Staunton, Oct. 28 – National movements whose peoples are divided by the Russian border often have a great deal of difficulty in presenting their programs to their audience. Much of their energy comes from abroad where conditions are freer, but Moscow works hard to keep them from having any influence within Russia, presenting such efforts as a foreign threat.
Nonetheless, these groups are constantly coming up with new means of communicating. The latest example is provided by the Ingermanland movement in the northwestern portion of the Russian Federation. It has now launched a regular podcast, “Ingria without Borders,” to reach its audience (facebook.com/ingerimajaregion.expert/iwb1/).
The first issue features an interview with Lina Yepifantseva, the leader of the “Stop the Port” movement, in that region. She says that Russian officials in Moscow and St. Petersburg are ignoring the opinion of local residents, many of whom identify as Ingermanlanders, and argues that the objections members of that national-regional group are shared by many others.
Her words reflect an important fact about the Ingermanland movement, which has become increasingly important over the last year. Its leaders are committed to remaining within the Russian Federation if Moscow respects their rights. Only if it doesn’t will they seek independence (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2021/08/ingria-will-happily-remain-part-of.html).
Paradoxically, that makes the Ingermanland movement especially dangerous as far as Moscow is concerned. While the Russian authorities routinely present it as inherently secessionist, the Ingermanland group is simply trying to defend the rights its members and all other Russian citizens are supposed to enjoy under the constitution.
That means that the Intermanlanders can and do have an influence beyond the members of that nationality to other groups including not unimportantly ethnic Russians they live among and that could prove a bigger threat to Vladimir Putin’s hyper-centralist agenda than any single national movement ever could.
For background on the Ingermanland movement, see among others windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/02/regionalist-movements-now-under-kremlin.html, windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2016/06/regionalism-threatens-russia-today-way.html, windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2016/05/by-attacking-free-ingria-leader-moscow.html, and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/10/window-on-eurasia-ingermanland-is-ready.html.