X Close

The European Right is spurning Moscow Putin has lost his old admirers

Moldovan citizens protest to join the EU last year. Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.

Moldovan citizens protest to join the EU last year. Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.


June 17, 2024   4 mins

In the lead-up to the European elections, the Kremlin poured vast amounts of resources into attempting to tilt the results in favour of far-Right, pro-Russian politicians. All the familiar tactics were seen in the wild. Moscow hardly bothers to cover its tracks any longer: viral stories on TikTok and Instagram pumped out lurid claims about the opposition, hackers caused disruption, and, behind the scenes, Russian agents were hard at work within NGOs and political structures across the continent. 

At first glance, Vladimir Putin seems to have won an enormous victory. Sympathetic far-Right parties, including openly neo-fascist outfits in Slovakia and Bulgaria, won seats across Central and Eastern Europe. Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National performed so well — clocking 31.5% of the vote in France — that Emmanuel Macron was moved to call a national election in response. 

Russian politicians have been cock-a-hoop, declaring with confidence that the parliamentary results are a turning point in a broader war against the West. On X, an increasingly combative Dmitry Medvedev declared in his broken English that the results “come as a reflection of your inept policy of providing support to the bandera authorities in the f. Ukraine at the cost of your own citizens, your idiotic economic and migration policy!” A swathe of Russian media pundits followed his lead, proclaiming that the electoral results would lead to a definitive weakening in support for Kyiv and that “Russian culture and traditions are gaining more and more recognition in the West”. 

These leading commentators are assuring a Russian public, struggling with the economic and human costs of the country’s war against Ukraine, that a long-promised goal — one enshrined in official doctrine for close to two decades — is about to be realised: the creation of a “multipolar world” led by Moscow, and the rebuilding of a lost empire. 

Depicting Europe as the antithesis of Russian values, power and success has been central to selling this project to the Russian population. Indeed, it was the pro-Russian Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to reject an EU Association Agreement in 2013 that led to the Maidan Revolution in Kyiv. In turn, Putin in large part decided to invade a few months later as Ukraine looked to be rejecting Russia in favour of Europe.

Thus the suggestion that Europe is about to be broken for good not only invokes the collapse of the EU; it also implies Russia’s inexorable rise, the recreation of an empire with Moscow at its heart, and the recompense for two years of bitter suffering in Ukraine.

Yet is the situation as promising as Medvedev and his ilk claim? Despite the successes of the European far-Right, it is hard to imagine that 2024 will be a major turning point in Moscow’s relationship with Europe, or that the European Union’s old guard is on its knees. Indeed, it may yet transpire that 2024’s elections will see a new pact between the centre-right and the Left that could tilt both Moldova and Ukraine — each a traditional part of Russia’s imagined sphere of influence — even further toward Brussels.

For all the headlines about far-Right successes, the most openly pro-Russian politicians struggled at the polls. The pro-Russian Latvia MEP Tatjana Ćœdanoka, who announced her “retirement” in February after allegations of spying for Russia were made public, saw her party fail to regain its single seat. Vocal pro-Russian Left-wingers such as the Dubliner Clare Daly, who was publicly backed by liberal celebrities including Susan Sarandon, also made their exits from Strasbourg. Voters might be angry about immigration and the political intransigence of Brussels, but they are not ready to embrace Moscow.

“Voters might be angry about immigration and the political intransigence of Brussels, but they are not ready to embrace Moscow.”

Meanwhile, it will be service as normal in the halls of power in Europe. The European People’s Party (EPP) — which contains all of the familiar big hitters continues to back Ursula von der Leyen as president of the European Commission — remains the largest bloc in the Parliament. None of its members are pro-Russian, and there is no indication that their views on providing support to Ukraine, let alone retreating from the Baltics and the former Communist countries of Eastern Europe, are about to change. Indeed, a resurgent Poland is leading a group of European countries determined to take on Putin, come what may.

