Friday, April 25, 2014

Window on Eurasia: Will Putin Eventually Face a Nuremberg Trial?

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 25 – Sometimes satire is the only vehicle available to express one’s outrage at what is going on and one’s hope that the current situation can be changed for the better.  And Vadim Shtepa, one of Russia’s most prominent regionalists, has used it to imagine how what Putin is doing now might land him before a Nuremberg-style tribunal in the future.

            In a post on yesterday entitled “The Yekaterinburg Trial of 201-,” Shtepa presents what he suggests could be a news story from the not too distant future about what could happen to Russia, its regions and Vladimir Putin if the Kremlin leader continues on his current course (

            An informal translation of his “news story” from the future follows:

“The unified command of the NATO armed forces and the general staff of the Peoples Liberation Army of China have met in the city of Yekaterinburg and adopted the following declaration:

“’We have been observing the development of the Russian situation for a long time.  We had waited for the leadership of this country to stop. But after Crimea followed the annexation of Donetsk and Luhansk, then of all the southeastern regions of Ukraine up to Odessa. Then were united to Russia Belarus, eastern Estonia and Northern Kazakhstan.

‘No one recalled any international agreements. Russia began literally to revive the USSR by joining to itself the territory of the new independent states.

‘The situation began all too clearly to recall that of the era of the Third Reich. Governments at that time also found it impossible to stop that regime and Austria, the Sudenland, Czechoslovakia, Poland and France fell under its sway ... More precisely, the Third Reich was stopped only by the forces of a powerful global coalition. And today we have had to repeat this historical experience.

‘What lessons should we draw from this?

‘It is obvious that the imperial foundation in Russia represents a serious mental and psychological pathology which is dangerous for the surrounding world. And we have already observed its recrudescence tice.  At the beginning of the 20th century, the Bolsheviks having taken power in Russia promised all its peoples the right of national self-determination. But instead of this, they restored the Russian Empire in still more totalitarian forms than the pre-revolutionary one.

‘The disintegration of the USSR promised an escape from this imperial policy.  However, very soon Russia again began to conduct colonial wars, beginning in the Caucasus and then moved on to an aggressive expansion in other countries.  The peoples of the surround world are no longer prepared to tolerate this.

‘Russian imperial ideology must be condemned and banned as the Nazi ideology once was. For this, on the territory of the former Russian Federation, we are creating a regional confederation without a common capital.  The Moscow Kremlin is being converted into an historical museum.

‘The High Contracting Sides take upon themselves the obligation not to block the free self-determination of Russian regions.  If any republic, oblast or kray wants to move from the Chinese zone of responsibility to the Western one or in the opposite direction, this is the sovereign right of its citizens which we intend to observe with care.  On these territories will be conducted free referenda under the supervision of international observers.

‘The issue of the punishment of the leaders and ideologues of Russian imperialism is something we intend to consider in a contemporary humanistic way.  There will not be any death penalties imposed.  But in the Russian regions, there will be lustration, which will forever remove from power the imperial nomenklatura.  All its accounts in Western or Chinese banks will be returned to the people of Russia’s regions.’”

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