

Ushakov explained that this unified and indivisible security system in Eurasia must replace the Euro-Atlantic and Euro-centric models that are now receding into oblivion.

“This speech [of Putin at the Russian Foreign Ministry], I would say, sets the vector of further activities of our country at the international stage, including the building of a single and indivisible security system in Eurasia,” Ushakov said.

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