Staunton, June 9 – “The overwhelming majority of Russians following American protests associate themselves with white Americans and treat the revolt of the black minority with hostility and indignation when they talk about it,” commentator Andrey Nikulin says (newsru.com/blog/11jun2020/rus_usa.html
In general terms, Pryanikov continues, “Russians have even fewer rights and possibilities than blacks do in America.” Almost everything has been taken from them not just for the benefit of the one percent in Russia but for the global system. They are suffering like the blacks, but they are unwilling as yet to stand up for their rights.
Yekaterinburg analyst Aleksey Shaburov highlights what he calls the “unexpected consequences” of Russian attention to the Black Lives Matter movement in the US, consequences that are likely to be all the greater because in their country even more than in the US, “the past often defines current policy” (politsovet.ru/66773-schet-za-proshloe-chto-znachat-dlya-rossii-sobytiya-v-ssha.html
Many years ago, even before the collapse of the USSR, the author of these lines gave a talk at Georgetown University entitled “Russians as White Southerners,” arguing that Russian regionalists and nationalists in the RSFSR of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s were developing many of the themes that American southern agrarians had in such works as I’ll Take My Stand (1930).
Russian officialdom, especially under Vladimir Putin, has promoted such a stance; but the comments of Nikulin, Pryanikov and Shaburov are reminders that there is an alternative and very much opposed tradition as well – and that those who believe they can suppress those memories and those people forever are almost certainly going to be proved wrong.