February 4, 1994
(Archived document, may contain errors)
February 4, 1.994 ZHIRINOVSKY IN HIS OWN WORDS: EXCERPTS FROM THE FINAL THRUST SOUTH
Excerpted, translated, and introduced by Ariel Cohen, Salvatori Fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies, The Heritage Foundation, and Melana Zy1a, Policy Analyst, Asian Studies Center, The Heri- tage Foundation.
Russian ultra-nationalist Vladimir Volfovich Zhirinovsky became an internationally recognized figure when his Liberal Democratic Party won almost a quarter of the Russian vote in parliamentary elections on December 12, 1993. The name "Liberal Democrat," however, is dangerously mislead- ing. Zhirinovsky's 1993 autobiography, The Final Thrust South, reveals a chauvinistic, imperialist perspective on domestic Russian politics and world affairs that is neither liberal nor democratic. It is tempting to dismiss Zhirinovsky's outrageous book as political polemic. But a failed Aus- trian painter and former army corporal was similarly ignored when he published his own tract: Mein Kampf. The tendency to dismiss Zhirinovsky as a buffoon and to assume that his supporters did not know what they were voting for may be a naive, even dangerous, response to his election and con- tinued popularity. Zhirinovsky clearly represents the worst instincts of Russian chauvinism, and his position as de facto opposition leader gives him influence that cannot be ignored. He is an obvious future candidate to succeed President Boris Yeltsin, and should be so treated in the West. A December 1993 poll by Nezavisimaya Gazeta put Zhirinovsky's approval rating at 25 percent, compared to Boris Yeltsin's 38 percent approval. Given his strong showing in the December elec- tions, he may be more popular now. His message clearly is. Some of his ultra-nationalist rallying points have been adopted by more moderate politicians. Most recently, Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev told The Washington Post on January 21 that the Kremlin would defend the rights not only of Russians, but of Russian speakers outside the country's borders, and that the West must accept Russia's purview in the former Soviet Union as "simple reality." Yeltsin's chances of suc- cessfully accomplishing reforms have diminished with the resignation of reformist Deputy Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar and pro-market Finance Minister Boris Fedorov. Yeltsin's government com- prises communist-era apparatchiks almost exclusively. They do not understand market economics and their performance will be as abysmal as that of their Gorbachev-era predecessors. Meanwhile, the Russian public is suffering the privations and negative effects of partially implemented reforms that have been sabotaged by the remnant of the old bureaucracy that still holds Russia in its grip. In such dark times, as in Weimar Germany, a desperate people may opt for a leader showing a strong hand, such as Zhirinovsky. YYY#8194
Politicians sometimes make rash statements in the heat of debate or in impromptu speeches. Some of Zhirinovsky's most outrageous statements reported in the press include: "Let us make others suffer. " "Onlyfear makes people work. "Democracy presupposes violence. "Dark-skinned street vendors in Moscow make it look like a non-Russian city. This is a black stain that should be eradicated. "Jewish children are going to school, while our children are hungry andforlorn. Ifyou vote for me, it will stop. "77?e United States is being overrun by blacks and Hispanics. You and us, the Russians, share the same threatfrom the dark- skinned people from the Third World. " "I would bomb the Japanese. I would sail our large navy around their small island, and if they so much as cheeped, I would nuke them. "
By contrast, the full text of his book stands as a record of his considered thought, and not as elec- tioneering rhetoric. It reveals his world view and certain assumptions about the hierarchy of nations, the supremacy of Russia over other Slavs, suspicion of China and Japan, perception of the United States as an aggressor destined to be punished in the future, and a belief in Russia's historic duty to dominate and suppress the Muslim world-Turkey and Iran in particular. These statements should not be dismissed, but taken seriously. Brief, but illustrative excerpts from The Final Thrust South follow. The translators have supplied subheadings and preserved Zhirinovsky's sentence structure. Passages using italics or capital letters for emphasis appear that way in the printed Russian text.
WHAT IS "THE FINAL THRUST SOUTH
Georgia is an impediment to us. We must change our border. We must have an outlet on the Pacific and Indian Oceans, or set up a "wall of China" to separate us from the South. But building a wall would interfere with our trade with Iran, Turkey, and Afghanistan. That would impoverish us. So we probably shouldn't do that. So there is only one choice. The op- eration should be carried out using the code-name "Final Thrust to the South." Our army will carry out this task. It will be a means for the nation as a whole to survive and a way to restore the Russian army. New armed forces are only born in combat opera- tions. You cannot build an army in commissariats and barracks (p. 70).
