This book review was written for the Unz Review: http://www.unz.com/tsaker/review-the-hawks-of-peace-by-dmitri-rogozin/
Dmitry Rogozin is without a doubt one of the most interesting and successful Russian political figures. Check out his official biography for more details. I also found this moderately hostile but professionally written biographical sketch written for the US Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO). Here I will just mention a few of his most high-responsibility positions:
- 2002-2004: Special Presidential Representative for the Kaliningrad Region on the Expansion of the European Union.
- 2008-2011: Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in Brussels, Belgium.
- February 2011 – 2012: Special Presidential Representative on Anti-Missile Defence and Negotiations with NATO Countries on This Issue.
- December 23, 2011: Appointed Deputy Prime Minister.
- March 21, 2012: Appointed Special Presidential Representative for Transdnestria.
- May 21, 2012: Reappointed Deputy Prime Minister by a Presidential Executive Order.
- From January 17, 2012: Heads the Government’s Military-Industrial Commission.
Notice that Rogozin has been appointed “Special Presidential Representative” three times and in all three cases, to solve a delicate and strategically important crisis. I would add that his position in NATO was also evidently, albeit not officially, a Presidential appointment. His other appointment is a governmental one – Deputy Prime Minister – also obtained by Presidential Executive Order. Finally, in his role as “Heads the Government’s Military-Industrial Commission” he is the de-facto “Minister for Armament and Space” of the Russian Federation.
In other words: Rogozin is a hugely influential person and a very, very close ally to President Putin. I would even argue that he is arguably one of the top Eurasian Sovereignists whose position on the re-sovereignization of Russia is quite a bit stronger than Putin’s.
Politically, Rogozin is what could be described as a “conservative patriot”. Interestingly, although he has strong ties to the Russian security services, he is also an outspoken anti-Communist, again probably even more so than Putin. All in all, I think that it would not be incorrect to summarize Rogozin’s worldview as “Putin on steroids”
Needless to say, Rogozin is absolutely hated in the West, especially in NATO. And with good reason, Rogozin, who holds a Doctorate Doctorate in the Philosophy and Theory of Warfare, is extremely blunt and outspoken and he has never attempted to disguise his total contempt for the AngloZionist Empire and its infinite hypocrisy. Far from being diplomatic, Rogozin is known for some rather provocative actions and statements. For example, just before leaving the NATO HQ in Brussels he wanted to plant a poplar tree in the gardens of NATO, which sounds all very nice until you realize that the Russian road-mobile SS-25 ICMB is called a “Topol” which, in Russian, means “poplar”. When confronted, Rogozin admitted that he always wanted to stick a few “poplars” into the NATO HQ (for details about this story, see here). Yes, he actually said that: “Думаю, тополю в НАТО самое место” (meaning “NATO is the perfect location for a Topol”)! You can imagine the reaction in NATO…
Rogozin is also hated by the Russian liberal intelligentsia who see him as a dangerous nationalist, a xenophobe and a hardliner. That feeling is very mutual as Rogozin has nothing good to say about those he sees as the most despicable enemies of his country.
So an extremely powerful figure, an extremely successful politician, a polarizing and controversial figure, and a close ally and confidante of Vladimir Putin. To this I would add only that: I believe that Dmitri Rogozin is the person who should succeed Vladimir Putin when he retires and I think that there is a good possibility that he might. Can you imagine somebody more interesting?
Well, in 2010 Rogozin wrote a book describing how modern Russian came about and the role he played in that amazing process. The book, published in Russian, was entitled “Ястребы мира. Дневник русского посла” and was an immediate success in Russia. It has now been translated in English under the title “The Hawks of Peace: Notes of the Russian Ambassador” and I would say that this one of the most interesting books written about modern Russia and an “absolutely must read” for anybody interested in understanding not only modern Russia, but the mindset and worldview of the group which I have described as “Eurasian Sovereignists”. In fact, this is the only book, at least so far, which provides this kind of insight.
The book begins with a few sketches from Rogozin’s childhood (he was born in 1963) and covers his life until 2008. The book is built around thematic and chronological chapters, including the GKChP could in 1991, the Eltsin coup in 1993, the wars in Chechnia, the NATO aggression against Serbia, the war in Georgia, the crises with NATO and much more. Each chapter includes a most interesting personal testimony from Rogozin along with a commentary and an evaluation of what these events meant for Russia.
What you get in this relatively short book (350 pages) is a crash course on modern Russian history written from the “other side” and by that I don’t mean from the Russian side, I mean the Eurasian Sovereignist side, the side which is never ever represented in the western media. Frankly, we all owe a great debt of gratitude to Glagoslav publications for making this seminal text available in English.
Having read the original Russian text when the book first came out in Russia I can say that the translation is excellent. Even better is the fact that the translators took the time to add many footnotes explaining all the references which might be obvious to a Russian reader but rather cryptic to a western reader.
The western corporate media constantly presents us this or that relatively minor Russian personality as the behind the scenes “advisor” or “friend” of Putin when, in reality, Putin has no real connection to that person whatsoever. Putin and Rogozin are not known to be “pals”, in the sense that they don’t go fishing together on week-ends, but that is quite besides the point, because Putin and Rogozin fundamentally share the same wordview and the same idea of what kind of country Russia ought to be and because Putin and Rogozin are key allies. Time and time again, when things got really tough Putin sent Rogozin to fix the problem and, each time, Rogozin delivered. That makes him Putin’s trusted man.
Rogozin is a typical behind-the-scenes guy, and while he is well known and while he does from time to time appear on Russian TV, he is fundamentally a “doer” even more than a politician. Sure, he has strong political views and he has participated in several parties and movements, but with moderate success. Simply put he does not have the mindset of a career politician. Rogozin’s mindset is military through and through and his comfort zone is clearly when he acts as the political representative of a military mission. That makes him quite unique in Russia where, traditionally, the military have been rather weary of civilians. If by “civilian” a person like Serdyukov is meant – then this is understandable. But when the “civilian” is a person like Rogozin, then this is a totally different situation, not only because Rogozin has a Doctorate in the Philosophy of Warfare, and not only because he has a quite exotic sounding military rank of “Senior Lieutenant in the reserve forces for psychological warfare”, but because he is a pure product of the Russian military culture and history.
“The Hawks of Peace: Notes of the Russian Ambassador” offers an amazing insight into the culture which, again, is never accurately presented in the West but which is gaining in influence with each passing day in Russia. I strongly believe that this culture will play a central role in the future of Russia and that men like Rogozin will have an extremely deep influence on the worldview of Russian decision-makers, especially in the armed forces. The book is well written and well translated and it makes for some easy but fascinating reading. One bit regret for me is that the book does not have an index (which, I believe, all non-fiction books should have).
Conclusion: get the book, give it to your friends for Christmas, and keep a close eye on Dimitry Rogozin’s future: he is an amazing personality who is currently sitting at the center of the core of power in Russia and whose career will, God willing, last for many more decades. He is exactly the kind of man Russia needs most, if you read the book you will know why.