The original text in Russian was published as a series of Telegram posts
. A shortened version is republished here with the author’s permission.
There is a generational divergence in any society at any time. Yet in relation to modern Russia, it is not the usual grumbling of old people (often laced with hidden pride in the younger generation), but a more serious process, caused by both the collapse of the USSR and Russia’s integration into global processes.Disintegration cannot be forever
For the older generation of Russians (unlike young people), the collapse of the USSR is a trauma that only intensified over time, as at first it was not considered fatal or irreversible. Some pinned their hopes on a centuries-old joint history, some on technological chains, and still others generally believed that the party mafia, fused with the shadow economy, was to blame for interethnic conflicts, and
that intellectuals and democrats, for example, Armenian President Ter-Petrosyan and Azerbaijani President Abulfaz Elchibey, would be able to understand each other.
All these arguments were sooner or later proven wrong (the most naive one, the “democratic” one, collapsed first). Therefore, the idea of a serious revanche became more and more acceptable not only for adamant supporters of the USSR (they were always a minority), but also for people far beyond this group. Including those who, for various reasons, welcomed the collapse of the USSR either because they considered the Soviet state unviable or because of believed infringement of the rights of Russia (RSFSR) within the USSR.
Among today’s ardent patriots there are many who believed that the Baltic republics could be let go with the rest of the countries remaining part of a certain community that in the foreseeable future would become a state entity. The Union of Independent States
seemed to be such an entity. Its very existence (underpinned by a large number of agreements) was a strong argument in disputes with skeptics who did not believe in the restoration of a single state.
Another argument was the EU: since the European countries are integrating, then even in the medium term, a similar (and perhaps even more advanced) process could take place in the post-Soviet space. Moreover, the beginning of the 1990s was a time of European optimism, with the Maastricht Treaty signed in early 1992. The fundamental difference – that there is no one major player in the EU that outweighs all the others in terms of its power – was not taken into account. Neither was the fact that the seceding countries, by definition, were getting away from the major player and building their identity by, among other ways, not recognizing its supremacy (this was clearly manifested, for example, during the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire).
In any case, deepening frustration led to a hunt for culprits.