The main problem is from the South. All Russia's troubles lie in the South. So until we re- solve this southern knot there will be no getting out of this extended crisis with its intern-dt- tent exacerbations (p. 45).
I learned about political work [during my two years in the army]. I also learned about some aspects of directed propaganda, intelligence gathering, and I studied the ethnic ques- tion in more depth (p. 45).
didn't just want to be active in politics. I had already begun to develop my own concep- tion of geopolitics. I don't want to attach any label to it, the Zhirinovsky Formula or some- thing like that, but the final "thrusf' to the south. Russia reaching the shores of the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea is a task that will be the salvation of the Russian nation (p. 63).
We will have assured ourselves safe borders once and for all by making the division or separation of some portion impossible. Divisions will only be intemal-gubemiyas, oblasts, provinces, uezds-as you like. I No local color. Mixing of peoples for economic reasons, predominance of the Russian language and the Russian ruble, a leading role for the Russian army as the one most battle-ready, as proved by history. This will provide stability for Rus- sia in our region and for the world (p. 65).
... This would not just be a solution for the region, a solution from Kabul to Istanbul. This is a solution to a global problem, a solution with planetary implications....We must perma- nently calm this region. Resorts, youth camps, sanatoriums, and preventive health clinics will be established on the shores of the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. Great spaces can be acquired for relaxation. The entire South can become one large zone of resorts and rest homes for the industrial north and all other peoples (p. 66).
Medicine is not always sweet. This may not be pleasant for those in Kabul, Teheran, and Ankara (p. 67).
All this will be a stimulus to the economy, transportation, and communications, and pro- vide raw materials for food production and light industry, cheap labor, and the possibility of establishing new rail lines to Delhi, Teheran, and Baghdad, new air routes, roads. The Silk Road should be re-established, running from China and India into Europe. It will run through Russia. Russia will grow rich. Our factories will never lack for labor because the population will emigrate from the South to the North seeking work. Unfortunately some will die, since the South lacks medicine and a high level of culture. So there will be a process of survival of the fittest, assimilation and adaptation (p. 71).
SPHERES OF INFLUENCE
Up to now the Americans have dominated in all parts of the planet .... If we come in con- tact again we will start to interfere with one another. We should establish a treaty and divide the planet into spheres of economic influence and action between North and South. The Japanese and Chinese are to control Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Australia. Russia is to take Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey. Western Europe is to take the Af- rican continent. And finally Canada and the USA will take all of Latin America. All of these portions will be equal .... We would concentrate our trade and economic relations with Af- ghaniitan, Iran, and Turkey for the time being while these nations still exist and are not satel- lites of Russia, until they become part of Russia (pp. 71-72).
.Latvia will be part of Russia. There will be a small Lithuanian state inside Russia. If some- one wants to live as a little assembly of Ukrainians then there can be a little Ukrainian repub- lic for them (p. 126).
But all of this can occur only on the condition that Russia opens up the South, stopping at the Indian Ocean. So the Finns, Lithuanians, and Estonians have a vested interest in seeing to it Russia establishes her new borders. The Japanese, Chinese, and Hindus have an interest as well. The Arabs and Europeans too. Only in this way can they escape the Israeli trap (p. 127).
Today Russia is threatened from the south. Afghanistan has already started to attack Tajik- istan. Teheran is planning a pan-Islamic seizure of a huge territory. Ankara has long had plans for a great Turkish state. Pan-Turkism is a threat to Russia, with its large Turkic-speak- ing, Muslim, and Farsi-speaking population (p. 130).
The world would not end if the Turkish nation was annihilated, although that isn't what I want. The Turks should remember how they came into Asia Minor, barbarously seized Con- stantinople and looted it, massacred and subjugated all the peoples ofAsia Minor. They should also remember how they slaughtered 1.5 million Armenians in April of 1915 .... A million Kurds live under a Turkish rule and are unable to live in a Kurdish state .... Who can give them this right? Only Russia. We cannot use the same standard to measure the aggressor and his victim. We have to fi- nally understand who brought civilization to this world. Who conquered space, and who con- quered other nations, robbed other peoples, drove people into slavery, burned buildings and turned Christian churches into mosques? ... There is no Turkish culture .... Who will pay for the outrage committed on Byzantine cul- ture and the Slavic peoples? There was no Nuremburg trial for the Turks when they commit- ted genocide against the Armenians.... Realistically, the Turks inflicted much evil on mankind, just like the Germans. But there was a trial for the Germans.... But Turkey was not punished (pp. 130-13 1).
