Russia And The West's Role In The New World Order.

The substance of great power rhetoric is likewise embedded in Russian ontological security via relations with the West. 

For millennia, Russia's ontological consciousness has been influenced by its geographic closeness to European states, as well as their economic and geopolitical significance. 

To begin with, the West has had a significant influence on the substance of Russian identity. 

The West has always functioned as Russia's Other, a yardstick for assessing and measuring the country's uniqueness (Leichtova 2014, 28). 

Russian and Western philosophy and culture seem to be fundamentally different from one another. 

Through the work of Russian philosophers, historians, and intellectuals such as Tolstoy (1828–1910), Kireevskiy (1806–1856), Leontiev (1831–1891), and others, such a distinction has been historically established. 

Unlike Western culture, Russian culture emphasizes "synthesis over analysis, idealism over pragmatism, imagery over logic, intuition over reason, and the shared over the private" (Surkov 2006). 

As a result, the disparity between Russian and Western perspectives seems to be fundamentally irreconcilable. 

Furthermore, among Westernizers, Slavophiles, and Eurasianists, the dispute over the West's effect on Russian identity has been at the heart of the country's biographical narrative. 

Westernizers emphasize Russia's similarities to the West and see the West as the world's most viable and advancing civilisation ("Westernizers" 2013). 

The origins of this school may be traced back to the reforms of Peter the Great. 

Some scholars, however, suggest that Russia's profound cultural ties to the West started when it converted to Orthodoxy and became a student of the Byzantine religion (Tsygankov 2012, 3). 

Russia's "important Other" has always been Europe, which has figured significantly in internal disputes. 

Russia's authorities maintained their essential ideals in a situation imposed by the West. 

Russians, according to Westernizers, have always been an important part of the Western cultural mainstream (Prizel 1998, 160). 

There is no one book that summarizes the Westernizers' viewpoints. 

Despite their differing viewpoints, their sociopolitical, philosophical, and historical perspectives shared a number of characteristics. 

They were all against autocracy and serfdom. 

They were dedicated to assisting Russia's transition to a capitalist society; they denounced serfdom, made plans for its eradication, and campaigned for the benefits of hired labor. 

Slavophilism arose as a school of thought in the 19th century as a reaction against Westernism (Tuminez 2000, 63). 

Slavophiles, unlike Westernizers, considered Russia as a unique civilisation that combined the values of Orthodoxy, Slavic ethnicity, and community institutions. 

They believed in Russia's Messianic character, which was called to heal both internal social divides and the spiritual wounds of Europe, which had been torn by revolution and war, by the force of its example (Billington 2004, 13). 

All of human history, Slavophiles believed, was a fight between spiritual and material forces. 

In general, they maintained that religion and family, as well as the spiritual institutions of rural Russia, were important to Russian identity and destiny. 

Because it was predicated on mutual confidence between the sovereign and his people, Slavophiles embraced autocracy as the proper manifestation of Russian political authority. 

Panslavism originated as an outward projection of Slavophile views as a consequence of Russia's loss in the Crimean War in 1856 and the humiliation that the Russian aristocracy felt as a result of what they saw as European powers' treachery. 

In a nutshell, Panslavism pushed for Slavic union, with Russia serving as the intellectual and political core. 

Panslavs crafted their image in opposition to "the Other," which included the collective West and stronger European powers. 

In the background of the Crimean War, Danilevskii (1869), whose book on Russia and Europe became a symbol of Panslavism, argued about Europe's inherent animosity against Russia. 

He said that Europe's attitude was the result of a deep-seated hostility between Roman Catholic European civilisation and the rest of the globe, rather than military concerns (including Slavs). 

Danilevskii compared various civilizations to "live beings," implying that conflict between them is as inevitable as conflict between living organisms. 

Other well-known Russian philosophers, such as Herzen and Bakunin, regarded the West as the embodiment of a logical and cold Gesellschaft, in contrast to Russia's organic Gemeinschaft. 

Their rejection was motivated not only by a dislike of the West's bourgeois path, but also by the belief that Russia's backward people may one day become a source of supremacy for the country. 

Eurasianism or Civilizationism, like Panslavism, portrays Russian ontological consciousness as distinct from that of the West. 

