(Reuters) – The West, according to one of Russia’s senior intelligence officers, has turned away from what he called its essential traditions, and he advised it to “go to the devil” and cease meddling in international affairs.
Sergei Naryshkin, head of Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence branch, made some of his harshest anti-Western remarks yet during remarks at a security symposium outside of Moscow, underscoring the depth of Moscow’s animosity toward the West over its backing for Ukraine.
“The Anglo-Saxons might be advised to attend to their internal civil conflicts. Better still, to clear off to their acquaintance, the devil,” said Naryshkin, who like other Russian officials refers to Britain, the United States, and other English-speaking countries in the West as “the Anglo-Saxons”.
“It is pertinent to remember the biblical truth: the end of them will be according to their deeds. And that means that their end will be a sad one,” he said, saying the West was riven by serious internal and external problems.
Russia wants the West to stop arming Ukraine, something Washington, London, and European countries continue to do apace ahead of an expected Ukrainian counteroffensive to help Kyiv defend itself against what they cast as an unprovoked Russian war of conquest.
Naryshkin accused Washington and London of impeding efforts to resolve the conflict and of turning a blind eye to what he claimed was increasing “terrorism and violence” committed against civilians by Ukraine. He claims that what Russia calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine is intended to protect Moscow from an ever-expanding NATO.
The West says Russia is the one fuelling the war and must withdraw its forces, while Kyiv says millions of its civilians have been forced to take refuge in other countries while those left behind run the often deadly gauntlet of Russian missile strikes.
Naryshkin, speaking for the Kremlin’s favored interpretation of the geopolitical environment, charged that the West was attempting to thwart a historical transition toward a multipolar world.
Additionally, he charged that the so-called “Euro-Atlantic elite” was actively working to prevent the rise of what he called alternative power centers while refusing to freely cede their position of authority.
He expressed delight that, despite what he called enormous pressure from Washington, the majority of Asian, African, and Latin American nations had not slapped sanctions on Russia for its activities in Ukraine.
Forecasting turbulent times in global affairs, he said that Russia and other non-Western countries were better placed to weather processes that could decide the fate of nations.
Naryshkin, like other Russian authorities, has criticized societal changes in the West, such as those concerning identity, as harmful and incorrect. “Turbulent periods (in world history) are essentially a test of the extent to which nations and peoples have preserved their true foundations,” he said.
“Our countries, unlike the West, have preserved a significant margin of strength and strategic depth in this respect,” he said.
“I mean a connection with the spiritual dimension of existence, traditions which in the United States and Europe long ago gave way to positivism, the cult of material success, and outright Satanism,” said Naryshkin.