Jostling for position behind the EPP is a bitterly divided rabble of Right-wing parties, only a minority of whom are outright pro-Russian. The most pro-Moscow bloc, the Identity and Democracy (ID) grouping of parties, gained a mere nine seats in the elections. But for the past two years, the group has been riven with infighting and allegiance switching as members such as the hard nationalist Finns Party have doubled down on their support for Ukraine and chosen to exit. Despite dalliances with pro-Russian positions, the far-Right in Italy and France remain pro-Ukraine. The crucial issues for the Right, even those more sympathetic to Moscow, are around economy, migration, and values — not about giving the Kremlin a grand strategic victory.

It is more likely that a centre-left bloc will cut a deal with the EPP grouping to offer Moldova and Ukraine new paths to integration, and possibly a route to membership. Even as Medvedev loudly declares the advent of a Russian-led multipolar world, Russia’s former subjects are fast heading in the opposite direction, toward a Europe that is ready to embrace them — and that is pumping great quantities of money and arms into Ukraine. 

After more than two years of total warfare in Ukraine, Moscow is further away than ever from recreating the Soviet and Russian empire. Europe has, once again, overwhelmingly rejected Russia and its useful idiots. The Kremlin’s stooges will keep claiming that the turning point is just over the horizon, but it is hard not to be reminded of the Soviet promise that global revolution is just around the corner. The more that promise is made, the more obvious it is that Russia’s star is waning.


Dr. Ian Garner is assistant professor of totalitarian studies at the Pilecki Institute in Warsaw. His latest book is Z Generation: Russia’s Fascist Youth (Hurst).

irgarner

Join the discussion


Join like minded readers that support our journalism by becoming a paid subscriber


To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

73 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Martin M
Martin M
1 month ago

An uplifting article. It is clear that Ukraine’s future lies in the EU and in NATO.

Pequay
Pequay
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin M

Isn’t that scenario part of the problem?

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  Pequay

Why ? It’s an independent country and entitled to take decisions on its own future.
Do you seriously think Russia should have a veto on what its nearest neighbours can and cannot do ? If so, please explain exactly why that is. And exactly why Ukraine or Poland cannot make the same demands on Russia ? Do we tell the French what they can or can’t do ? Or the French tell the Germans ?
It’s the 21st century, not the 19th. No country is entitled to force its neighbours to become buffer states.
Besides which, Russia already has direct neighbours in NATO. And the list is +1 (Finland) since 2022.

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

But the choice is not Ukraine’s alone. It is also one to be made by NATO, which had already promised no expansion eastwards and therefore should not have held out the prospect of membership to Ukraine, or indeed any country east of Germany.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

Yes, the “promise” that was supposedly made. If you can provide evidence that a concrete promise was made about NATO expansion during talks after the collapse of the USSR, I’d like to know about it. Claims that someone said something in a meeting don’t count.

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

It was made by James Baker, US Secretary of State…

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

As far as I know he didn’t give a promise, he merely stated that they had no intention to expand. Which was true for the administration of Bush the elder. And even if a verbal promise should have been made, later governments are never bound by things said by totally different governments. It has to be put in a treaty and signed.
Russia, by the way, did sign the Budapest memorandum, which guaranteed Ukraines borders in exchange for they giving up their nuclear weapons.

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

You’re making stuff up. I only said that Ukraine had the right to choose it’s own future. Nothing about whether the EU or NATO would (or should) accept Ukraine.
You may also have noticed that “circumstances have changed” over the past 10-20 years. Finland and Sweden have quite sensibly and rationally joined NATO as a result (Finland’s east of Germany and part of Sweden is last time I checked).
You really do need to explain why you believe that Russia is a country which deserves more rights than other countries. And perhaps give us a list of all the “special countries” which should be allowed to bully their neighbours. And tell us why that is.
But I notice you aren’t actually answering any of my questions. Just deflecting.

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

I didn’t say Ukraine didn’t have the right to choose…I said NATO didn’t because it had promised not to expand eastwards…

Best to read what I wrote.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

NATO never promised that.

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

Still no answers to my questions … you just don’t have any, do you ?
Come on, final chance – just who are the “special countries” ?