Millions of people are grateful to Russia [for freedom from' Ottoman oppression.] Can't Russia, mustn't Russia make just one move, one little move southward, so that the trains could start running-Moscow to Delhi, Moscow to Kabul, Moscow to the shore of the In- dian Ocean, Moscow to Teheran, Moscow to Baghdad, Moscow to Ankara. They would run day and night, carrying goods and passengers there and back in safety. All for the economy, all for the furtherance of culture (p. 136).
The Germans want this. They don't know what to do with four million Turks. And lately they have many Gypsies, Rumanians, Czechs, Russians. What should they do with all those foreigners? The Germans are returning from Russia to Germany. We are causing a crisis in Germany. Fascist parties are forming there. And we, in Russia, are responsible. If we make our "thrust to the south" we will stop the flow of Russian Germans to Germany and help re- turn Turks from there to their homeland .... Germany will be able to restore East Prussia by taking part of Poland. And maybe they can take part of Moravia from the Czechs. That way the Germans will settle down and not start making any moves to the East (p. 137).
This is also profitable for France. We would help them extricate themselves from Ameri- can and Zionist influences. Otherwise by the year 2000, the capital of France will be an Arab city. The Algerians will quietly take Paris and move onward. Europe needs our help (p. 138).
This would save the ecology of the planet. There would be fewer airplanes flying. After all, there are so many planes flying from Istanbul to Africa now which would be flying here, to the north, to pick up what they need. The number of regions would be reduced. There would also be fewer airplanes flying goods from Russia to Africa. Switching contacts and communications to neighboring regions is cheaper and Would consume less energy. We would ease the existence of people on the planet .... Our army would remain on our territory. Only as far as the shores of the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, no further. Further down is friendly Iraq (p. 73).
It is possible that some residents of Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey would be unhappy if we blockade those countries. But the world will understand that if Russia needs it that means it's good. One should go from the will of the majority. Most of humanity would benefit from the division of the Muslim world. The Muslim peril must be eliminated. Other religions are not capable of bringing about religious wars now. The Turkish-speaking world must be divided because they are attempting to establish one Turkic state from Istanbul to Altay. Other nations do not seek such things-no Greater Ireland, or Nigeria, or Greater Panama. Finally the uneasy borders of southern Russia are disturbing for Russia and all of Europe. From all points of view the final "thrust" to the south, the expedition of the Russian army to the shore of the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea would mean freedom for 20 million Kurds, hundreds of thousands of Beluchis, Pushtuns, Daris, and other peoples living in the region (p. 74).
The Russian army needs this. It will let our boys flex their muscles instead of sitting around the barracks, wom out by hazing, in the depths of Russia, not knowing who and where the enemy is and what moral and physical preparations they should make. This would be a cleansing for all of us. The sound of Russian Orthodox church bells on the shores of the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea would ring out a message of brotherhood of the peo- ples, prosperity, calm, and an end to all military and ethnic conflicts for the residents of the region. It would be good for all of us, because everyone would be a winner. Only America would not be pleased, but she won't interfere. The alternative to the devel- opment of this situation is too grave for her if she interferes. There would be too many nega- tive results if she tried to prevent the establishment of Russia's southern borders. Russia will carry out what I have outlined. It will carry out its great historic mission and free the world of wars, which always start in the South .... This is a purely Russian variation. It is part of Russia's fate, and without it Russia is doomed to stop growing and die (p. 76).
DOMINANCE OF THE RUSSIAN LANGUAGE9 CULTURE, AND ORTHODOXY
It will be a multilingual world. But there will be one lingua franca from Constantinople to Kabul, as there is one language used in Sukhumi. They don't use Georgian or Abkhazian, Greek or Armenian in Sukhumi. They speak Russian. They find it easier to speak Russian than to teach five languages. And in this new space, all the way to the Indian Ocean, every- one will speak Russian. Tens of other peoples of differing faiths, Turkic and Farsi speakers, Slavs and Greeks, Kurds and Arabs. One motherland for all (p. 77).
The main problem is ethnicity. How do we quell the J. ealousy and competition between nations? How can we make everyone understand we are all citizens? Citizens. Not Turks, not Persians, not TaJiks, but citizens (p. 78).
just so in the ethnic question. There should be a powerful state standing by, and it is neces- sary that the representatives of the various nations and peoples of that powerful state should be made to fear one another and not think about attacking one another (p. 78).
