Saturday, November 5, 2016

Ukraine Shows Why Russia Mustn’t Try to Form a Civic Russian Nation, Korovin Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, November 5 – On the influential Eurasian portal, Valery Korovin says that “Ukraine is an example of what happens with a society that consists of a multitude of identities in the event it creates a civic political nation” and that that should be enough of a warning to keep Russians from pursuing the same goal.

            The director of the Moscow Center for Geopolitical Expertise who is a member of the Russian Social Chamber says that the current project of creating a civic Russian nation “is the path which has led Ukraine to bloody chaos, collapse and the loss of sovereignty” and which is leading in response to the collapse of the EU and European states (

            What makes Korovin’s argument potentially so important is that he is speaking a language which most Russians and especially in the Kremlin will find congenial and convincing and consequently may result, after much ballyhooed discussion, to the quiet shelving of the civic Russian nation prospect.

            Korovin argues that “the subject of such an all-Russian political identity is the atomized individual, an individual who is cleansed from all types of organic identity be they ethnic, cultural, or linguistic if one is speaking about the languages of numerically small peoples as well as other types of identity.”

            All identities, “except the all-Russian civic identity” are to be eliminated; and what that means is that Russian society is to be thrown into a melting pot and to dissolve into a single common and otherwise faceless collection of people, some liberal theorists in the West and in Russia in fact welcome.

            “Such a model, of course, is destructive for the multiplicity of Russia … [it] is full of conflict … [and it] has not worked even in the US.” Moreover, it has failed in Europe, in the format of the EU … and it has provoked a reverse process, the sharpened and insistent restoration of identities” that it tried to destroy.

            If Russia were to adopt it by legal fiat, Korovin continues, that would “transform Russia into a territory of chaos for all this is an absolutely irresponsible and bestial liberal experiment,” one that violates the organic growth of collective identities and their all-Russian consolidation, something very much to be desired.

            Europe should not be a model for Russia. Rather it should be a warning against the wrong path to take.  But there is a closer and more obvious example, the analyst argues, and that is Ukraine where the government is seeking to create a single Ukrainian political nation in place of the multitude of ethnic and religious communities that have existed there.

            But even worse, it has plunged Ukraine into “a civil war, chaos, mutual anger, and self-destruction.” Can anyone who loves Russia want that to happen to her? That is the question that should be addressed to and asked about any who call for the creation of a civic Russian nation in Russia because it would have exactly the same effects there.

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