B. Timothy S.
B. Timothy S.
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

“It’s the 21st century, not the 19th. No country is entitled to force its neighbours to become buffer states.”

100 years of partition and enforced neutrality in Ireland seems to have worked.

I’m sure the UK would have honored their neighbors independence if they allowed U-boats to port in Galway. Ha!

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
1 month ago
Reply to  B. Timothy S.

Enforced neutrality? I thought the Irish chose to be neutral.
And when regarding German U- bouts in Ireland. If that had happened during the war, the U.K would have been justified to claim that Ireland wasn’t neutral. There was after all a war going on. But if it had happened in 1936? I don’t think the war would have started over that.

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  B. Timothy S.

And how is this relevant to my point ?

Liakoura
Liakoura
1 month ago

In his audio book “On Tyranny and On Ukraine Lessons from Russia’s war on Ukraine” Timothy Snyder, the eminent historian of Eastern Europe, gives a historical explanation of why and how Putin is fascist, and the inheritor of Fascism and Nazism in Europe.
According to Snyder, Putin leads a corrupt autocracy-cleptocracy that has turned to neo-fascism in an attempt to regain Russia’s imperial glory. Snyder predicted in 2014, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and that a new Russian colonialism would threaten European stability.
And he was certainly correct about the European Commission’s cowardly veto of Ukraine’s request, backed by many EU citizens, for a fast-tracked membership the the European Union.
Early in the book, or listen to in the better updated audio version, Snyder carefully points out how Volodymyr Zelenskiy could have made a quick exit to many EU and other western countries that would have given him asylum and a comfortable life, when Putin’s conscripted ˜storm troopers” invaded. But he decided to remain and fight.
And we are all very much the better for his courageous decision. 
According to Robert P Baird, and recorded in Catherine Belton’s “Putin’s People”, Putin began his career as an unknown KGB agent working in backwater Dresden during the Cold War. He carefully established a network that would be responsible for inserting him into the Kremlin’s halls of power. Perceiving him as a politician who would employ whatever means necessary to stay in power, members of the former KGB leadership identified him as the key to maintaining their control over Russia. Putin built an intricate network involving politicians, members of ruthless organized crime organizations, sympathetic journalists, and the ever hungry nouveau riche that are the oligarchs of today, This he successfully conscripted when it served his interests as well as pitting factions against each other when required.
Catherine Belton also asserts that Putin’s regime staged the now infamous 2002 Dubrovka Theatre terror attack which resulted in the deaths of close to 200 civilians. The aim of this act of terror was to sway public opinion towards the government taking a firmer hand on the Chechen issue, whose separatists were accused of perpetrating the ruthless attack.

Chris Whybrow
Chris Whybrow
1 month ago

Given that the Russian Far Right itself contains a lot of pro Ukrainians, including many actually fighting for Ukraine against their government, Putin and his henchmen should know better than to just assume the Far Right are his friends.

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
1 month ago

The Maidan Revolution was clearly a CIA coup. Apparently the author hasn’t ever heard of Brzezinski and Wolfowitz…or believes his readers haven’t. It isn’t a Russian empire attempted to be built…

Martin M
Martin M
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

Zbigniew Brezinski and Paul Wolfowitz? What of them?

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

You’re really not very bright.
Russia isn’t building an empire. It’s desperately trying to cling on to the Tsarist one that it kept – and even expanded – as the Soviet Union (all the while trying to con the third world into thinking that it was the anti-imperialist, anti-colonial power).
The last remaining empires are Russia, China and France. They will all break up – France and Russia first, then China. All these countries are in denial. France still thinks it should hang on to overseas territories (French Guiana and a load of islands) *as part of France*.

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

All empires eventually collapse, imperial overstretch etc, and are particularly dangerous during the last phase of over-expansion in an attempt to prolong themselves.
However you have failed to mention the empire in exactly that phase ie the US Empire, and the current situation is particularly dangerous.

