Sunday, April 9, 2017

‘Revolution Means Disintegration of Russia,’ Samara Students Told

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 9 – Vladimir Putin last week appealed to the media to work to prevent a revolution (, and four Orthodox priests in Samara told university students there that the major reason they should do so is that any revolution leads to the disintegration of Russia (

            On the one hand, this reflects what has become the Kremlin’s implicit argument about the two 1917 revolutions of a century ago: the February bourgeois democratic revolution was bad because it led to disintegration while the October Bolshevik one was less bad or even good because it led to the recovery of most of the former empire.

            But on the other, it suggests, as the AfterEmpire portal put it, that for Russians now, “the most horrible danger” is the disintegration of “’Great Russia’” rather than a change in the nature of the regime. Consequently, the Kremlin feels compelled to argue that any revolution would threaten the territorial integrity of Russia (

            That is likely to be a compelling argument for many Russians, but the reports from Samara suggest that at least some of their students were put off by the crudeness of the message. In the words of one, speakers didn’t address the nature of revolution but only repeated over and over that “revolution is the disintegration of the country” (

                And it is likely to dawn on at least some that if Russia is so weak that any revolutionary change will lead to its disintegration into a number of parts, it is unlikely to survive in its current borders well into the future.  That appreciation in turn could lead more Russians to ask just what the new units and borders might be and whether they would be better or not for those involved.

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