Monday, February 10, 2020

Calling Russians ‘State-Forming People’ Equivalent to Saying Slave Owners Created US, Mordvin Activist Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, February 3 – Ever more  Russian nationalists are calling for Russians to be identified in the country’s Constitution as “the state-forming people,” but this is just as “absurd and insulting” to all the peoples of the country as it would be for most Americans to assert that slave owners were the sole creators of the US, Karolina Kanayeva, a Mordvin activist says.

            “Moscow is wallowing in luxury in comparison with other regions who are drowning in poverty and Moscow’s trash … [they] have been reduced practically to the level of slavery if not worse. National cultures are practically destroyed and ethno-national pride of the indigenous peoples systematically trampled upon” (

            Others are less dramatic, but they observe as does Ulyanovsk commentator Konstantin Tolkachev that elevating the ethnic Russians to such a special status is “impermissible and very dangerous” given that doing so can, as the experience of other countries has shown, lead to mass conflict and even war.

            He adds that in many subjects of the Russian Federation, this is more true now even than it was in Soviet times as shown by the self-immolation of Albert Razin in Udmurtia last September. (On that tragedy, see

            But what makes the situation so potentially serious is that ever more ethnic Russians and political leaders seem convinced that they should have insert such declarations in the Constitution regardless of the feelings of the non-Russian third of the population (

                Such plans will end badly, leading to a situation in which Moscow will have to apply ever more force to keep the non-Russians in line or creating one in which the Russians will thereby achieve exactly the opposite of what they seek, the coming apart of the country rather than its unification around them and their nation.

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