Andrius Kulikauskas

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Introduction E9F5FC

Questions FFFFC0


Vladimir Putin

I am collecting and systematizing the ways that Vladimir Putin figures things out. I am analyzing translated transcripts of his speeches and interviews.

Epistemological Portrait of Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin's Ways of Figuring Things Out

Ask a question to gauge the context for the relationship

  • It's not that the United States was going to launch a surprise strike on Russia, I didn't say so. Are we having a talk show or a serious conversation?
  • You were initially trained in history, as far as I know? ... So if you don’t mind I will take only 30 seconds or one minute of your time to give you a brief historical background.

Consider origins

  • Let’s look where our relationship with Ukraine started from. Where does Ukraine come from?

Consider the centers of power

  • In 882, Rurik's successor Prince Oleg, who was, actually, playing the role of regent for Rurik’s young son because Rurik had died by that time, came to Kiev. He ousted two brothers who, apparently, had once been members of Rurik's retinue. So, Russia began to develop with two centres of power, in Kiev and in Novgorod.
  • And then a unified Russian state began to take shape with its centre in Moscow.
  • The southern part of the Russian lands, including Kiev, began to gradually gravitate towards another “magnet” – the centre that was emerging in Europe. This was the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

Consider significant dates

  • The Russian state started to exist as a centralized state in 862. This is considered to be the year of creation of the Russian state because this year the townspeople of Novgorod (a city in the North-West of the country) invited Rurik, a Varangian prince from Scandinavia, to reign.
  • The next, very significant date in the history of Russia, was 988. This was the Baptism of Russia...

Consider historical commemoration as a reference point

  • In 1862, Russia celebrated the 1000th anniversary of its statehood, and in Novgorod there is a memorial dedicated to the 1000th anniversary of the country.

Consider the reason that a state takes shape and strengthens

  • From this time the centralized Russian state began to strengthen. Why? Because of a single territory, integrated economic ties, one and the same language and, after the Baptism of Russia, the same faith and rule of the Prince. A centralized Russian state began to take shape.

Consider the reason for fragmentation

  • Back in the Middle Ages, Prince Yaroslav the Wise introduced the order of succession to the throne, but after he passed away, it became complicated for various reasons. The throne was passed not directly from father to eldest son, but from the prince who had passed away to his brother, then to his sons in different lines. All this led to the fragmentation of Rus as a single state.

Compare whether similar developments took place elsewhere

  • There was nothing special about it, the same was happening then in Europe.

Compare whether the same degree of sovereignty was maintained

  • The southern part, including Kiev, by the way, and some other cities, simply lost independence, while northern cities preserved some of their sovereignty. They had to pay tribute to the Horde, but they managed to preserve some part of their sovereignty.

Consider the nature of the population

  • It was even called the Lithuanian-Russian Duchy because Russians were a significant part of its population. They spoke the Old Russian language and were Orthodox.

Consider transformative events

  • But then there was a unification, the union of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland. A few years later, another union was signed, but this time already in the religious sphere. Some of the Orthodox priests became subordinate to the Pope. Thus, these lands became part of the Polish-Lithuanian state.

Note the intentional transformative actions

  • For decades, the Poles were engaged in the “Polonization” of this part of the population: they introduced their language there, tried to entrench the idea that this population was not exactly Russians, that because they lived on the fringe (u kraya) they were “Ukrainians.” Originally, the word ‘Ukrainian’ meant that a person was living on the outskirts of the state, near the fringe, or was engaged in border service. It didn't mean any particular ethnic group.
  • Then in 1654, even a bit earlier, the people who were in control of the authority over that part of the Russian lands, addressed Warsaw, I repeat, demanding their rights be observed that they send to them rulers of Russian origin and Orthodox faith. When Warsaw did not answer them and in fact rejected their demands, they turned to Moscow so that Moscow took them under its rule.
  • Nevertheless, in 1654, the Zemsky Sobor, which was a representative body of power of the Old Russian state, made the decision: those Old Russian lands became part of the Tsardom of Muscovy

Consider the reactions and consequences

  • All that led to the fact that that part of the Russian lands began to struggle for their rights. They wrote letters to Warsaw demanding that their rights be observed and that people be commissioned there, including to Kiev...

Establish with documents

  • So that you don't think that I am inventing things… I'll give you these documents… But still, these are documents from the archives, copies. Here are letters from Bogdan Khmelnitsky, the man who then controlled the power in that part of the Russian lands that is now called Ukraine. He wrote to Warsaw demanding that their rights be upheld, and after being refused, he began to write letters to Moscow asking to take them under the strong hand of the Moscow Tsar. Here are copies of these documents. I will leave them for your good memory.

Suspect suspicion

  • So that you don't think that I am inventing things…

Recognize the circumstances of the time

  • Russia did not agree to admit them straight away, assuming that would trigger a war with Poland.
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This page was last changed on April 11, 2024, at 06:02 PM