Saturday, June 14, 2014

Window on Eurasia: Regional Separatism Threatens Russia Itself If Moscow Loses in Ukraine, Kalashnikov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 14 – If Moscow does not win out in Ukraine, Maksim Kalashnikov argues, the Russian Federation will suffer its very own “’Ukrainian crisis,’” with “’true Russian nationalists’” in places like the overwhelmingly ethnic Russian Bryansk Oblast adopting separatist agendas and challenging the central government.

            According to the Russian nationalist commentator, the struggle for Novorossia is thus a struggle for Russia, and no one should be under the illusion that regionalists in Russia are irrelevant because they are so few in number. “In periods of crisis,” he says, “even one percent” of the population “can do a lot” (

            The supporters of Bryansk as a separate state, he says, are “typical national democrats and national liberals who hide under pagan pseudonyms.  Their program is simple: “the Bryansk lands are not Russia, they are territories which were forcibly included in Asiatic-imperial Muscovy” and thus pulled away from the West of which they were a part.

            Moreover, such people say, “Asiatic Moscow has always oppressed them.” But in fact, Kalashnikov continues, “these freedom-loving Western Russians have spoken out on the side of the progressive False Dmitries and on the side of Hitler,” positions they don’t advertise but that others must.

            Indeed, and with the full encouragement of their Western backers, “the Western Russian regions of the Russian Federation are called upon to play the very same role that the Western lands of Ukraine – Galichina with its center in Lviv” – have played there. Their numbers aren’t large but their methods and goals are clear.

            They seek to promote “separatism in the Russian Federation itself after the neo-Banderites put down those revolting in the Donbas” by sending their “bands” into the western oblasts of the Russian Federation. Indeed, such people see the spread of separatism in Russia as a means of putting down separatism in Ukraine.

                The possibility that separatism will spread into the Russian Federation is why, Kalashnikov says, “it is critically important” that those fighting for Donetsk and Luhansk win “and create a Russian Novorossiya” and why the Kremlin should be far more actively intervening there than it already is.

            At the same time, Kalashnikov continues, the Kremlin has to change its policies in Russia itself.  It has to escape “the neo-liberal monetarist idiotism” which is leading to “the de-industrialization of Great Russia” and thus creating fertile ground for those putting out separatist agendas.

            Indeed, it can be said, the Russian nationalist commentator adds, “objectively Moscow is working for the Bryansk ‘Russian’-separatists” because “instead of factories, electric stations and infrastructure, Moscow is building football stadiums which are exhausting the economy of the country” rather than building it up.

            For Russian nationalists like himself, Kalashnikov says, the task is clear they must take part in elections to the oblast legislatures and win.  “We, ‘Asiatic imperialists,’ perfectly well understand the value of national unity,” and we have to fight for it where we can, in the regions of Russia in order to bring pressure to bear on Moscow to change course.

            Moscow’s policies now are not “an alternative” to those of the national separatists. They are “only strengthening and feeding” such groups. And if the center doesn’t change course, the country will descend into a new time of troubles, and those who care about it must set up “committees of national salvation” in the regions.

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