The ongoing war and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been on for more than 500 days. With that in mind, Journal of Regional Security Vol. 18, No. 1 brings the forum on “Putin’s Understanders, Russia’s Normalizers: Discursive Palettes Beyond the East–West Divide,” guest-edited by Andrey Makarychev. The seven contributions in the forum take the national level of analysis, focusing on discourses that “‘understand’ and normalize the logic of Putin’s war against Ukraine”. In her contribution, Yulia Kurnyshova focuses on “analogical reasoning in Russian and Ukrainian discourses during the current war.” Andrey Makarychev analyzes narratives of Estonian Russian speakers and their different attitudes towards the ongoing war. Moreover, Stefano Braghiroli critically discusses the strategies and tactics of Russia-friendly political parties in Europe and their adapting to the dramatically changed context that emerged with Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. In his contribution, Aliaksei Kazharski examines some instances of discursive normalization of the Russian attack on Ukraine by looking at political discourses in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. Sanshiro Hosaka shows how Japanese academic discourse on the war in Ukraine, contrary to the official and public discourses, has run into problems: namely, by exhibiting “Russia-centered ontology” and “counterhegemonic epistemology” that “blames the collective West for “Russophobia.” In the case of Indonesia, Radityo Dharmaputra traces “the diverse narratives of non-Western elites on interpreting the war in Ukraine, the relationship between Russia and the “non-Western” world, and the NATO factors.” Last but not least, Clarissa Tabosa looks at how Brazil’s ‘neutrality’ discourse is at the same time related to its agro-business interests while clashing with its role conception of a relevant actor – resulting in a move toward ‘impartiality’ discourse.
This issue of the Journal of Regional Security brings three more contributions. Bohumil Doboš in his article “The Tale of Two Empires: Ukraine Between the West and Russia”, argues that Ukraine has become a “geopolitical battlefield” and through “medieval and imperial” theoretical lenses seeks to explain how the foreign policies of the West and Russia affected Ukraine after 2014. Also, in their article “Migration Motivation and Psychosocial Issues of Internally Displaced People: A Close-up from Homs, Syria,” Daniel Solymari and Sara Gibarti find that “individual experiences of traumatization and deterioration of social status are major contributing factors that fuel resettlement.” The issue closes with Griffin Stibor’s review of Mark Langan’s book titled Neo-Colonialism and the Poverty of ‘Development’ in Africa. We hope you find the contributions interesting and stimulating for further debate and critical examination of the most pressing and enduring problems of regional security.
Marko Kovačević, Filip Ejdus, Nemanja Džuverović and Rok Zupančič Co-Editors in Chief