Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Window on Eurasia: North Caucasus Independence Would Mean End of Putinism, Shiropayev Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 10 – Allowing the North Caucasus to become independent -- a move that a majority of ethnic Russians now support -- would mean the end of the Putin system in Russia and thus would open the way to a better future for country, according to Aleksey Shiropayev, a leading Russian nationalist writer.

            In a posting on his blog this week, Shiropayev says that the growing support among ethnic Russians for letting the North Caucasus go represents “a fact of enormous significance” because it means that Russians now recognize the “civilizational incompatibility” of the North Caucasians and the Russians (

            “The Petersburg of Pushkin and Brodsky and the Moscow of Bulgakov and Yesenin cannot exist in the framework of a single federation with Kadyrov’s Chechnya, which lives according to shariat and with Daghestan which keeps cloning fanatic suicide bombers,” Shiropayev says.

            And it is the recognition of this, “spontaneously and possibly not [yet] completely,” by the citizens of the Russian Federation that shows the “basic European self-identification of a large portion of the [ethnic] Russian people.”  In short, “the Russians are saying that we are Europeans and we want to live in a European way.”

                “Beyond doubt,” he says, “the sharp growth in demands to separate the North Caucasus are indisputable testimony of qualitative progress in Russian self-consciousness,” steps driven not by “’xenophobia’” but “above all by the evident fact that post-Soviet Russians ever more are affected by the values of the civilized world against which the North Caucasus has set itself.”

                “The relative economic freedom, the relative broad access to information, and the possibility to travel to the West is having its effect,” Shiropayev continues. “To the horror of the retrograde patriots, Russian self-consciousness is being transformed slowly but surely ‘being reset’ and becoming more western and contemporary.”

            The “criminal” and “medieval” North Caucasus, on the other hand, has been converted into “a conglomerate of eastern despotisms, ever more foreign and hostile to Russian society,” even though they reflect the values of the current Kremlin leadership and are ever more generous in supporting those despots.

            Putin’s Kremlin and Kadyrov’s Chechnya share “an archaic quality, ‘an Asianism,’ and a faith in fear, force and corruption as the moving forces of the social system,” Shiropaev argues. Moreover, “the negative attitude of the Russian authorities to normal people like Yushchenko and Saakashvili” has made this clear given the Kremlin’s “great friendship with Kadyrov.”

            “Like is drawn to like,” of course, the Russian analyst says, and “besides, the North Caucasus is if you will he only true force support of the Kremlin in the event of  a political crisis.”

If the North Caucasus is detached from the Russian Federation by “the will of the people of Russia,” that will mean the overthrow of the exiting regime which once can call Putinism,” he writes. But more than that, it will mark Russia’s rejection of “the current quasi-imperial model and the shift to genuine federalism.”

With the North Caucasus beyond the borders of the Russian Federation, he insists, Russia society already will not remain what it was. It will free itself from many stereotypes and survivals of the past, above all those concerning a great power and imperial nature.” And it will mean that Russians will begin to free themselves from the idea that large size is “an undoubted good and of unqualified value.”

“Having crossed the Rubicon of the separation of the North Caucasus,” Shiropayev argues, “Russian society will no longer view the idea of the formation within the Russian Federation of seven [ethnic] Russian republics” as something by foreign powers to weaken them and their country.

“On the contrary, Russians will be opened to the constructive nature of this idea” and to the possibilities of “reconstructing” the existing Russian Federation into a real United States of Russia,” a country that would be “immeasurably closer to Euro-Atlantic civilization than is the current Russian Federation.”

According to Shiropayev, Tatarstan and Bashkortostan would fit into this arrangement as “democratic and secular states with a non-aggressive and moderate variant of Islam.”

Meanwhile, if this happens, the North Caucasus, no longer receiving Moscow’s subventions will descend into further wildness. Russians will think about it, Shiropayev suggests, “only when the plans of the United States of Russia carry out their next strike on the bases of Islamists in Chechnya or Daghestan” or “when some band or other tries to cross into” Russia.

Moreover, in such a scenario, there will be a place for the Cosssacks, Shiropayev concludes. They can “till the land and bear arms “just like Israeli settlers.”

No comments:

Post a Comment