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Russia’s war against Ukraine unfolds within the intricate realms of postmodern and metamodern realities, where Russian television shows Ukrainian homes destroyed by Russian missiles to illustrate its reports about the bombardment of Donetsk. Where the song “Fortress Bakhmut” by Taras Topolia and the Antytila band consecrates a city amongst hundreds in Ukraine, deliberately heightening its significance for political rather than military reasons. Where Volodymyr Zelenskyy transitions from a comedian portraying a president to a leader of the free world, dissatisfied with UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

The meta-war continues in the realm of values. Where one part of the world considers Russia and China evil, and another part of the world hates the United States of America. This means that any changes of reality in the physical dimension can only be the result of shifts in the dimension of values, in the understanding and perception of what is good and what is evil.

Questions such as “What is Ukraine’s victory,” “What is Russia’s defeat,” “What format of the future will suit the powers that be,” and “Why the United States refuse to provide the necessary amount of weapons” need answers. Until these answers are defined, we should not expect any changes.

This text is an attempt once again to articulate various potential outcomes in the meta-warfare realm and shed light on how these processes transpire.

Fukuyama deceived us — there is no end to history”...

Francis Fukuyama’s seminal work, The End of History and the Last Man made its debut in 1992. Since Fukuyama has been to Ukraine and mentored selected Ukrainians at Stanford University, Fukuyama’s worldview enjoys considerable popularity in Ukraine’s expert and political circles.

The inspiration for The End of History was obviously the changes in the Soviet Union and then its collapse into independent states in 1991, which marked the de facto victory of the societal model epitomized by the United States.

In particular, Fukuyama argued that “The triumph of the West, of the Western idea, is evident first of all in the total exhaustion of viable systematic alternatives to Western liberalism. What we may be witnessing in not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.

Three decades after the publication of Fukuyama’s book, its core premise and vision have been significantly rattled by the most brutal and destructive war witnessed by humanity post World War II. Yet, does this mean that the societal shifts of the past 30 years were unforeseeable at the time? Or did his perspective harbor substantial flaws from the very beginning?

Lack of meaning in the face of death

Recently, on a Ukrainian YouTube channel discussing the potential onset of the end of the world and predicting cataclysms, Ukrainian economist and futurist Andriy Dlihach suggested that the average human life expectancy is increasing over time, and that progress in the medical field and in the potential “cyborgization” of people (adding technological devices to the body) will soon extend human life well beyond 100 years.

According to statistics, the total number of elderly Japanese who have reached the centenary mark has exceeded 90,000 as of September 2022. In other words, there is every reason to believe that our descendants (and maybe even ourselves) will be able to live longer. However, Andriy Dlihach also warns that we face another problem, as we will need to rethink why we live so long. What exactly will we spend the extra time of our lives on in a world where the population is growing, technological progress is forcing us to catch up constantly, and the fundamental vulnerabilities of humans hardly change?

I believe the urgency of this problem escalated with the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020. The social phenomena accompanying the pandemic prompted us to critically evaluate the liberal model that Francis Fukuyama lauded in his work.

One such phenomenon is the “infodemic”. It has been observed that during the pandemic, misinformation about health practices led to fatalities, independent of the virus itself. For instance, in Iran, over 700 people died from poisoning due to consuming low-quality alcohol, believing it to be a protective measure against the virus.

The advent of vaccines against the coronavirus revealed the strength of the anti-vaccination movement, posing a significant threat to the survival of homo sapiens. After all, the conscious choice to refuse vaccination epitomizes democratic behavior — no one can be forced to vaccinate but must make this decision voluntarily.

Thus, both the spreading of lies about disease prevention and the anti-vaxxer movement essentially used freedom of speech, which is the fundamental basis of liberal democracy and was supposed to be the key to the “end of history,” according to Fukuyama.

The second striking phenomenon during the pandemic was the imposition of travel restrictions. This sparked a particularly fierce debate within the European Union, as politicians in some countries began to enforce air travel bans, limit traffic, and introduce measures curtailing free movement within the Schengen area.

These actions immediately sparked a heated debate in the media about whether these measures were an attack on freedom of movement and, as a result, on the basic values of liberal democracy. The debate quickly reached extremes about the right of every person to put themselves in danger if they wish. It even reached questions about euthanasia and the right of every person to their own body, which correlates with the Western European consensus on abortion rights for women.

Ultimately, liberal society was confronted with a choice: maintain its commitment to individual freedom and personal responsibility or collectively work towards population survival and reduced mortality by imposing significant restrictions on human freedoms.