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

Because there simply is no US empire.
An empire is when you go out and conquer and occupy other countries.
So who is in this supposed “US empire” then ?
They aren’t occupying any major countries I can think of. Where they have overseas military bases (Japan, Korea, UK, Germany, etc) these are by agreement with these allied countries.
It’s even possible for countries to leave NATO if they choose (France did under de Gaulle). Just try that if you’re under Russian/Soviet or Chinese domination. Hungary tried in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968.
If you still can’t tell the difference, there’s really no hope.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

It conquered a land area,plus Hawaii.

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

An empire is economic. It is when one country effectively controls the economies of other countries for its own benefit. That is the point of them. Frequently there is military enforcement, sooner or later.

The British Empire is a perfect example. It originated in trade…as in free trade…then “free trade” was enforced by the East India Company troops and the Royal Navy eg India and China.

It started to collapse when the cost became greater than the benefits…but that wasn’t recognised because the Imperialists assumed a “civilising” stance…

The US Empire is in a similar position. The costs are immense but the benefits declining…and it too is cloaking itself in a moral high ground position.

It too is collapsing. Strangely enough it is Trump who recognises it…probably not consciously…

The USA will be isolationist within 30 years…it can afford to be. It will no longer “bear any burden”…

B Emery
B Emery
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

‘It too is collapsing. Strangely enough it is Trump who recognises it
probably not consciously


The USA will be isolationist within 30 years
it can afford to be. It will no longer “bear any burden”
’

With that in mind – what about a new nato without America in it. Rename/ Rebrand. A uk/ European alliance that includes Ukraine too, then next time the Russians and Americans want a proxy war they can have it elsewhere?

Martin M
Martin M
1 month ago
Reply to  B Emery

If that is to happen, some other European countries might need to get themselves some nukes!

B Emery
B Emery
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin M

Who makes NATO nukes? Do you think America would give us some from its nato stockpile if it doesn’t need them for Europe anymore?

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  B Emery

There are no “NATO nukes”. There are only nukes belonging to individual countries. Britain made its own nuclear bombs (that’s what AWE did), but uses some US delivery mechanisms. The French did the whole job themselves.

B Emery
B Emery
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

What is this American security umbrella then? I thought if a nato country got nuked America would deploy its nukes?
Really, I was generalising. Worded better, who makes the nukes for western nuclear powers?
So we can make our own? So we could broom the Americans and create British jobs making British nukes for a uk/ EU nuke security umbrella MAD type deal? Do you think the French would lend us their umbrella if we needed it?

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

Try using a dictionary if you still don’t understand what an empire is.
Besides which, US economic and technological strength is not “collapsing”. This is just wishful thinking by a minority of self-loathing Western citizens. Sad.

B Emery
B Emery
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

Not sure it is just wishful thinking. Are you sure you aren’t down playing Americas problems just a little?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

Because there simply is no US empire.
The dollar as the world’s reserve currency says otherwise, though this part is subject to change. The US share of funding for NATO and the UN says otherwise. The US having military bases worldwide says otherwise.
That does not make any of this good or worth continuing, but to say there is no empire misses the point.

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

That is not an empire, is it ?
Do you need a dictionary ?

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

Indeed, there is no US empire. It is like cultural marxism everbody talks about. It just does not exist.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

France is hardly an empire -.it has a few scattered territories which it claims as being part of the metropolitan centre. In at least some of these territories however the people WANT to be part of the metropolitan centre.

Then there is West Africa. The relation of France with its erstwhile colonies was much better described as hegemony rather than empire but that is decaying anyway, as perhaps you were implying.

However how you get to the idea that China is going to break up I have no idea. We have seen the completely ruthless way that the CCP will if necessary, verge on genocide, to maintain its power, most obviously of the Uyghur people.

Michel Virard
Michel Virard
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

To put France «empire» on the same footing as the Russian and Chinese looks like a case of British late colonial «envy». Fore one, these oversee territories are free to leave whenever the democratically choose, second most actually chose to remain as French territories: the pay is too good…

El Uro
El Uro
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

Fool…

DenialARiverIn Islington
DenialARiverIn Islington
1 month ago
Reply to  El Uro

If ONLY he was THAT clever
..

Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
1 month ago
Reply to  El Uro

You signed your post, but forgot to say anything!

El Uro
El Uro
1 month ago

The Maidan Revolution was clearly a CIA coup
.
Only a fool would say such a thing. I have said more than once that just because you don’t drink MSM slop, it doesn’t mean that you should bathe in the sewer of the RT

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 month ago
Reply to  El Uro

Could you perhaps dispense with the rude ad hominem attacks and actually make an argument?

Graeme Crosby
Graeme Crosby
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

Shill or stooge?

Paid or just one of those “useful” types?

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
1 month ago
Reply to  Graeme Crosby

Presumably you also consider Kennan, Kissinger and Mearsheimer to be paid or stooges. None were… for either side and neither am I.

I just point out what should be obvious to anyone who looks behind the propaganda on both sides…but most don’t.

Arthur G
Arthur G
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

Kissinger changed his mind after the Russian invasion. Before his death he supported admitting Ukraine to NATO as a part of a peace deal.
Mearsheimer is definitely a Russian stooge, not sure if he’s paid or not. But the cat was let completely out of the bag with his pro-Hamas stance after Oct. 7th. All of a sudden he was a realist no more.

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
1 month ago
Reply to  Arthur G

And Kennan…clearly a stooge…

Arthur G
Arthur G
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

Kennan was soft on Communism. He had one good idea (containment) that he turned against almost immediately. In 1948 he wanted us to make nice with Stalin. Truman rejected his nonsense immediately, and he left the State Dept. in 1950. Why should we care what a guy thinks, who had one good idea 80 years ago, that he immediately rejected?

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
1 month ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Containment was Containment…it worked…he didn’t advocate roll back…and ir didn’t happen

Arthur G
Arthur G
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

Really? So Poland is still Communist?

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
1 month ago
Reply to  Arthur G

It certainly didn’t happen during the Cold War and certainly wasn’t attempted. Everyone knew what the result of THAT would be…

Arthur G
Arthur G
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

The whole Reagan/Thatcher/ John Paul II axis was about rolling back the Soviet influence. And it worked.
The Cold War didn’t just end, the West went out and intentionally won it with a combination of military competition, economic pressure, and ideological offensives.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

So you don’t think the fall of communism in Poland, Czechoslovakia etc were CIA coups. Why not, when you consider Euromaidan a coup?

Steve Houseman
Steve Houseman
1 month ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Totally agree re Mearsheimer.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 month ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Not everyone you disagree with is a stooge! I think Meersheimer is an interesting thinker bodies become wildly inconsistent so I’m not sure that his supposedly foreign policy realistically position holds water any longer, if it ever did.

He has taken a hard realpolitik position on the Russia Ukraine question. On China Taiwan and China – US rivalry he takes a completely different stance – and on Israel Gaza he uses extraordinarily emotive and loaded language terms such as “apartheid”, “open air prison camp”, “ethnic cleansing” and even “genocide” to describe Israel’s policies, while claiming the invasion by Hamas attack on the 7th October was “a great success”. This is most obviously extremely one-sided but also entirely different from the way he describes the Russia Ukraine conflict, so I do now question his judgment and motivation.

Dave Canuck
Dave Canuck
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

The Maiden revolution was a people’s revolution, against a government that was elected to forge closer ties with Europe and the west, and then backtracked under Russian pressure and money to align with Russia instead. That was not what people wanted, Ukrainians were sick of Russian domination after decades of abuse, forced famine and severe oppression, they revolted like Eastern Europe did when the Berlin wall fell. To state as fact that this was a purely CIA coup is pure propaganda, and total nonsense. It’s the Ukrainians who took to the streets and said enough is enough with dominance from the Moscow regime and its corrupt oligarchs. Russia has no right to dominate Ukraine if the people don’t want them, but Putin has zero respect for people and just wants to dominate the region. His war economy will eventually collapse under pressure, he will ruin Russia further until even the Russians will wake up and take to the streets when they had enough

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave Canuck

Yeh…right…

B. Timothy S.
B. Timothy S.
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave Canuck

Or right, the people storming the Capitol to remove the elected government are the real democrats. That makes sense.

