Inasmuch as the Russians could not eradicate the national characteristics of the non-Russian nations in the USSR, they had to grant some concessions and to show to the world at the same time that they were “liberal” and not “imperialist.” Thus, Moscow allowed the establishment of the “Union Republics,” which, however, were independent in name only and which were controlled and run by Russian puppets. Meanwhile the Russians pursued the policy of Russification of the non-Russian cultures, and exploited their economies. The USSR was depicted as a “natural political complex,” a sort of Hitlerian Grosswirtschaftraum (Great Economic Complex). The Russian propaganda directed to the free world depicted the “Union Republics” as “free and independent nations,” ridiculing any suggestion that these nations were captive. At the U.N., Russian diplomats fiercely fought off any inquiries or attacks on the part of Western statesmen regarding Moscow’s imperial designs. In order to direct attention elsewhere, they openly propagated “wars of national liberation” in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Moscow provided substantial aid to such movements simply because they were directed against the United States, France, England, or any other European power.

Throughout the centuries the imperialist conquests of the Russian state were planned very carefully and comprehensively. They were conducted not only in the military field, but also in the religious, cultural, social and psychological spheres.

Historically, Russian aggression has assumed many aspects and various forms:

  1. Sudden armed attack;
  2. Armed attack preceded by diplomatic action;
  3. Aggression, preceded by ideological infiltration and internal disorders – religious, social, political – through intrigue and instigation;
  4. Aggression in conjunction with another nation, aimed at dividing the victim state;
  5. Preparation of internal revolutions and creation of puppet governments.

Here is a compilation of Russian conquests in historical perspective:

1472 – Enslavement of the peoples on the Kama and Pechora;

1465-1500 – Wars and enslavement of the Ural;

1471-1487 – Novgorod, Karelia and Kolia;

1487 – The Khanate of Kazan;

1514 – Occupation of Smolensk and Eastern Belarus;

1581-1582 – Conquest of the peoples of the Middle Volga;

1630 – Conquest of the peoples of Central and Eastern Siberia;

1654-1667 – Annexation of parts of Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic lands;

1700-1721 – Conquests of Estonia, Lithuania and a part of Ukraine;

1711 – The Kurile Islands;

1717-1718 – Kazakhs and Altais;

1722-1723 – The Caspian Sea;

1731 – Kazakhstan;

1783 – The Crimean Tatars;

1784 – A part of Georgia;

1787-1791 – Peoples of the Caucasus;

1792-1793 – Parts of Belarus and Ukraine;

1785 – Kurland, Lithuania, parts of Ukraine;

1801-1803 – Georgia;

1806-1812 – Azerbaijan, Bessarabia and Finland;

1815 – Poland;

1824-1846 – Remainder of the Caucasus;

1826-1828 – Armenia;

1846 – Incorporation of Kazakhstan;

1854 – Aggression against Kirghizia;

1856 –  Occupation of Altai;

1868 –  Annexation of Bukhara;

1874 – Annexation of part of Sakhalin;

1876 – Annexation of a part of the Khanate of Kokand;

1877-1884 – Annexation of Turkmenistan;

1881 – Infiltration of Mongolia and Chinese Turkestan;

1900 – Occupation of Manchuria;

1922 – Occupation of the independent state of Ukraine; incorporation of Outer Mongolia;

1939-1940 – On the basis of an agreement with Hitler, annexation of Western Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia; part of Finland after an unprovoked Soviet Russian aggression;

1944 – Annexation of Tannu Tuva in Asia;

1945 – Annexation of East Prussia, Carpatho-Ukraine, Manchuria, Southern Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands;

1944-1948 – Establishment of puppet Communist regimes in Poland, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and East Germany;

1959 – Communism in Cuba; spread of communist influence in the world;

2008 – Attack on Georgia in the Caucasus and annexation of part of its territory;

2014 – Beginning of Moscow’s new war on Ukraine with the occupation of Crimea and parts of Ukraine’s Donbas and Luhansk provinces;

2022 – Full-fledged Russian invasion of Ukraine.

These Russian conquests were abetted in no small degree by the appalling Western ignorance of the imperialist designs of Russia, whether Czarist, communist or post-Soviet in form. For centuries, an effective Russian propaganda disseminated lies, half-truths and distortions. Moreover, Moscow exerted not an insignificant influence through Russian literature, music, ballet – art forms which were placed at the service of its imperial idea.


League of Ukrainian Canadians