Finally, the third phenomenon, as addressed by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other political figures, is the frenzied scramble for personal protective gear and vaccines. Evidently, only the most advanced nations had the capacity to manufacture vaccines. And the political logic of the leaders of liberal democratic societies dictated behavior aimed at providing vaccines first to the “golden billion” and then to all others whose political leaders were unable to develop, buy or even steal the precious vaccine formula.

Last but not least, we should mention the economic phenomenon of “helicopter money.” the use of economic and monetary levers to prevent the decline in welfare and economic development in countries, which in itself is an idea that contradicts certain liberal democratic market mechanisms that require non-interference of the state in market processes.

All of these phenomena, in my opinion, have significantly shaken the unconditional belief in liberal democracy as an element of the “end of history.” However, the greatest crisis the world has faced is the crisis of values, as the pandemic has transformed almost all processes into tools of survival, i.e., simply prolonging one’s existence and ensuring one’s security from threats from the outside world. Concentration on this narrow range of tasks has pushed other values of existence into the background. The need for qualitative changes in the existence of human civilization and the solution to global problems have given way to competition for the means of survival.

How can we hope for a successful dialogue on solving global problems of climate, hunger, and disease if governments are fighting among themselves to see who will be the first to receive a large batch of face masks or a vaccine for their citizens? It is obvious that the threat of death from the virus has switched the existence of the human species into a defensive mode that hardly involves the search for new values.

War as a singularity of lack of values

In April 2021, I described in an article how the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which is still headed by Avril Haynes, published the Global Trends 2040 report. In the report, experts from a special Strategic Futures Group outlined their projections for the world’s trajectory over the following two decades in the form of scenarios. Two out of the five potential scenarios are of particular interest to us. They are not significantly different and can be amalgamated into one.

The first scenario depicts a World Adrift, in which the global system descends into chaos, losing its priorities and direction. Nations disregard international regulations and appeals from international entities. Economic growth decelerates, and societal atomization intensifies. As Western powers fail to respond to emerging challenges, China amplifies its influence. Concurrently, numerous global challenges remain unattended by the world.

The second scenario portrays Separate Silos, where the world fragments into diverse economic and security blocs of varying sizes and capabilities, prioritizing their own security, resilience, and self-reliance. Trade routes are realigned, and information primarily circulates within segregated cyber segments. International trade is redirected and diminished. Vulnerable developing nations are left with the stark choice of either making dramatic and dangerous choices in favor of their world leader or suffering from low inclusion in the global commercial and information space.

It’s noteworthy that Avril Haynes, who is officially accountable for these forecasts, has already committed two global intelligence errors. Firstly, by presuming that the Taliban would not swiftly seize Kabul, and subsequently, by assuming that the Russian military would promptly capture Kyiv. Nevertheless, credit is due for the fact that these two scenarios are progressively materializing as a single comprehensive scenario.

This is evidenced by the following facts:

1.    While debating whether or not to provide Ukraine with weapons, the world has finally lost sight of its priorities, choosing between declared values and threats to survival, as has already been seen during the coronavirus pandemic.

2.            The presidency of the war criminal Sergey Lavrov in the UN Security Council is evidence of the devastating destruction of the entire system of international rules and international security. It simply does not exist anymore, and António Guterres is just a sad clown in the circus who is no longer able to make anyone laugh.

3.            China has seriously expanded its influence under the leadership of authoritarian ruler Xi Jinping, who has secured legitimacy by being re-elected to several positions he holds simultaneously.  The visits from European leaders, leadership in negotiation processes, and the potential to operate as a unified military entity with Russia position him as a critical global geopolitical player.

4.            Sanctions, serving as a makeshift response to Russia's malice and terrorism, have created a system of separation of economic ties in the world, where transactions and commodity exchange are still taking place, but abnormal, underhanded instruments are being used. Trade routes, especially those associated with energy, have undergone significant disruption. The atomization of economic systems is evident, and the media is openly discussing the clash between the G7 and G20 clubs, with India — a major consumer of Russian oil — poised to lead the latter in 2023.

5.            The impending separation of cyber segments, which will inhibit information cross-pollination, is now a matter of urgency. Available data suggest that Russian and Chinese governmental bodies are actively sharing expertise on restricting the influx of information and content that contradicts their ruling regimes into their information landscapes. This means that the substantial investments of Western taxpayers in media platforms such as Dozhd TV channel, Meduza website, MBK Media, etc., will soon lose their relevance, as access in Russia without VPN services will be blocked, eliminating this vulnerability of the Russian terrorist regime.