Dave Canuck
Dave Canuck
1 month ago
Reply to  B. Timothy S.

No comparison, the fanatics storming the capital had no popular support and fizzled out, it was a security failure, not a popular uprising. Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in Ukraine and they had popular support, many lost their lives , their future was at stake. They refused to continue to live under the thumb of Russia.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

Not a coup at all. I guess you think the downfall of communism in Eastern Europe in 1989 also was a communist coup.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

The CIA seem to have retained some of the same mythical position in some political outlooks as the World Economic Forum more recently has.

The CIA is a huge government organisation which – unless you think that the further advancement of the world communism a few more million dead here or there was a good idea – was probably necessary. It gets some things right, something’s wrong. It has certainly encouraged some changes of government, indeed coups, without instigating all of them (Chile). Countries have their own political actors. The tendency of some people on the far right and far left to imply that non-western countries have almost no agency of their own is amazing.

To call what happened in 2014 in Ukraine a “coup” is stretching things. Of course if it were then Boris Yeltsin ALSO instigated a coup in Russia and therefore his successor is completely illegitimate! First of all there was far more popular support for changing the government than that term implies. What we had was a deeply divided country (as indeed Russia has been) between the legislature and the president. There were government sharpshooters killing protesters in the square, and eventually the president fleeing, rather like James the second did in Britain. But we usually recognise William the third as a legitimate King!

A D Kent
A D Kent
1 month ago

“All the familiar tactics were seen in the wild. Moscow hardly bothers to cover its tracks any longer: viral stories on TikTok and Instagram pumped out lurid claims about the opposition, hackers caused disruption, and, behind the scenes, Russian agents were hard at work within NGOs and political structures across the continent.”

What’s been familiar has been the evidence-free assertions that the Russians are systematically doing any of that – certainly that they have been at it to a degree anywhere near the levels of their Atlanticsist couterparts. If they’re not bothering to hide their tracks then you shouldn’t have too much trouble in postinga few examples Mr Garner. Please do so if you can. Otherwise I’ll file with Russiagate, Cambridge Analytica/Brexit, Syria CW attacks and the Salisbury Poisonings.

R Wright
R Wright
1 month ago

“It is more likely that a centre-left bloc will cut a deal with the EPP grouping to offer Moldova and Ukraine new paths to integration, and possibly a route to membership.”

All of this quibbling over EU parliamentarians is pointless. They have virtually zero power. They cannot ‘cut a deal’ on anything, let alone bring in new members. The EU Commission and its unelected officials has the sole legal power to bring in legislation. Why do people pretend otherwise?

Martin Rossol
Martin Rossol
1 month ago

There is at least one European stooge for every Russian stooge.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 month ago

Russia, Russia, Russia. For 20-odd years, Putin was a European business partner, providing reliable affordable energy and other things. No invasion occurred; none was even hinted at happening. But, hey; let’s put an organization that was designed to battle Russia’s predecessor on the nation’s border and act like that is just fine. Also, when do the defeated take some accountability for recent election outcomes instead of continuing to look for scapegoats?

El Uro
El Uro
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

In fact, Russia has had territorial claims against its neighbors since the collapse of the USSR, but it is better to remain silent about this when discussing the guilt of the West and NATO
.
PS. Dislikes to this my comment are amazing. There are well-documented evidences for my assertion, but some UnHerd readers believe they know all better than I (former Ukrainian) do. In this sense, they are remarkably similar to the gender specialists who regularly publish in the Lancet. Logic is powerless here.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  El Uro

Doesn’t stack up. Up until 2014 and Nulands coup Russia made no territorial claims and was happy to rent Crimea 
 afterwards they decided they couldn’t risk a US battle group docking in Sevastopol 
 understandably as the US would do that just to antagonise them.

