Staunton, August 8 – Moscow has moved to block the March for the Federalization of Siberia because of its fears that its own “federalization” campaign in Ukraine will provoke similar demands inside the Russian Federation, but even if the march is blocked, it has already achieved its goal by sparking Russian discussions of federalism, Artem Loskutov says.
In an interview with Sibinfo.su, Loskutov, an artist who has been involved with the planning of the march, points out that there was a similar march in Novosibirsk in October 2011 which the authorities did not try to prevent that that now in the wake of the events in Ukraine, the powers that be are worried (sibinfo.su/news/nsk/1/51244.html).
That is because, he continued, when “they see the word ‘federalization,’ they read it as ‘separatism.’” The reason for that is that Moscow has pushed for that form of government in Ukraine but “suddenly when this rhetoric is applied to other territories, some kind of panic immediately begins.”
Whether the march takes place or not is still an open question, given official opposition. But the goal of the organizers has been achieved. They have sparked a discussion about “the real situation of the regions, their lack of self-standingness, and their dependence on Moscow.” That is what they sought, Loskutov says.