Staunton, July 2 – Daniil Kotsyubinsky, a Russian commentator generally sympathetic to regional aspirations, says “the cause of the fatal weakness of Russian regionalism is it directly contradicts the old Muscovite idea about the ingathering of lands,” a notion that underlies the Surkov-Uvarov formula of happiness – ‘Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Putin nationality.’”
Regionalism, he continues, knows the turtle out from under these three elephants and thus “leaves ‘the deep Russian’ face to face with his really severe regional identity which is not covered by patriotic sloganeering” (gorod-812.ru/chto-meshaet-regionam/ reposted at region.expert/regions/).
That represents an existential challenge to Russians in the regions, Kotsyubinsky says, and so most Russians try to act as if they do not hear the cries from other regions, cries that occur because these regions are behind suppressed by people from neighboring regions, including their own.
And that is likely to remain true for a long time to come until the Kremlin gathers up enough strength to acknowledge that its obsession with land as such is misplaces and that the people are what matter. And put in that way, this mistaken view may even last forever unless something radical happens in the interim.