Staunton, July 9 – Many continue to be amazed that the USSR came apart in 1991 so easily and so non-violently, but that is because they forget that “in every union republic there was already a freely elected and legitimate power,” Vadim Shtepa points out, and it was this system that “destroyed the imperial vertical of the CPSU.”
In a Facebook post today, the regionalist writer contrasts that situation with what exists today. Now, he says, “the regions do not have any legitimate, freely elected power” and consequently, the people Kremlin has appointed are hardly like to sign “a new ‘Beloveshchaya pushcha’ accord” (facebook.com/vadim.shtepa?fref=nf).
“The Kremlin empire of course is falling,” he continues; it is “wildly archaic.” But those who can see that must ask: “what will there be in place of it?” Shtepa says that he “doesn’t want to consider the fall of this empire ‘the end of the world.’” But without legitimate elections, his analysis suggests, it could be precisely that.
In his brief post, Shtepa does not point out the obvious: Vladimir Putin may have bought the empire a little time by ending gubernatorial elections, but the Kremlin leader in so doing has ensured that the end of his empire will be less orderly, more violent, and thus more dangerous to its peoples and the world than was the end of the Soviet Union.
And that conclusion has a corollary, one important both for those who live within the borders of the present-day Russian Federation and beyond: How and in what way regional elections are restored will play a critical role in determining whether the coming demise of the latest version of the Russian Empire will truly become “’the end of the world.’”