At the Red Square after Victory Day celebration   (Published: 17.05.2020)

May 9, 2020 has always been an important celebration in addition to the celebrations of the October revolution. When Russia does not want to celebrate the great revolutionary celebrations of October 1917 in the same way as during the Soviet era, it must find a new way to celebrate the significant role of Russianness in the great changes in world history. In this text, it is analyzed from a broader historical perspective.

This year, for the 75th time, the May 9 victory celebration rises as a justification for the country’s historiography and reliance on power politics in a new kind of global context. The functioning of a modern state may be threatened by another state other than the traditional one classified as an enemy, as happened in World War II and the world war history that preceded it.

Only one hero was absent from the COVID-19 parade conducted by the Air Force - the endangered snowdrift moving south continues in a helicopter by a Russian head of state to guide the eagle in flying south. Parades often forget that the parties to a war based on the use of force can celebrate together when hostilities have ceased and both parties want to live a peaceful life together.

War may threaten the other party, threaten and use force in the name of its own security interests by means of a declaration of war, or refrain from declaring war on another state by unilaterally using force to pursue its own interests. Russia has experience in all forms of war, victory, and selective writing of war history.

War always requires two parties

The wars will end with an end to hostilities and a peace agreement, which is a common commitment between the parties and binding on them under international law. In the peace agreement, the leadership of the parties together undertake to abide by the agreed terms of peace concerning new mutual relations, the recognition and respect of changed borders, and the free movement of people on the former battlefields and in third countries. The Germans remember the war only as a good-natured president of the former Soviets and present-day Russia in an orchestra-led park in Berlin.

Procedure for approving new borders

On the basis of the Declaration of War and the use of force, the new borders dictated by the winner will enter into force upon a bilateral border review between the parties and the demarcation of the border, which has been accepted by both parties. The border line established with the new signs will enter into force as a border between the countries. In the former Soviet republics, there are numerous open border issues between the New Independent States that hamper the friendly handling of mutual affairs. There are also situations where the stronger party state and the remaining troops conquered the area / new administration seem not to notice to check the new borderline, if they are the only things related to your village, cowboy ranch fences.

The annexation of the Crimean region to Russia

The Paris Peace Conference in 1947 established the borders of the post-World War II states and the kind of life and political system each country wanted to build and achieve through its own development measures. In the summer of 1975, the Helsinki OSCE meeting confirmed the “status quo” of the Paris Peace Conference regarding the borders, and the goals and forms of new co-operation between the states were recorded in the final document. “In the four-basket program”. The Cold War and security policy between East and West, as well as Western attitudes and institutional structures (CoCom), hindered the progress of economic cooperation. The internal problems of both parties also began to affect the order of international cooperation.

In the spring of 2014, Russia occupied the territory of Crimea belonging to Ukraine by a procedure also known as “taking off the territory with extinguished lanterns”. The procedure differs from the descriptions of the great achievements of Russia's own military history and the tributes to the Russian Defense Forces. It is another matter whether the Russian army can be called a defense force in the original sense of the word, because the achievements of the country’s military history are mainly related to the expansion of Russian territory or the consolidation of a vast mass of land. Russia’s victory over Germany, along with the West, in 1945 ensured the country’s cohesion and writing a conception of Russian history in the chosen color.

Western human rights policy in the OSCE

The final document of the 1975 Helsinki meeting is divided into four "baskets". The first dealt with European security issues, the second with economic / scientific co-operation as well as environmental protection, the third with humanitarian co-operation and the fourth with the follow-up to the conference and future meetings in the future OSCE. Expectations for increased cooperation were high. However, it was soon realized that the OSCE mechanism did provide for the exchange and communication of information to the other party, but it was not able to bring about the same side to take control of things in the changed circumstances.

Western human rights policy took the floor away from second-round issues. The first basket had already yielded results before the OSCE process in negotiations on the limitation of long-range missiles in racing equipment between the United States and the Soviet Union. The concrete results of the OSCE meeting were related to building trust, e.g. notification procedures for military exercises and troop transfers. Both ideological factions had formed a common awareness of the high cost and impossibility of a missile shield. The openness of Western economies made it more affordable for Western countries.

The change of the Soviet Union in the 1980s

The Soviet Union was not a monolithic crushed stone from space among other human communities - but a differently constructed and functioning state. Already in the early years of its existence, it was a barrel of hopes that, because of its internal development, drained of the hopes placed on it by the citizens. The NEP period in the 1920s was a creative time for getting rid of old patterns and experimenting. After the NEP period, the period of top-down CPSU monopoly began and continued as a straitjacket for social order until the 1950s. The individual thinking and initiative of the people waned until the mid-1980s. The realization of the civil rights of individuals was replaced by state scientific and technological progress, which was almost in the position of religion in socialist society.

