The Glory of Imperial Russia


For decades, one of the greatest myths of the narrative of the global left has been to claim that imperialism, as a political system of territorial expansion, has been represented only by the United States, and that there has never been another country with such an insatiable appetite for expansion. Certainly, there are historical references along that line. An example is one found in print in 1900: ”The overseas territories covered an area as large as the entire United States at its founding, with a population more than double that of its original territory.”

It would, therefore, be absurd to deny the imperialist character of the United States during a large part of its history; there are indisputable facts that prove it. Yet, precisely on the basis of such perception, the leftist narrative has been responsible for promoting the belief that only one imperialist country has existed in the world, trampling and violating the rights of other peoples and nationalities.

In this context — and from its perspective of being the backyard of the United States — Latin America accepted the concept of Yankee imperialism as irrefutable dogma. It was an almost religious belief encouraged by notable thinkers, such as Eduardo Galeano, who never tired in his books of denouncing the consequences of U.S. imperialism in this part of the world. A few days ago, ever-present Evo Morales tweeted a call for an international mobilization “to stop the interventionist expansionism of NATO and the United States,” as if the Russian attack on Ukraine were happening on another planet.

Paradoxically, this partial vision, that of the United States as the only imperialist state, was accompanied by the assertion that it is impossible to understand its expansionist role without including the long list of meddling and interference with the unmistakable stamp of the CIA and other agencies that have allowed the United States to overthrow governments and impose on others at will — which, to a large extent, is true.

But of course, this is asserted without mentioning Russia and its imperialist role, also demonstrated throughout history, in addition to its propensity to meddle, openly or covertly, in the interests of other nations. In certain web portals, everything is justified when it comes to Russia, to such an extent that it is suggested that the invasion of Ukraine is only a direct result of “the engineering of the United States in a right-wing anti-Russian coup d’état in 2014,” adding that Russia “has never engineered coups in other countries as imperialist countries do.”

Thus, there is a dangerous undercurrent to the bloody and brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine that should not be ignored, beyond the inevitable ideological lies. Of course, there will always be the mythomaniacs, the deluded and the fanatics who prefer to ignore that Vladimir Putin, more than wanting to restore the “glory of the Russian empire,” is also restoring Joseph Stalin’s totalitarian terror.

Imperialist and expansionist Russia is completely, impudently and obscenely subjugating a sovereign country.

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About Patricia Simoni 111 Articles
I first edited and translated for Watching America from 2009 through 2011, recently returning and rediscovering the pleasure of working with dedicated translators and editors. Latin America is of special interest to me. In the mid-60’s, I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Chile, and later lived for three years in Mexico, in the states of Oaxaca and Michoacán and in Mexico City. During those years, my work included interviewing in anthropology research, teaching at a bilingual school in the federal district, and conducting workshops in home nursing care for disadvantaged inner city women. I earned a BS degree from Wagner College, masters and doctoral degrees from WVU, and was a faculty member of the WVU School of Nursing for 27 years. In that position, I coordinated a two-year federal grant (FIPSE) at WVU for an exchange of nursing students with the University of Guanajuato, Mexico. Presently a retiree, I live in Morgantown, West Virginia, where I enjoy traditional Appalachian fiddling with friends. Working toward the mission of WA, to help those in the U.S. see ourselves as others see us, gives me a sense of purpose.

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