Cover Osteuropa 4-5/2022

In Osteuropa 4-5/2022

The De-Ukrainizator
Timofei Sergeitsev: “Methodologist”, Political Technologist, War-time Propagandist

Il’ja Venjavkin

Deutsche Fassung


In April 2022, Moscow-based political technologist Timofei Sergeitsev openly called for genocide in Ukraine on the website of the state news agency Ria Novosti. The goal of Russia's “special operation,” he said, must be to carry out “de-nazification” by means of mass repression and re-education, that is, to make the idea of a Ukrainian nation disappear. Sergeitsev’s intellectual biog-raphy exemplifies the development of thinking in Russia’s ruling class over the past 40 years. In the beginning, there was the idea of society as a controllable system. Georgii Shchedrovitskii, a companion of the philosopher and former dissident Aleksandr Zinov'ev, developed from this a “method”, which Sergeitsev then applied as election campaign manager for Ukrainian politicians in the 2000s. In addition, as early as the 1990s, the notion began circu-lating that the West was conspiring against Russia. In the 2010s, Shchedrovitskii’s and Zinov'ev’s disciples increasingly came to speak of the inevi-tability of a “Great War” against the West. Sergeitsev’s text is one of many documents devoted to the practical aspects, the “methods,” in a “metaphysical struggle” to revive the Russian “people's empire.”

(Osteuropa 4-5/2022, pp. 59–77)