Wednesday, April 20, 2016

KPRF Leader Says Russia Threatened by ‘Federalization of Siberia’

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 20 – Yesterday, Gennady Zyuganov, the leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF), said in the Duma that Russia is threatened by “the federalization of Siberia,” an expression Ilya Lazarenko says comes from “neo-Soviet newspeak” and refers to the possible creation of a Siberian Peoples Republic.

            It is absurd to talk about “’the threat of federalization’ in a federation,” the Moscow commentator observes; but it turns out that Zyuganov has a lot of company as far as this kind of newspeak goes and that many Russians believe that “after the disintegration of the Russian Federation, on its territory will appear a plethora of  formations like the DNR and LNR” (

            That some “bandit dictatorships and quasi-state formations” indifferent to the rights of their residents may emerge in a few places, Lazarenko says, is likely true. But this will certainly not be the case everywhere, and it will be helpful to discuss the issue directly rather than hiding behind Orwellian expressions.

            If one does that, the Moscow commentator says, it is obvious that it would be a mistake to assume that all of the successor states likely to emerge from the demise of the Russian Federation will be the same – just as it was a mistake to assume as some did that all of the states that emerged from the demise of the USSR would follow the same trajectory.

            Lazarenko suggests that St. Petersburg and Vladivostok will rapidly be integrated into the larger outside worlds they are adjacent to and will experience what he calls “normal development.”  At the same time, “Moscow will keep all important positions for development and draw in the regions near it.”

            As for “certain internal oblasts” of the current Russian Federation, the Moscow commentator says, he would “not be so optimistic,” an apparent bow to those who fear that many of the post-Russian formations will have more in common with the Moscow-organized Donbas regimes than with modern European states.

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