We wanted this war. The Pentagon warned at least 3x that if we kept doing what we were doing it would lead to an invasion. We did. It did. But it’s gone very wrong on us. Again. We are ruled by utter muppets.

El Uro
El Uro
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Don’t talk nonsense, please.
.
Russia’s territorial claims against its neighbors have been made since 1991, when Nuland did not yet exist as a government servant.
.
I have never given advice to British readers here regarding the internal politics of Britain, the relationship between England and Scotland and the like. The reasons are clear, I respect them, respect their opinions, their intelligence and do not consider myself entitled to give them advice on how to live.
.
So why the hell are you and the others like you explaining to me the reasons for the Russian-Ukrainian conflict?
Where does this stupid self-confidence come from?
Do you even imagine what idiots you look not only in my eyes, but also in the eyes of the overwhelming majority of readers from Eastern Europe, people who have experienced the “mysterious Russian soul” firsthand?

B Emery
B Emery
1 month ago
Reply to  El Uro

Logic is powerless here.

You have to be really persistent. Logic and reason seems to have escaped western leadership and a fair share of the population.

David L
David L
1 month ago

I hear an awful lot about the far right. Never ever seen one of them though.

Meanwhile, the far left and their Islamic pets are busy destroying civilisation.

John Lammi
John Lammi
1 month ago

There are no far right politicians in Europe. Fascism was always a left wing collectivist program. Mussolini referred to President Roosevelt as a fellow fascist

Muiris de Bhulbh
Muiris de Bhulbh
1 month ago

Delighted that Clare Daly (aka Kremlin Clare), & her sidekick Mick Wallace lost their seats (in Ireland). They were a national embarrassment

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
1 month ago

There is no need for Russia to interfere in anything. Western elites are so despicable and mistrusted they dig their own graves. Ultimately, their lack of legitimacy will let them drop as a ripe fruit in China’s lap. Europe’s future is an area of low wages in a heavily industrialised and polluted environment producing for the Chinese middle classes. Even a ruin needs to be ruled, so you bet the Eurocrats are preparing themselves for EU Next Generation.

Fafa Fafa
Fafa Fafa
1 month ago

It makes it an astonishingly low quality product for a website that features, among others, people such as Kathleen Stock, Ayaan Hirsi, etc, to publish an article that talks about blatant and open Russian meddling in European affairs, without mentioning the preceding blatant and open American meddling in Ukraine’s (and Europe’s, and Russia’s) affairs, and, in the manner of a typical power-adjacent news medium promotes the following half-truth: “it was the pro-Russian Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to reject an EU Association Agreement in 2013 that led to the Maidan Revolution in Kyiv. In turn, Putin in large part decided to invade a few months later as Ukraine looked to be rejecting Russia in favour of Europe.”

Someone reading nothing but the NYT or listening to MSNBC only may find this passable, but I doubt (hope) that most Unherd fans won’t.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago

It’s not that people are pro Putin or Russia
. it’s more that anyone who knows more than the state controlled MSM allows the sheeple to learn can see that this war was solely caused by the Neo liberal antagonism and double crossing (Minsk 1/2) that has continued unabated since the US announced Georgia and Ukraines fast tracking into NATO in 2008.

The well Informed don’t drink the state coolaid.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 month ago

I would say that there is a lot of wishful thinking in this article. Russia doesn’t need to convince every government in the West or even the populist ones to actively support it’s position. Division is enough. Because of Russian’s own actions but mainly because of fundamental divisions within Europe and the US Europe is completely divided.

If European countries were really going full in to ensure Ukraine wins, then would need to be far less grudging than they actually have been providing military support, and even put the economies on a war footing. If this were done then Western countries could certainly defeat Russia. But it isn’t and won’t be done. Instead we have a kind of trying to have your cake and eating it. Normalcy vs virtue signaling!. Support for Ukraine is becoming much less popular not only in countries like Hungary but also in Germany and from the Left as well as the Right. On the left almost nobody now even talks about Russia Ukraine, being obsessed with the Israel Gaza war instead.