Staunton, July 29 – Vladimir Stanulevich, Arctic correspondent for the nationalist Regnum news agency, says that Moscow must push through the amalgamation of Arkhangelsk Oblast and the Nenets Autonomous District because the only opponents are Nenets AD officials who claim to speak for the titular nation but in fact are only protecting their own rice bowls.
According to the commentator, “Arkhangelsk needs an opening to the Arctic on the Northern Sea Route via Indiga” and the objections that some in the Nenets government have raised should be ignored because they do not speak for anyone but themselves and certainly not for the Nenets minority there (regnum.ru/news/polit/3023458.html).
The vigor, even nastiness of Stanulevich’s dismissal of the Nenets AD and its interests suggests that he believes Moscow may back amalgamation as a kind of payback for the fact that the Nenets AD was the only federal subject to cast a plurality of votes against Putin’s constitutional amendments (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/07/nenets-autonomous-district-voted.html).
And the Regnum writer and his allies in Arkhangelsk are clearly concerned that Moscow might read the delay in a vote on unification as something more than it was, a response to the pandemic (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/05/pandemic-has-achieved-what-protests.html) or even forget about this project altogether.
But if Moscow does go ahead as Stanulevich urges, the center is extremely likely to trigger another Khabarovsk, this time in the North, given that the Nenets people, although small in number, have already shown that they are ready to mobilize against threats to their homeland (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/07/where-will-next-khabarovsk-break-out.html and