Sunday, September 8, 2019

Moscow No Friend of National Minorities Anywhere, Catalan Portal Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, September 4 – Moscow has long promoted it backing of Transdniestria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, the Donetsk Peoples Republic, and the Luhansk Peoples Republic and its annexation of Crimea as a mark of its solicitude for ethnic minorities and sought to generate support for itself and these unrecognized entities among national minorities elsewhere. 

            Moreover, Moscow has suggested that it is prepared to support ethnic minorities within the borders of other countries – or at least some of these – gain independent status as nation states. And some have welcomed this idea or expressed concern about it, depending on their positions in such conflicts. 

            But now an article on a Catalan portal has detailed how Moscow’s policies toward these six unrecognized states aren’t about support of the national aspirations of the peoples involved but are entirely about the defense and promotion of Russian national interests in the narrowest and most brutal sense. 

            The article, available in Catalan at and in Russian at merits quotation in full:

“After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia supported the appearance in Moldova of the self-proclaimed pro-Russian republic known as Transdniestria. This republic, not recognized by a single state of the UN, played an important role in preventing the reunification of Moldova and Romania and in putting a brake on the strivings of Ukraine to enter the European Union.

“The strategy of creating national conflicts and their subsequent freezing by means of the creation of republics which didn’t become independent but instead served Russian policy was also carried out in the Caucasus with the proclamation of independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia within the state borders of Georgia. Georgia was also moving along a very pro-Western line and the appearance of these movements and the war they called forth stopped its integration into the European Union and NATO.

“And finally, this maneuver was copied in Ukraine with the establishment of the Republic f Cream which then was included within Russia and the self-proclaimed republics of Luhansk and Donetsk. In this way, Russia created six ‘vassal countries’ on its southern bders which are completely dependent on it and in fact are instruments of its foreign policy, a unique situation in the world.

“It is obvious that the presence of ethnic Russian national minorities on these territories is an essential element for the justification of the existence of their existence. On another map you can see where the Russian-language population existed in 1992 after the disintegration of the USSR. [Map on Catalan site]

It is worth noting that neither in Latvia nor especially in Kazakhstan has Russia tried to create puppet states. In the Baltic republics, the reason undoubtedly is that such an action would be seriously resisted, given that they are part of the European Union. As concerns Kazakhstan, the pro-Russian policy of its leaders make this unnecessary.”
            In presenting its Russian-language translation of the Catalan article, Region.Expert spoke with Pavel Kirilyonok, editor of the Russian-language Barcelona Secret travel portal (, who made the following comment:
            The article, he said, “by clearly and unambiguously explaining the imperial pro-Russian character of the separatist movements among Russia’s neighbors, their puppet nature, puts a dot on the i and helps people from drawing inappropriate parallels and analogies elsewhere,” including in Catalonia about Moscow’s real interests.

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