6.            Finally, Avril Haynes's team was right that developing countries are forced to make a dramatic choice in favor of the geopolitical leader who offers them the best narratives and the best conditions. For instance, Russia's aggressive political and informational efforts targeting African countries rely on exploiting their grievances. Russian propaganda employs this discontent to foster resentment towards Western nations, who were once colonial overseers and supposedly exploited their resources, leaving them to fend for themselves.

The latter aspect is acutely reflected in the discussion around the presence of the Ukrainian strategic narrative in the countries of the Global South, which Western diplomats recommend not to call the Global South because its countries are very different and have absolutely fundamental differences that require different approaches.

However, the very emergence and evolution of the concept of the “Global South” as opposed to the concept of the “Collective West” that was born in the cradle of Russian propaganda, is precisely what proves that Francis Fukuyama’s words about the “triumph of the Western idea” were at least premature.

It turns out that not only is there no “triumph of the Western idea of liberalism” in Africa, India, and China, but there is considerable resistance to this idea, as its carriers are perceived as subjects who embody an unfair attitude towards the Global South... The unequal distribution of coronavirus vaccines, primarily benefiting the “golden billion”, is a poignant example.

Russian propaganda effectively exploits and amplifies the synthetic image of resentment among African countries against the West. Such narratives would not have found such fertile ground if they weren’t partially based on real grievances and instances that seemingly validate them. After all, the interests of the Western world and its responsibility for the realization of these interests are slightly different realms.

For example, the Western world was interested in the denuclearization of Ukraine in 1992-1994. A weak democracy with an unstable economic system was encouraged to get rid of its military power, ostensibly for the safety of Western citizens. Later on, Dr. Olga Oliker, Program Director for Europe and Asia at the International Crisis Group, told me in a personal conversation that the text of the Budapest Memorandum was crafted so vaguely that the signatories had no real obligation to uphold it.

What kind of trust and responsibility towards the countries of the Global South can we talk about if even Ukraine, which is an isolated part of Western civilization, has been subjected to such treachery?

However, all these fissures and inconsistencies could have led to stagnation of development but not to war since war is, in any case, a completely illogical tool of the political process, which only actualizes scenarios that were long ago written in the bowels of the US administration.

However, the dissonance between the declared aims of value-based liberal democratic development and the reality of realpolitik based on quid pro quo principles enabled a deluded dictator to initiate a war that could only result in his downfall.

The Dead End of History

Undoubtedly, on the way to the “end of history,” described by Francis Fukuyama as the “triumph of the Western liberal democratic idea,” the entity that violated the established international rules, which led to the deaths of thousands and the suffering of millions of people, must be held accountable.

In this context, decisions have even been made that, however, have no prospect of being physically implemented, such as the issuance of an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin by the International Criminal Court.

In this matter, too, the liberal democratic idea encounters a dichotomy between its values and the realities of the world’s survival. On the one hand, most Western experts who subscribe to Fukuyama’s values concur that a military victory for Ukraine aligns with the interests of Western civilization, which, theoretically, seeks the “end of history.”. This sentiment has grown as China has increasingly adopted Russia’s revisionist narrative of the new international order. The recent statements by the Chinese ambassador to France underscore the need for the United States and NATO to curb Russian and Chinese revisionism to avert a global war in Europe.

The Western military is soberly aware that if Ukraine loses this war, it will create such unacceptable threats and dangers for Western countries that no one is even discussing these consequences (as they say, “just don’t look up”).

But the real problem is that, while they are psychologically committed to Ukraine’s victory, the United States and other Western countries refuse to make decisions about providing enough weapons to achieve real victories on the battlefield.

When it comes to the nations of the European Union, their actions can be mostly comprehended. However, it has become apparent that the proclaimed solidarity among European nations is not entirely reliable. Furthermore, their endeavors in public investments related to security and defense have been notably unsuccessful (even following Russia’s annexation of Crimea).

The sole nation capable of effecting substantial changes on the battlefield is the United States. Hence, the pressing query is why the US is reluctant to ensure a Ukrainian victory at all costs. This is especially perplexing given that each erstwhile “red line” has been transgressed without invoking the consequences Russia promised. Initially, HIMARS was such a red line, succeeded by Patriot systems, and currently, the conversation has shifted to F-16s, which will inevitably reach Ukraine at some point.

