Staunton, May 16 – Those who travel between Estonia and St. Petersburg on the E77 highway may not notice much difference between the two countries, but anyone who leaves that main route and goes a few kilometers to one side or the other will see the advantages of a nation state over an empire, the leaders of the Free Idel-Ural Movement say.
“An excursion into Pskov Oblast is the best agitation against the Soviet Union and the feigned greatness of the Russian Federation” because villages only 20 to 40 kilometers from the Estonian border are “a clear example” of the shortcomings of Russian imperialism and of Moscow’s inability to provide decent conditions for the lives of its people” (idel-ural.org/archives/почему-русские-едут-в-эстонию-а-эстонц).
It is enough to meet an Estonian and a Russian pensioner, “especially beyond the limits of big cities, and you too will quickly draw conclusions,” the portal continues. “Russians too are drawing these conclusions,” and that is why so many residents of Pskov Oblast try to leave it … forever.” As a result, “one of the western oblasts of the Russian Federation is rapidly dying.”
“It is possible,” the portal continues, “that national character and culture are the foundations for the construction of states as they define the future of a country, not climate and geography. Language and national culture shape behavior,” and two locations divided by them will be different. That is even more so when one is an empire and the other a nation state.
“An empire will never allow its borderlands to develop because of a fear of separatism. A nation state to the contrary will devote particular attention to them.” Russia hasn’t developed Pskov but Estonia has its northeast. Why? Because Tallinn wants to prevent excessive internal migration to its capital city.
This pattern has much to say to the peoples of the Middle Volga and other parts of the Russian Federation. “The Russification of Mordvinia is pushing that republic along the path of Pskov. People who lose links with their nation, language and culture can easily move to Nizhny or Moscow, condemning the Mordvin republic to depopulation.”
Some young people are leaving Estonia as well – “to Finland, England, Germany and the US. However, the Estonians have something the Erzyans do not – their own nation state” and the identity that supports. This prevents Estonia from becoming a Pskov Oblast. Tragically, the Erzyan and other nations within the Russian Federation don’t now have that protection.
But if they do not now, these nations can compare the situation in Estonia with than in Pskov and draw the obvious conclusions as to what they need and need to pursue.