In Russia, the truth might be as strange as the fiction the country produces.
A science fiction novel published in 2006 strangely predicted many of the events that are currently happening in Ukraine, all the while referring to a heroic figure named “Vladimir II the Restorer” who expands Russia and bears an uncanny likeness to the current president Vladimir Putin.
“Third Empire: The Russia That Should” was written by Mikhail Yuriev, a businessman and ideologue popular within the Kremlin, and is penned in the form of a Latin American history textbook from the year 2054.
In “Third Empire,” Western Ukraine backs a revolution that topples the previous government and prompts Ukrainians in the eastern and southern parts of the country to rebel against the new government and demand unification with Russia.
Luckily for the rebels, Vladimir II comes to the rescue and graciously offers the lands in revolt a place in Russia. In addition, this particular Vladimir decides that the Russian Federation is no longer adequate and declares a Russian Union — an arrangement that would also include Belarus, Kazakhstan, South Ossetia, and other countries and regions that border Russia.
These events result in a standoff with NATO, but Vladimir II still manages to conquer these regions, despite NATO being displeased by his actions.
Incidentally, this sounds quite similar to the current situation in Ukraine where a Western Ukrainian-supported revolution toppled the previous regime and some Ukrainians in the south and east are demanding Russian intervention.
Vladimir Putin, not yet the Restorer, has moved troops into the southern Ukrainian province of Crimea, but it is unclear whether he plans on permanently annexing the region.
According to scholar Maria Snegovaya, the novel offers a glimpse into Putin’s rationale for intervening in Crimea and she believes he is significantly influenced by nationalist ideals that call for the restoration of a greater Russia.
As for the author of “Third Empire,” he quit investing in Russia last year and is now investing in the U.S. energy market instead.