Consequently, the ultimate resolution of the issue regarding Russia’s intrusion into Ukraine resides in the mindset and worldview of the people who run the White House.

There is an undeniable certainty that Biden, Sullivan, and Blinken regard Russia as an adversary whose defeat aligns with their interests. However, the notion of a world “devoid of Russia” instills as much apprehension in them as the prospect of the solar system minus the planet Venus.

Such an act is inconceivable as it could destabilize our solar system, and our current understanding and abilities are inadequate to anticipate the potential ramifications. Therefore, this should not be done, even when the Universe itself and its processes are steadily and inevitably moving toward this outcome.

Russia, undoubtedly, isn’t Venus, although it possesses a certain enigmatic and hazardous allure akin to the planet. Eliminating it is presumed to be a highly perilous and agonizing process. Hence, the apprehension regarding Ukraine’s victory equates to a fear of “chaos,” which portends widespread, life-threatening hazards (reminiscent of George H.W. Bush’s fear of the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991).

The fear of chaos, akin to the dread of a pandemic, is existential in nature. Subsequently, politicians and experts endeavor to articulate logical and intellectual counterarguments to preclude the manifestation of this fear. Essentially, we encounter once again the dichotomy between the professed values of liberal democratic progression and the pragmatic realities of survival and stability.

This implies that despite being cognizant of Russia’s transgressions, deep down, officials within the White House believe that a manageable peace with Russia, achieved through enduring reconciliation and compromise, remains the optimal solution.

This means that the “end of history” will never come because it turned out that the liberal democratic idea can exist only in a state of compromise with the idea of authoritarianism, violence, and conscious disregard for any rules, which is the opposite of liberal democracy.

The Biden administration can only acquiesce to an outcome that they can “steer” and that reinstates familiar norms, rejuvenates the “agenda” of international relations, and doesn’t necessitate a dive into a singularity of values and meanings but maintains a balance on its precipice. Regrettably, such an outcome is unattainable. The point of no return was crossed on February 24, 2022.

The Dead End of Ukraine

In the youthful, patriotic fervor of the united telethon, Ukraine’s military and political leaders have spent 14 months instilling in Ukrainians a sense of the certainty of victory. Public experts and opinion leaders are now suggesting this approach may be flawed, as emphasized by Pavlo Kazarin in an interview with Yanina Sokolova.

Following a 6-7 month period of searching for meanings, Ukrainian authorities started asserting by December 2022 that Russia’s disintegration into separate entities was inevitable. This claim came in addition to the already accepted axiom of restoring Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders as of 1991. This was proclaimed without full comprehension of the internal affairs and dynamics within the Russian state or the White House.

This has further warmed up the Ukrainian audience, which has long been hooked on the needle of an inevitable and quick victory and needs ever greater doses of endorphins, such as joining the EU and NATO, which leads to attempts by Ukrainian authorities to twist the arms of Western officials and politicians, demanding everything at once.

However, this pressure is beginning to yield reverse results, inciting a quest for a desirable exit strategy to conclude the war with minimal consideration for Ukrainian interests.

It is apparent that no one has scripted or accepted a plan of action post a military victory for Ukraine. This implies that in the minds of Western politicians, such a victory would only unlock the door to “chaos”. To sidestep this undesirable outcome, the White House is reluctant to provide Ukraine with the weaponry necessary to defeat Russian forces and reclaim Crimea and the Donbas decisively.

Thus, there are only two potential scenarios available to Ukrainians at the moment: compromise negotiations with the aggressor or a stalemate, which means the continuation of the war for an absolutely unlimited period (7-15 years).

If China and the United States both push Ukraine’s military and political leadership to find a format for compromise with the current Kremlin government, the Ukrainian political elite, which has infected society with the belief that there is no alternative to victory, will face internal unrest, up to and including the overthrow of the government. Information coming from military units indicates that armed individuals have the same attitudes toward the government.

This means that the military and political leadership of the state would rather choose an indefinite continuation of the war (i.e., stalemate). By the way, in anonymous voting in closed Zoom discussions, this option garners the majority of expert votes.

Seven Levels of War

In May 2021, Valeriy Pekar, Andriy Dlihach, and other co-authors published an updated version of their article Seven Levels of War, which was published in September 2014. I will allow myself to reformat these seven levels of the war we are waging in the context as I understand it.

1.    The war of Ukrainian identity for its subjectivity

The development of the Ukrainian society and state continues. Its important milestones were the Revolution of Dignity and the war for independence from the Russian Empire, which resulted from the renewed agency of Ukrainian civil society on the Maidan.