Russia must expand to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. This is not just my folly. This is Russia's destiny. This is fate. This is the great achievement of Russia. We must do this, we simply have no choice. We cannot do otherwise. This is geopolitics. Our develop- ment demands it as a child who has outgrown an outfit needs a new one. This is how I see Russia. She will have the strongest army in the world, strategic missile troops and missiles with multiple warheads. Our military space platforms, our space ship "Buran" and our "Energiya" rockets are the country's shield in space. Complete safety and no competitor (p. 112).
It will be a new Russia... in which the Orthodox Christian religion plays the dominant role. We must not allow alien religions to break down the conscience o our youth, because that doesn't bring peoples closer, it interferes with their understanding of the world around them. We must help the Russian Orthodox religion attain its proper place.... One symbol, this black, yellow, and white flag, the flag of Russia, is the unifying symbol of the entire country.... One hymn, one state language, the language of international relations - Russian. One currency, the ruble. One system of finance, transport, ties, energy, ecology, defense, in- ternal politics....
RUSSIANS, SERVICE TO RUSSIA IS IN THE HANDS OF EACH OF YOU. (pp. 112-113)
ADVICE FOR THE UNITED STATES
We say to America: Stop while there is still time. We say to Bill Clinton: don't repeat the mistakes of Napoleon and Hitler .... America will also start to fall apart soon. A lot of nega- tive material has accumulated and there are many problems and ethnic conflicts arising. You have your own perestroika ahead of you, your own sickness, your own degradation. We Rus- sians won't gloat when several of your states break away, when your factories stop running and you lack food and medicine, when people start to leave America for Europe, Russia, Ja- pan, South Africa, and Australia. We won't gloat when California becomes part of Mexico and a black republic of Miami is established, when the Russians take back Alaska. It won't be the United States of America, but the Commonwealth of New American States and in- stead of Washington running the country it will be run from San Francisco, Chicago, Phila- delphia, and Texas .... We won't humiliate you when you have to ask for loans from international banks or ask for extensions on your payments of old debts. You already have a huge domestic and international debt today. You already. have a huge number of problems. So don't dig trenches under others and don't spit in the well from which you yourself will someday have to drink. - We the Russians do not harbor hostile feelings towards Americans. We never clashed with them. On the contrary we shook hands as allies on the Elbe in Germany. Together we over- came the most terrible aggressor of the twentieth century. Today you [Americans] should not commit mistakes. The Chinese stopped in time. Mao's ideas did not capture the world, and the Maoist revo- lution did not spill over the borders of China. The Japanese did not demand world domina- tion either. The Germans are fed up with war forever, and do not want to take part in any kind of military conflicts. Sweden has altogether forgotten what a war is. After the defeat in- flicted by the Russian army, the Swedes refused to fight anywhere.... You Americans are the last nation, the last state that is making noise someplace, that is dis- patching its rapid reaction forces, is dictating, imposing its will on Iraq, Libya, and Serbia. Do not interfere with the affairs of Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Australia. Deal with your own problems. Let us finally deal with regional cooperation. Let us end the Cold War for real. You shouldn't tell us what to do in the Baltic countries, Central Asia, the Dnestr region and the Transcaucasus. And we won't tell you what to do in the [Latin Ameri- can] States. We won't look into why you kidnapped the legitimate president of Panama, Noriega, why you dropped paratroopers on Grenada and destroyed the regime of Morris Bishop, even though all these things are barbarity, open aggression, and interference in the affairs of other peoples and violations of international and national law. The hour may come when you will have to answer for all of this. You are demanding arms cuts. OK, let's start cutting. But simultaneously. We will not dis- arm unilaterally. We have consented to withdraw our troops from Europe, and you shall also withdraw yours. The Germans, for instance, want you out of their country more than they want us out. They would prefer Russian troops to American. In many countries of the world they desire that you pull out your bases. Americans, let us finish with the tension in the world that is generated by you and us. Let us not accuse each other, humiliate each other, not search to find who has more warheads, tanks, planes, and submarines. Let's agree on the balance of power in the world, upon the division of spheres of influ- ence, upon the principle of regional cooperation, upon the principle of North-South relations which will stop any and all tension in East-West relations and will exclude war forever. Therefore, you Americans must leave the Balkans and the Near East. Then the world will thank you. But if you don't cool off your hot heads someday [the world] will put you on trial in a new Nuremburg. We believe in the common sense of Americans .... We display neither chauvinism nor wild nationalism. We would like to believe that you [Americans] don't seek the dominance of your nation over others. Remember, after all, that you live on what your government institu- tions steal on the sly. First you robbed South America and Africa, then profited from two world wars, and for the last fifty years you've been stealing the most valuable resource of all, "brains." Throughout the twentieth century the best minds in the world have been sail- ing, flying, and driving to your country from all over the world .... You should realize that your achievements don't come from the native population of America and the first settlers. Part of that wealth comes from Russians, because almost all the mathematicians in America are Soviet Jews who left the USSR. ... So let's calm down and occupy ourselves with domestic affairs, affairs of the neighbor- ing region. For America that is the [Latin American] States and Mexico and the nearby re- gion of the Caribbean. For France that means North Africa. For Russia that is Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey. You have to agree with this and not interfere or meddle. The same with China. It has interests in Mongolia, in South Asia. But it should not give sidelong glances at Russian action in Afghanistan, let alone in Iraq or Turkey. Same with Ja- pan. It is ready to accept Russian access to the coast of the Indian Ocean, but it wants some islands from the Kurile chain. Here, some solution can be found. Maybe something can be given to Japan. Possibly some part or another of an archipelago that is not fully colonized by us but that Japan badly needs. A formula can be found under which Japanese interests will be taken into account. Thus, positive conditions for the whole of mankind can be created, so that political AIDS, or a political Chernobyl will not strike our planet. The last word will belong to the Russians, because the Americans in the final analysis will agree with our position, with our formula of geopolitical development of the world through which Russia will establish its southern borders, its last thrust to the south (pp. 119-123).