The core of this movement was its appreciation of Russia's distinctiveness. 

Russia, according to Eurasianists, was more of a culture with a distinct ontological understanding than a country. 

They maintained that Russia's geographic, linguistic, and historical context reflect its distinctiveness (Savitskii 2003, 653–699). 

Their slogan, as expressed by Savitskii (2003), was based on equating any nation to the individuality of a single person. 

As a result, the Russian country must strive to be like itself, with its own sense of ontological awareness and biographic continuity, rather than aim to be like others. 

One of the important elements of Russian identity, according to Eurasianists, is a large concentration of centralized authority. 

They maintained that Russia inherited such a type of state creation from previous nomadic empires, and that everything in Russia must be done in the name of the state, particularly its ruler. 

As a result, Eurasianists place a high value on statism and consider it as the bedrock of Russian history. 

West Eurasianists, in their opinion, are primarily doubtful of its significance for Russia's future. 

They claim that, despite the West's political and cultural strength, Russia's incorporation into Europe has always been accompanied by a feeling of inferiority. 

Russia was seen as a European peripheral, despised by Europe because of its technological backwardness. 

This lack of acknowledgment of Russia as an equal among Western European countries plays a significant role in the formation of the Russian biographical narrative and the ontological understanding of the nation. 

It is not enough for a state's leadership to conceive of themselves as great in order to be a great power. 

When other states in the system, particularly other great powers or members of powerful clubs of powers, see the status seeker as a great power, the attribution of status happens. 

Because of Russia's closeness to strong European powers, their acceptance of its position was critical for the external validation of Russia's self-perception as a great power. 

Domestically, such acknowledgment boosts collective self-esteem and solidifies public support for developmental objectives. 

Great power status implies influence over other states in the system and, as a result, may improve a state's physical security. 

One of the key motivations for Peter the Great's imperial expansion was the outward projection of authority to the Western nations. 

Russia has affected Europe throughout history. 

However, Russia was seldom ever treated as an equal in the international system. 

Europeans, on the other hand, saw Russia as a primitive, even barbarous civilization with an oppressive governmental structure. 

For many of Europe, Russia was the antimodel, the polar opposite of what an educated society should be, as the Marquis de Custine observed: "If your sons should ever be dissatisfied with France, try my recipe; tell them to travel to Russia." Every foreigner will benefit from the journey: those who have thoroughly investigated the nation will be satisfied to live elsewhere (cited in Stent 2007, 404). 

For a long time, Russia's self-referential premise of seeing itself as a great power has been prevalent in Russian identity politics. 

The theme's endurance, as well as its prominence in Russian identity politics, leads one to believe that Russia's ambition for great power status has failed. 

Success, according to Neumann (2008), would imply that the great power narrative has become a component of the political discourse rather than its content. 

Other great powers, which traditionally for Russia have been the European nations, have to acknowledge Russia's great power position. 

This lack of acknowledgment is said to have contributed to ontological worry over Russia's great power position in the biographical narrative. 

Another crucial facet of the West's participation in Russian ontological security is the West's devotion to the Russian-Western confrontation. 

Mitzen and Roe underline the relevance of the relational component in the formation of a state's ontological security, as previously stated. 

They claim that ontological security, anchored in established routines, enables predictability and anxiety avoidance in international interactions. 

As a result, the internal and international routines that governments have created may lead them to participate in a tough war again. 

Even routines that are perilous for survival may produce a feeling of ontological security and assist security seekers who are tied to the conflict justification in making decisions (Roe 2000; Mitzen 2006, 341). 

Andrei Tsygankov observed three main trajectories in Russia's ties with the West in his book, Russia with the West from Alexander to Putin: Cooperation, Defensiveness, and Assertiveness. 

He emphasized this.

Throughout the years, Russia's use of assertiveness has been ingrained in the country's ontological security (Tsygankov 2012, 262). 

Historically, Russia has been engaged in the majority of its armed battles with its Western neighbors (wars with Poland in the 17th century; Sweden in the 18th century; the Napoleonic War and the Crimean War in the 19th century; Germany in World War I and again in the Great Patriotic War; and the Cold War). 

After the Cold War ended, these tense relationships became even more entrenched. 