As Ukrainians attain self-actualization, they resist external influence, replacing it with their own volition. Agency cannot be just tucked away, except by eliminating its possessor. Regardless of the occupied Ukrainian territories, as long as there are at least three Ukrainians alive, there will be a rebel group potentially harboring a traitor. However, this group will stand their ground, upholding their principles to the end. Much like toothpaste, once squeezed out of its tube, it cannot be put back in. This, in my view, poses challenges for both the Kremlin and the White House.

Russian people could understand this phenomenon described by Fyodor Dostoevsky in the phrase, “Am I a trembling creature or do I have a right?” Nevertheless, the servile Russian society exists in a parallel world, making it incapable of being a counterpart or a conversational partner to Ukrainian identity. This is particularly true concerning the latter’s ambition to secure and affirm its timeless and unassailable agency, currently manifesting in the anti-colonial war against its erstwhile Russian metropolis.

2.            Ukraine's war against the Russian Federation

Ukraine is fighting for its freedom from any toxic relationship that threatens the existence of its identity and agency. However, at this level, the war is the result of an aggressive attack by Russia, not Ukraine’s desire to gain agency.

Liena Chychenina, a Detector Media author who shared her experience of being under occupation, spoke of the perpetual humiliation experienced by the Russian army soldiers. They attempt to quench this systemic humiliation with violence against civilians in a blind pursuit to convince themselves and the world that they are deserving of something superior. Yet, their encounter with Ukrainian prosperity in the towns and villages they briefly occupied only amplified their humiliation, underscoring the superior quality of life enjoyed by free individuals who possess dignity — a dignity that is evident even in the installation of a toilet rather than resorting to a hole out in the cold.

This humiliation of Russians and the desire to gain recognition that they deserve something better has long been manipulatively replaced by false pride in the victory in World War II, which was not won by them but by previous generations of Ukrainians, Russians, Belarusians, Kazakhs, and other peoples.

However, manipulation will not satisfy the Russians’ thirst to be recognized as worthy members of the international community. Killing and torturing civilians can only create the illusion of greatness for a brief moment. Toilets and washing machines have never been available in the Russian hinterland, and they never will be. And until this changes, the reasons to fight to assert oneself will not disappear in Russia. And to change this, the Nazi-terrorist imperial vertical of power that makes slaves out of people in Russia must cease to exist. If this does not happen, then there can be no reason to end the war.

3.            NATO's war against the USSR

The North Atlantic Alliance was established to counterbalance the power of the USSR. A shared potential threat to all alliance members forms the fundamental basis of its existence. Efforts to reshape the alliance’s conceptual goals have been fruitless. Despite the inclusion of additional countries after the USSR’s dissolution, NATO finds itself in a deep conceptual crisis.

Think about it: if NATO were a truly “working” alliance, why would we need the Ramstein format? Moreover, NATO has no mechanism for expelling its members, which makes all members hostage to each other.

Luckily for NATO, Vladimir Putin and his cronies live in the hope of restoring the USSR by conquering Ukraine. Thus, despite the fact that both the USSR and NATO are largely simulacra, Putin’s actions have revived the concepts of both sides and now they look like some serious actors who are even waging a “war” on Russian television. After all, Russian propagandists say that they are at war with NATO while presenting themselves as the descendants of the USSR.

4.            A measure against uncertainty

War is, of course, terrible. It means death, suffering, and destruction. But uncertainty is an even greater horror for the leaders of Western Europe and the United States. It’s the fear of the incalculable when a business plan is futile because there are no constants, only variables.

The European idea proved its worth half a century after the creation of the Coal and Steel Union between France and Germany. The concept of this union shows that if we have certain forecasts of joint earnings and business as usual, then there is no point in fighting each other.

The Europeans attempted to apply the same approach in their relations with Moscow, but their efforts failed. The leader, devoid of love and empathy, synchronized the entire country with his sentiment and waged war against his neighbor. Now, the collective West faces a dilemma: allowing the war to persist means betraying its principles of humanism; ending the war in some way means unlocking Pandora’s box, leading to an infinite number of outcomes and making prediction impossible.

It was the West and liberal democracy that hit this historical dead end and extrapolated it to the situation in Ukraine. Now, expert circles in Western Europe maintain that a stalemate is the most likely outcome in Ukraine. Simultaneously, this dead end is mirrored in Western thought.