RUSSIA'S MISSION AND ZHIRINOVSKY'S WORLD VIEW
All this can be considered a political revelation of the foundation of a new arrangement in our region and a new favorable world order. We will be understood in all the capitals of the world. I have discussed this with Americans, Frenchmen, Germans, Japanese, Greeks, and Serbs-with many people (p. 137).
Russia has been given a great historic mission. Therefore it must act decisively in national tasks, in the development of infrastructure, in the construction of good roads, storehouses, re- frigerators, transportation routes, housing .... Russia will become one-story again-cottages, saunas, garages, gardens. This is better for living than these cement apartment blocks. Life will be better in India, because the conflict with Pakistan will end. Russia will have a border with India. The conflicts between China and Mongolia, China and Central Asia, China and India will cease. Japan at last will define itself in terms of its national interests. Everyone will have calm. South Africa will be guaranteed a white republic in the southern part of Af- rica.
But no one will help Russia. As for America, it could happen that it will need Russia's help. Spanish-speaking people from Mexico and other Latin American countries will in- crease in the north. The black population will increase until it reaches 40-50 million. Alto- gether this means about 100 million people. Half of America will be colored. And in the future'since colored people reproduce faster, there will be more crime in America, with the white @'opulation dying out and the colored population increasing. Who knows, maybe Amer- ica will be seeking help from Russia in the mid-2 1 st century? 'Russia must quickly become a strong and powerful state; it must have expanses of open water on its maritime borders. The Pacific Ocean isn't warm-water, but it abuts the far East- ern borders of Russia. Then there's the longest border in'the world, between Russia and China. It must be a peaceful border for once and for all, because China focuses south, not north. Friendly India. Then at the end, the Indian -Ocean. And friendly Iraq. And in the west, those countries that possesses an advantage. Rumania may get this or that - we'll allow a little piece of Moldova .... The Poles feel infringed upon because they would like to claim Lvov, but Lvov is needed by the Republic of West Ukraine. And the Germans will press the Poles. In the regions of Volyn' or Brest, perhaps, Poland will acquire something. We could settle all these questions for our eastern and western neighbors, and our south- eastern neighbors, with just one condition-first Russia gets that which it needs: just like in trade, first goods come to Russia, then we concede some to our neighbors (pp. 138-139).
Gorbachev and Yeltsin bent over backward to help the West, the USA, CIA, and Israel. And what did they get in return? Nothing. Not a thing. They were deceived. Neither the Stavropol bear nor the Ural bear were up to the negotiations. You need a different kind of in- tellect .... What you need here is a person with a cosmic intellect, or at least a planetary intel- lect (p. 140).
Let Russia make its final "thrust" to the south. I can see the Russian soldiers gathering for the final expedition southward. I can see Russian commanders in Russian division and army headquarters, mapping out the routefor the military formations and the endpoints of those routes. I see aircraft gathered in air bases around the southern regions of Russia. I see submarines surfacing near the coastline of the Indian Ocean and amphibious assault ships nearing the shore where Russian soldiers are already marching, armored infantry vehicles are on the move and great masses of tanks are rolling through. Russia will finally make her last military expedition. There will never be another war from the South for Russia and it has long since been impossible for war to come from the North. In the West they understand this, and in the East they will find out (p. 142).