Eurasian Geography and Economics. Book Review.
Russia’s war against Ukraine, beginning in 2014 and intensifying in 2022, has stimulated much journalistic commentary, well-informed and ill-informed, on Eastern Europe since the end of the Soviet Union, considered by Putin a geopolitical catastrophe for the Russky Mir (Russian World). This perspective is encouraged by the quasi-philosophy of Alexander Dugin that has similarities with those of the National Socialists Alfred Rosenberg, Martin Heidegger, and Carl Schmitt. It is a mystical philosophy derived from a belief in racial and cultural exceptionalism and a mission to defend this in a world of friends and enemies, reminiscent of Thomas Hobbes. The western lands of the Russian Empire, lost with the First World War and Bolshevik Revolution, are seen by nationalists as bulwarks of this exceptionalism, with its Eurasian identity. Recovered and extended by the Soviet Union after the Second World War, albeit veneered with a thin coat of “socialist internationalism,” they were lost again after 1991, hence Putin’s “geopolitical catastrophe” and neo-imperialist wars.