My history notes were designed not to touch on current events. However, the Russian aggression in Ukraine blew up everything. Below is my understanding of the situation. The events are so close and so fluid that it is impossible not to provide some interpretation of events. That is totally different from the approach I used in my book “Subsurface History of Humanity: Direction of History” , where any interpretations of events were not allowed. Let us look into the situation in a very short, dotted way.
– What is going on in Ukraine and around now?
– Kyiv is older than Moscow by Hundreds of Years
– The “imperial slave and master” mentality
– Nine Centuries of Russia and the West
– Crusades and Religious Wars are about Sacred Interest
– How Ukraine is Different from Russia
– The West’s relationship with Ukraine
– What is at Stake for the World?
What is going on in Ukraine and around now?
We all know that on February 24, 2022, Russia started a war against Ukraine using an army of 190 – 200 thousand. Russian plan to end the war triumphantly with lightning speed in 2-3 days failed due to enormous Ukrainian people’s resistance.
There is no question that it is a fateful moment for Ukraine.
What about the West? Is it a fateful moment for the West too? Why? Was this aggression preventable? What lies ahead? We could not find answers to those questions without looking more deeply into some history.
Kyiv is older than Moscow by Hundreds of Years
The current capital of Ukraine become the capital of Kievan Rus in 862 AD.
Moscow, the current capital of Russia, was founded in 1147 AD, 285 years after Kyiv was already the capital of Kievan Rus.
Conclusion: Any statement that “Russia is an older brother of Ukraine” is misinformation.
The Siege of Kyiv by the Mongols took place between November 28 and December 6, 1240. Before the Mongols’ invasion, the population of Kyiv was 50 thousand people. After the Mongols’ massacre, the remaining Kyiv population was two thousand people. 
Moscow, Russian Moskva, became the capital of Muscovy (the Grand Principality of Moscow) in the late 13th century; hence, the people of Moscow are known as Muscovites. Moscow was invaded and conquered by the Tatar-Mongol khanate in 1238 AD.
Centers such as Kyiv took centuries to rebuild and recover from the devastation of the initial attack. Unlike Kyiv, Moscow flourished under the Mongol Empire. Why?
Muscovites accepted the “imperial slave and master” mentality
In 1327, prince Ivan I of Moscow, a.k.a. Ivan Kalita, joined the Mongols in crushing the prince of Tver, who was a part of a rebellion against the Mongols. Ivan I of Moscow devastated Tver’s lands. As a result, the Russian Orthodox Church moved its headquarters to Moscow, and Mongols granted Ivan I of Moscow the title of Grand Prince. 
Conclusion: From the old times, 13th century, Muscovites were collaborating with their occupiers. Muscovites were killing and crushing other Russian people, occupying their lands, and pursuing the same policy as their Mongols’ occupiers. We do not know for sure when Muscovites accepted the “imperial slave and master” mentality, but 1327 AD is, certainly, a milestone on the way. Please remember, at that time, the Muscovites were still under Mongols’ rule; Muscovites were enslaved people in that empire.
The terms “slave morality” and “master morality” are well known in Nietzsche’s works. The “imperial slave and master mentality” term shows that the same person has elements of both the slave mindset and slave’s master mindset. We will look into it more closely soon.
Only 150 years later, Ivan III, Ivan the Great, freed Russia from the Mongols and consolidated Muscovite rule. The mentioned episode from 1327 is deeply symbolic.
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- Victor Torvich, Subsurface History of Humanity: Direction of History, April 5, 2021, https://www.amazon.com/Subsurface-History-Humanity-Direction/dp/B08WZCVDTD
- Davison, Derek (6 December 2019). Today in European history: the Mongols sack Kyiv (1240), https://fx.substack.com/p/today-in-european-history-the-mongols?s=r
- Richard Pipes, Russia under the Old Regime: Second Edition Paperback – January 1, 1997, p.1-384
For my book “Subsurface History of Humanity: Direction of History” – go to amazon marketplaces (paperback, Kindle book, and audiobook), and for the audiobook – go to Audible or iTunes. The audiobook comes with a supplemental digital booklet.