When important results for our own citizens were not achieved in the same way, a period began in which the nation, which had already become a leader in the natural sciences since the time of Peter the Great, became a follower and a replicator of other countries’ and companies' innovations in international competition. The scientific and technological progress of the state ate people’s self-esteem and respect as individuals. It tested the morality of the people, and especially of the nation’s scholarship. Not even the free tickets offered by US President Reagan for the world premiere of “Star Wars” helped.

In the mid-1980s, new winds began to blow in the country, where the Soviet leadership also understood the importance of change management for the nation. The Communist youth organization “Komsomol” was encouraged to set up “Creativity Centers” among its members, which were allocated funds from the state budget. The state was the CPSU’s cash register, not a state institution.

Young people also suffered from a lack of their own “private” housing. A special law was enacted on the construction of youth housing through specific legislation. Cooperative companies set up among the youth movement were established for the design and construction of housing. The youth received value for their work in the form of housing equated with a hard currency. Although foreign exchange trading was the exclusive prerogative of the state, this arrangement for the first time during the Soviet system created non-state capital among the people.

Capital began to seek to implement computerization according to the rest of the world model for the IT sector. At the same time, PCs and the peripherals trade were freed from CoCom restrictions in the fall of 1987. In the Soviet youth close to the party leadership, similar hobbies, and common economic interest in Eastern and Western Europe and the United States. It was something exceptional in the history of states as well as East-West relations. Beyond ideological boundaries, B2B (Business-to-Business) collaboration had emerged across the Atlantic Ocean, stretching across the Ural Mountains all the way to Siberia.

The emergence of new independent republics

The importance of Mikhail Gorbachev as an implementer of the ideas of reform born among the Soviet people and as a “tsar giving new opportunities” is indisputable. However, his political career came to a less glorious end because of the power struggle within the Soviet Union. The President of the Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin, humiliated Gorbachev, Secretary General of the reformist CPSU, in the eyes of the nation and the world, asking him to show the place of the cabinet in the new Russian house.

Despite public humiliation, Gorbachev was the initiator of many internal reforms and the organizer of a new kind of redistribution around the world before the collapse of the Soviet system. For the first time in Russia’s history, the country’s leader was able and forced to make choices and compromises with actors other than the Soviet Communist Party elite. Although it works according to the old formula e.g. In Azerbaijan. He was also a desired guest abroad.

In the internal reform of the country, the biggest change of Gorbachev's time was related to supporting entrepreneurship through the reform of cooperative laws, which made it possible to reform the agricultural production and product distribution system. At the same time, co-operative entrepreneurship was also made possible in the service sector, where many co-operative cafés were set up to run restaurants. A new restaurant culture was noticed all the way abroad. In information technology and in business services, co-operative activity permeated itself, especially in sales and maintenance.

As early as the late 1980s, signs began to emerge of greater operational demands on the Soviet republics and the possibility of self-determination. The new cooperative thinking permeated itself and replaced the Soviet-era consumer cooperative thinking. The reform of the Soviet republics was a three-step process. In the first stage, the regulation and laws of economic activities were reformed in the Soviet republics according to the model of the Russian Federation in the late 1980s, even before the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991.

In the second phase, in a short time in the late 1980s / early 1990s, the regulation of activities and the institutional development of the independence of the republics took place in the so-called through the declarations of sovereignty, which was a dialogue between the republics and the central government towards complete independence in support. The process progressed to the actual declarations of independence in 1991, after which the Soviet Union no longer had the opportunity to continue its state existence. Contemporary states on Earth could also learn from this phase in sustainable development by realizing that change is always a process that evolves from small things into a larger whole.

The current model of intergovernmental cooperation

When it was obvious that the Soviet Union would disintegrate into new independent states, the industrialized countries began to prepare their own strategy to manage the major changes taking place in Eastern Europe in their own foreign policy. As early as the 1980s, Western business began to explore the possibilities of trade and new forms of cooperation in the countries of the former Soviet Union. When the Coordinating Body for the Export of Computer and Other High-Tech Expertise to Western Industrialized Countries Close to NATO (CoCom) resumed special export shortage applications to the Soviet Union after the 1979 occupation of Afghanistan in 1982, it was a sign of a new way of thinking in East-West relations.

The interest of commercial companies in Soviet exports as an industrialized country existed in Western countries, although its functioning could not be equated with that of market economy countries. The research and investigation phase of the trade proceeded separately from the transnational (G2G) cooperation projects described above, which were related to scientific and technological cooperation and thus also to other governmental and institutional cooperation projects. European countries were more involved in scientific and technical cooperation than American companies, where inter-company cooperation was a more important guideline in the development of activities.

