Сергей Караганов

Interview for “El Confidencial” (translated from Spanish)

  • In recent weeks, much has been said about the risk of an open war between NATO and Russia. According to the Bundeswehr, Russia can attack the Baltic countries in a couple of years. Do you think this is a possible scenario?
  • I think the people who are whipping up military hysteria in Europe are self-murderers. They have lost their mind because any war between Russia and NATO will end with a nuclear blow on NATO countries. Nobody will protect them because Americans are not crazy. No American president will sacrifice New York or Boston for Poznan or Frankfurt.
  • You supported the use of nuclear weapons against Europe as a way to prevent a nuclear apocalypse. Please explain the rationale behind this conception.
  • Unfortunately, the world is heading for a series of wars that sooner or later will evolve into World War III. The main reason for this is the desperate attempt by Western elites to preserve the dominant positions in the world they had in the past. But there are also other reasons. The world must be stopped from sliding towards a nuclear catastrophe. Naturally, I do not call for a nuclear strike, but I think that Russia should mount the escalation ladder in order to force Western elites to change their mind and make it clear to them that they have lost their mind and the sense of responsibility to their own societies.
  • But may a nuclear strike on Europe lead to a nuclear apocalypse? You said you wanted to avoid it, didn’t you?
  • I know the American strategy very well, and I know that unless there is a madman and America-hater in the White House, the Americans will never use nuclear weapons in response to a strike on Europe. According to their scenarios, the United States will respond with conventional weapons, but in this case we would deliver a second strike on Europe and a third one on American bases in Europe. God help us escape this.
  • What are possible solutions to the conflict in Ukraine?
  • The West has three options. The first one is to retreat with dignity. The second one, which will cost Ukraine hundreds of thousands more lives, is its stunning defeat and the West’s shameful flight from the country, as it already happened in Vietnam and Afghanistan. The third one―a horrendous option indeed―is the nuclear scenario. The West has no other options.
  • These scenarios do not look like a compromise, and Russia is still very far from victory. The front line has practically not moved over the past year. Would the “Korean scenario” be most realistic at this point?
  • I think that this kind of scenario will only delay the resolution of the conflict and makes no sense. It may last for a while, but it will mean living on a powder keg. Russia will win anyway. The only question is how many hundreds of thousands or millions of Ukrainians will die.
  • I find it hard to believe that Ukraine will accept complete surrender, especially after all the losses it has suffered in this war. And Putin has neither time nor limitless resources to achieve his goals.
  • Germany surrendered, and so did Italy and all the others. Let me remind you that Europe attacked Russia several times. Italy sent a huge number of soldiers to Russia, and you know what happened to them. The same fate awaits new contenders for global dominance.
  • Russia claims that it defends the interests of the Global South by fighting against Western hegemony, but Russia’s war in Ukraine is colonial in nature.
  • First of all, a part of Ukraine has always been a part of Russia. Secondly, Ukraine could have safely existed if it had been friendly towards us. Unfortunately, the Ukrainian corrupt elites sacrificed their people to keep hold of the сapital they had stolen from these very people. That is why Ukraine is a failed state; it may cease to exist altogether, or a small part of it may remain in the west.
  • The idea of a multipolar world based on the balance of several powers as opposed to the dominance of one power is wonderful. But Russia is trying to implement it by destroying Ukraine.
  • For 25 years, we kept persuading, appealing, and admonishing. Unfortunately, our Western counterparts have lost the sense of history and simply their sanity. Now, unfortunately, Russia has to make them come to their senses with the help of an iron stick. I am very proud that Russia is liberating the world from the Western yoke. The peoples of the world are now free to choose their own path, and this is exactly what they are doing.
  • I don’t think you have left the Ukrainians such a choice…
  • I feel sorry for them, but after all they themselves chose a completely corrupt elite.
  • Do you see the possibility of future reunification between Russia and Europe?
  • We absolutely don’t need it at this point. Truly breathtaking developments are taking place in Russia now. We are seeing a renaissance of the country; a revival of the spirit, economy, and society, which is transforming into a genuine people. We are finally coming home, where we have been. We have been an Asian country in the political and social sense, but with European culture.

The interview was originally published in Spanish in “El Confidencial” newspaper on February 18, 2024.

URL: https://www.elconfidencial.com/mundo/2024-02-18/entrevista-sergei-karaganov-asesor-putin_3832738/?utm_source=share-article&utm_medium=copy-link&utm_campaign=1.