Staunton, February 10 – In many respects, the most consequential and dangerous proposals for changing the Russian Constitution are not those Vladimir Putin has made and that will certainly be adopted but those made by others that are unlikely to be but that signal where important elements in Russia stand and what they want in the future.
Among the latter, Gevorg Mirzayan says, are calls to change the preamble, dropping the reference to “the multi-national people” and inserting instead the words “ethnic Russians in union with other fraternal peoples who are united into the multi-national people of the Russian Federation by a common fate on their land” (snob.ru/entry/188623/
And in the Russian context, those “could lead to the disintegration of the country.”
To prevent that, Mirzayan says, the powers that be need to take four steps: First, they must block those with radical views on ethnic questions from access to the federal media and remove such people from institutions involved with inter-ethnic relations, including Zatulin’s Institute for the CIS Countries.
Second, they must continue to press for the adoption by all residents of Russia of the super-national identity of Rossiyane while not forcing anyone to give up their own ethnic identities at the same time. Third, they must involve religious groups like the Orthodox Church and the Muslim leadership in this effort.
And fourth, “in the struggle with aggressive nationalists must be included the Rossiyane themselves, the masters of the multi-national country of Russia where any aggressive nationalists mentally (not by passport but precisely in their minds) are only guests” rather than full-fledged members of the community.
That is because “if we allow the guests to impose their order in our house, then we will lose our home just as we did as a result of the actions of these very same guests 30 years ago.”