Staunton, February 11 – Fighting separatism by “liquidating” the non-Russian republics of the Russian Federation is “equivalent to fighting fire with gasoline,” a Eurasian theorist says, because the separatist threat those republics present is far less than the ones now posed by predominantly ethnic Russian regions.
In a 6,000-word article, Rustem Vakhitov, an expert at the Lev Gumilyev Center, says that “the stereotype” that those committed to the survival of the Russian state in its current borders back the idea of eliminating the non-Russian republics and that the only ones who support such republics are members of the titular nationalities.
But that view is wrong, he says, because state-thinking people who have studied the subject most closely recognize that “the liquidation of the national republics and their replacement by extra-territorial ethnic subjects anytime soon would be dangerous and absurd” (rb21vek.com/ideologyandpolitics/682-bpochemu-nelzya-likvidirovat-nacionalnye-respubliki-v-sostave-rf-vzglyad-derzhavnikab.html).
That is because, Vakhitov argues, such “an operation” would have just the reverse effect that its backers hope for: It would lead to an intensification of separatist movements not only among the non-Russians who would have lost something but among ethnic Russians in the regions who would see this as a chance to gain even more.
Last fall, Mikhail Prokhorov’s suggestion that Moscow should do away with the non-Russian republics provoked a firestorm on the internet, and this had not ended when on January 22, Valery Korovin, “the right-hand” man of neo-Eurasianist leader Aleksandr Dugin, made a similar proposal (club-rf.ru/exclusive/valeriy-korovin-natsionalnye-respubliki-dolzhny-vlivatsya-v-ukrupnennye-subekty-rf/
Vakhitov dissents from the position of both of his Eurasian colleagues because he says that “national republics within the Russian Federation not only do not present a great danger with regard to nationalism and separatism but on the contrary, [these republics] were created and function as instruments to restraint the nationalism and separatism of their titular nationalities.”