February 24th marks a year since the troops of Vladimir Putin first invaded the Ukraine. And new developments are emerging rapidly. The war in Ukraine is becoming a piece in a new great game. A chess piece in a new faceoff between the great powers.
On Wednesday February 22nd, China’s top diplomat Wang Yi[i] visited Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Meanwhile, it was[ii]announced that there will be a summit between Putin and China’s Paramount Leader, Xi Jinping, this spring. In Moscow.
The visit of China’s top diplomat did not occur on a random date. It came in the week of the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of the Ukraine. In other words, Wang Yi’s visit gave a very overt Chinese blessing to Russia’s Ukraine War.
Wang Yi’s visit also acted as a countermove to President Joe Biden’s surprise visit to Kiev, which broadcast the message that America is solidly behind the democratic government of the Ukraine. And the Chinese visit is a countermove to Biden’s two-year effort to pull together NATO.
Biden’s attempt to solidify NATO is not just succeeding in Europe. It is succeeding in a much more unlikely location: the United States. Biden appears to have achieved a miracle, getting Democrats and Republicans to sign on to the same cause. At the Munich Security Conference in Germany on the weekend of February 18th, one of the biggest delegations came from the United States. A delegation of nearly 50. The US contingent at this European event included Republicans Mitch McConnell and Foreign Affairs Committee Leader,[iii] Michael McCaul, plus Democrats Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. It was bipartisan.
In other words, the great power game around Russia’s Ukraine war is solidifying the democratic alliance and is also solidifying its enemy, the alliance of autocracies, the alliance you might call The Axis of Evil. This Axis of Evil includes Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba.
Meanwhile, there’s a second new development taking place right under our noses. Vladimir Putin has lucked out. The Ukraine war he thought would be over in a week has lasted a year. That should be bad news. But Putin has used this failure as an opportunity.
The state of war has allowed Putin to reshape Russian society to his liking. Protesters and liberals have been forced to flee the country or to go silent. Theaters and museums have been reshaped to blast a simple message: Russia and its allies are the good guys. Western nations are the bad guys.
According to this new myth, Russia defeated the Nazis in 1945. And Russia is being forced to save humanity once again.
The fact that Russia actually had a military alliance with Adolph Hitler and that this Nazi alliance gave Russia half of Poland, plus all of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia has been disappeared.
The leading shows on Russian TV have been used to trumpet the message that there is a battle between good and evil and only Russia can banish the darkness and bring the light.
But there’s more to this creation of an artificial reality. Reports the New York Times,
Schoolchildren collect empty cans to make candles for soldiers in the trenches, while learning in a new weekly class that the Russian military has always liberated humanity from “aggressors who seek world domination.” New exhibits put on by the state have titles like “NATOzism” — a play on “Nazism”.
The New York Times quotes “Konstantin Malofeyev, an ultraconservative business tycoon,” who bragged in a recent phone interview,
“The longer this war lasts, the more Russian society is cleansing itself from liberalism and the Western poison.”
Now China has signaled that it is on board for this wild ride. One in which it hopes to get across the message that China is the one major empire that has never tried to conquer a foreign country.
Unless, of course, you count the conquest of Tibet in 1949. Or the recent takeover of the 1.35 million square mile sea that belonged to seven other nations, the South China Sea.
Remember, part of the great game is the fabrication of national myths. And that means the fabrication of false realities.
Howard Bloom has been called the Einstein, Newton, and Freud of the 21st century by Britain’s Channel 4 TV. One of his seven books–Global Brain—was the subject of a symposium thrown by the Office of the Secretary of Defense including representatives from the State Department, the Energy Department, DARPA, IBM, and MIT. His work has been published in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Psychology Today, and the Scientific American. He does news commentary at 1:06 am Eastern Time every Wednesday night on 545 radio stations on Coast to Coast AM. For more, see http://howardbloom.institute.