Western countries have contributed to the escalation of tensions (Trenin 2002; Kanet 2007; Mankoff 2009; Tsygankov 2012, and others). 

One explanation for this is the West's assumption that it vanquished the erstwhile Soviet Union during the Cold War (Razyvayev 1992). 

Furthermore, due to the West's judgement that Russia's progress in economic reform and performance was insufficient, economic help promised to Russia was not provided. 

Internally, however, Russia was seen as a former Great Power that had been reduced to begging the West for handouts and submitting to the dictates of the International Monetary Fund. 

One of the main issues in the restoration of present Russian identity in the context of the country's ties with the West has been humiliation. 

It has been bolstered by a prevailing narrative of the West's deeply ingrained distrust of Russia. 

Russia is seen in the West as inherently expansionist and imperialist. 

The notion of "sovereign democracy" as a comprehensive philosophy aimed to improve sociopolitical cohesiveness inside the nation became a powerful embodiment of this narrative. 

Its basic thesis is that democracy is a perception, and that it would reflect the demands of various governments at different periods in different ways. 

More importantly, these requirements are anchored in each country's ontological knowledge as a result of historical legacies and geopolitical circumstances, removing the West's monopoly on democracy. 

The contemporary Russian biographical story rhetoric of great power, according to Fleming Hansen, consolidates the state around Russia's historic values and customs. 

In the framework of the country's opposition to the West (Hansen 2016, 359–375), they are created. 

While part of the dialogue has been politically orchestrated and skilfully controlled, it is still based on Russian perspectives. 

These historically ingrained ideas have formed a significant component of Russian identity, self-perception, and worldview. 

As a result, Russian citizens' attachment to the Western war gives a sense of comfort and regularity. 

Ironically, as ontological security argues, confrontation with the West provides the Russian populace with internal identity coherence and biographical continuity. 

These worries have been employed by Russian elites to consolidate power in the face of foreign pressures and economic obstacles in the modern era. 

Despite the fact that Russia's "othering" of the West after the fall of the Soviet Union was deeply established, the Kremlin aimed to disrupt the ontological narrative's continuity. 

Then, under the leadership of President Yeltsin and Foreign Minister Kozyrev, a new Russian state achieved one of its most important goals: ending Russia's decades of isolation from the West (Kanet and Birgerson 1997). 

The emphasis was on the desire for Russia to abandon its Messianic ideology and become a "normal power" in the West-constructed international system (Tsygankov 2016). 

As a consequence, there was a significant break in Russian biographical continuity, shown in efforts to decentralize the Russian state's authority, abandoning its messianic and imperial ideology in favor of the goal to become a "normal power." As a result, the geopolitical attention changed away from Russia's near abroad and Muslim and Asian nations, and toward Western international institutions and Western governments, particularly the United States and European countries. 

The romance with the West, however, did not endure long. 

Furthermore, the international system's power balance had shifted, leaving the United States as the undisputed hegemon. 

The United States and other Western nations have taken a series of moves that have caused Moscow to protest that the West has a propensity to impose its own terms in the international arena. 

Russia was asked to join the West, but the door was only half-opened (Trenin 2006). 

As a result, the Russian integration initiative into Western institutions was halted at the point of interception. 

There are a plethora of instances of shoddy integration. 

While other former Warsaw Pact nations were being pulled into NATO, Russia was given new arrangements but maintained at a distance. 

Furthermore, NATO's military troops have been stationed near to Russian borders throughout time. 

When Georgia and Ukraine indicated interest in joining the group, it heightened Russia's feeling of strategic insecurity. 

Despite the changes brought about by the end of the Cold War, NATO security systems remained impenetrable as they grew larger and deeper, preventing Russia from joining the security community as a full member (Sakwa 2015). 

Soft power programs established by the European Union in Russia's near abroad, such as the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) and the Eastern Partnership (EaP), were particularly disturbing for Russia (Akchurina and Della Sala 2018). 

The Kremlin views the series of color revolutions as a blatant and forceful incursion by the United States on the country's traditional domains of interest. 

This instilled in Russian culture a widespread sense of Western deception, which was very harmful to the West's image. 

As a result, rather than rupturing, ontological knowledge became even more concentrated around the country's biographic signifiers of anti-Western hostility.

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan

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