American companies operate in a much-anticipated position in a mode when intergovernmental relations did not progress. In March 1987, a breakthrough came when the American journal Datamation interviewed Academician Boris N. Naumov. The interview and the numerous TV documentaries that followed revealed that Western assumptions about the exploitation of Western technology for military purposes in the Soviet Union were unfounded. This process of information exchange showed that the Soviet Union cannot build its defense on imported technology. In the fall of 1987, CoCom export restrictions to the Soviet Union were lifted for PC hardware and small commercial systems.

Western countries tried to anticipate how to prepare when things change, and a new order emerges to replace the Soviet Union. Things developed in two sectors. In the early 1990s, the Western IFIs  (International Financial Institutions) standardized PCM / LFA (Project Cycle Management / Logical Framework Approach) methods for change management in the countries of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. As early as the late 1980s, market economy mechanisms were developed in the Soviet Union in various areas of the trading community (PPP) without interstate cooperation role. Copyright and intellectual property rights were non-existent in the former Soviet Union. Private sector actors had different priorities than state actors.

Priorities for the 1992 Western Transition Program

In the late 1980s, the Soviet Union and its republics were not developing countries, but industrialized countries with different state and economic development histories. The doctrines and teachings of the World Development Community were not suitable for managing change in Russia and the former Soviet republics. Teachers and trainees on both sides would have needed to sit on the school bench to come up with mutually beneficial and feasible solutions.

In many respects, private sector development differs significantly from the International Financial Institutions & OECD / DAC's perceptions of developing economies in transition. Over the past 20 years, donors (donor countries) have received many good reform reports and solutions in various sectors, such as the World Bank report on country-level development strategy. Similarly, the Agenda 2015 on the objectives of the Sustainable Development Agenda, published in 2015, has included issues in development cooperation that have long-term consequences on digitalization of business sector and society management systems. However, local business processes have not always been adequately managed. The reforms have become a kind of Phyrros gains for the recipient countries in social and other societal developments.

In the Soviet republics, social policy / social development differed from the Western approach. The activities of the state-owned social sector were part of state policy. In the West, matters are dealt with by means of social insurance / financing, where service providers can be several parties together or separately. When the analysis of procedures and practices in transition economies in the 1990s by development experts and actors was not accurate, it left its mark on the whole program. It was based on the assumptions of foreign players. Problems arose that affected the entire transition economy program. Privatization was also required for the social sector after the privatization of housing and industry by means of coupons.

In connection with the privatization of state property, an unexpected problem of social security arose in the New Independent States. When privatization did not consider the social sector obligations of state-owned enterprises and other actors other than removing them without a substitute public sector budget-based system was the world's first human rights-violating chaos. It is only remembered by the citizens of the former Soviet era. Social security reform was planned to execute after privatization. It would have called for measures to reform public administration budgeting provision before any measure in privatization. A large part of the population fell below the poverty line in the former Soviet Union. Prosperous sections of the population became richer and income disparities between population groups began to increase in the New Independent States.

Was there an alternative to privatization?

In transition economy programs, social security mechanisms were run down before their role in the overall system was understood. In the 1920s, under the new Soviet Economic Plan (NEP), Western concessionaires (licensing procedures) also had to take social obligations into account. If, in the countries of the former Soviet Union, progress had been made through concessions instead of privatization, the state would still have been the largest owner of a single mass of assets. Concessionaires pay their grantors a concession fee equivalent to leasing financing. They also generate cash flow to finance the social sector, no matter who has responsibilities. During long concessions lasting more than 50 years, the value of state property also increases as real property.

The second approach involves the ex-post correction of privatization programs if they have acted illegally (used inside information or otherwise acted contrary to the spirit of the law), or there is no justice and fairness in people’s minds. What is needed is a new kind of change in the aging practices of “crimes” case law and an economic governance mechanism using compensatory instruments in both privatization and colonial policy. The procedure would be to set up a national / international tribunal Russia as an ex-post moderation of the results of the privatization of Russia in the 1990s and as a judicial institution making recommendations for the future. Convicted fees / taxes would be paid into a special equalization fund, the charter of which is drawn up and supervised by the State Duma.

Ex-post assessment of the transition period in the former Soviet Union

The impact of the issues described above on the people and the world around Russia and other former Soviet countries is a matter common to all the actors involved. There needs to be a public debate in which a common language, concepts, and way of describing things are created. Information can always be exchanged between people, but finding a common denominator is not possible without “reaching a common view”. It is a necessary condition for managing change.

Russia has written its history differently than European countries. Russia also knows how to talk about things in silence, but no one wants it because speaking in the country's military sign language is too strong. The Russian leadership should understand that the truth is not found in how history is written, but how it is read. History is a fugitive still looking for a home in the middle of universe.

© Heikki K. Auvinen / Asumer Oy, 2020 - All rights reserved.

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