5.            The United States vs. China

Regardless, we are all humans and participants in the game of “king of the hill.” Currently, only two powers lead this game — the United States and China. The character of this confrontation grows increasingly peculiar as the liberal democratic concept that Francis Fukuyama extolled is not only incapable of achieving “triumph” but is compelled to contradict its principles by restricting the free flow of information via TikTok ban, thereby undermining one of the democratic system’s key pillars — freedom of speech.

The economic confrontation, which was supposed to be conducted exclusively by market instruments, has also turned into a system of prohibitions. An example of this is the U.S. attitude toward Huawei, which the U.S. government is trying to prosecute around the world.

The Chinese side also displays peculiar characteristics. First and foremost, the ideological basis of the Chinese opposition has long been entirely decayed. The communist principles that Mao Zedong used to construct the People’s Republic of China have long been disrespected and demolished. China has as much communism as Russia has democracy.

Nevertheless, this confrontation defines the context within which the planet will navigate in the upcoming period. The war in Ukraine is merely a side story that diverts attention from the main narrative, albeit temporarily.

6.            The World of Borders vs. the World of Roads (Geopolitics vs. Geoeconomics)

I have shamelessly stolen this level from my colleagues Dlihach and Pekar and will not repeat myself, but I invite you to read their explanations of these worlds. However, it seems to me that the emergence of the Global South phenomenon a clash of these concepts. Economic prosperity, built through amplified relations and financial and commodity exchange, stands against an alternative system that generates wealth solely through power rent and resource control.

I was able to see this clearly when I had to analyze such countries as Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Being constrained by their geographical conditions and dependent on external investments in transportation routes, these countries shape their political process in the context of loyalty to Russia and China, which are the only donors of security and financial and trade structures.

7.            Evil versus Good

This is the final, core, and overarching level of the ongoing war. The protagonist of this narrative is undeniably Ukraine, embodying the story of resistance against tyranny and superior force. In public discourse, the biblical parable of David and Goliath is often referenced. As far as I know, no one in world history has ever sided with Goliath.

The global community, desperate for simple answers to the extent that populism was created as a tool to find them, has finally found a straightforward story where good and evil are easily discernible.

However, Russia itself is not deemed evil, but rather its leadership, or more specifically, its actions. Hence, to eradicate evil, it would be enough to persuade the Russian leadership to cease evil activities.

Ukrainians, conversely, argue that evil resides within the structure of Russian society, and in order to eradicate it, it’s necessary to dismantle the power nucleus that subjugates people in Russia.

In doing so, the world encounters a dilemma formulated by Ukrainian diplomat and futurist Andriy Zablotskyi: how does one live without evil? Try to apply this question to each of the previous six levels, and you’ll realize its complexity.

The triumph of the World of Roads’ geo-economy over the World of Borders’ concepts would mean the demise of political concepts of various countries in the Global South. Suppose transport spacecraft could inexpensively deliver goods anywhere in the world; this would render Silk Road infrastructure projects obsolete as tools of influence.

Neutralizing the “evil” in the conflict between the United States and China would entail the extinction of communist ideology, autonomy for many Chinese regions, and on the U.S. side, a significant weakening of its foreign policy positions and the practical application of international rules it established, and even some atonement for invading other countries, such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

Western businesses would have to forsake comfortable certainty and perceive “chaos” as a multitude of opportunities, including market opportunities. The “end of history” would transform into a beginning.

The North Atlantic Alliance would die out, and investments in the security and defense sector would be reallocated to other financial necessities, such as education, culture, dialogue, and understanding.

With the disappearance of “evil”, Ukraine would need to focus inward and realize what we want to become in a situation where no one can impose pressure on us. Kuchma’s phrase “Ukraine is not Russia” has become a narrative defining our foreign and domestic policy. Later, it morphed into Poroshenko’s “Away from Moscow” and then into Zelenskyy’s “Without You”. However, the question of what we truly are and what we want to be “without them” is still to be explored. Or, as Volodymyr Zelenskyy once said, “Who am I?”

One way or another, no one on the planet currently knows how to navigate a world without evil. No one knows or wants to contemplate what the world would be like without Vladimir Putin, without the Kremlin, and without the Russian empire. No one has a blueprint on how to transform a brutal Nazi terrorist empire into a democratic state that does not threaten its neighbors.

No such plan exists currently. And until it does, the war in Ukraine will persist, regardless of Kyrylo Budanov’s football predictions, Oleksiy Reznikov’s expectations of Russia’s collapse, and Oleksiy Danilov’s victorious claims.

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