Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Putin Likely to Turn on Non-Russians at Home in Wake of Ukrainian War, Sidorov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Mar. 12 – The leaders of some non-Russian republics within the current borders of the Russian Federation fail to see that their active support of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine and his “Z mobilization” in fact means that they are wittingly or unwittingly “digging graves” for themselves and for their republics, Kharun Sidorov says.

            The Prague-based analyst of non-Russian movements inside Russia says that conclusion is inescapable if one considers what has been taking place. In Bashkortostan, extreme Russian nationalists and imperialists dominated an automobile parade in support of the Z mobilization, and in Tatarstan, the republic’s president was denounced for using Tatar in his post on the war.

            The war in Ukraine is first and foremost a Moscow attempt to destroy that country’s political nation and its efforts to live as other European nations do with its own language, political system and so on; and if Moscow succeeds there, it will find it far easier to destroy the non-Russian republics inside Russia (

            Everyone must understand, Sidorov says, that what the Kremlin calls “de-Nazification” is in fact “nothing other than de-nationalization,” an effort to deprive the Ukrainians of their rights to nationhood because the Russian nationalists and imperialists now in power do not believe anyone other than Russians should have such rights.

            Sidorov does not say; but it certainly follows from his analysis, that Putin and his regime may turn on the non-Russian republics not only if Moscow wins in Ukraine but also if it loses or is forced to pull back. In that event, Putin may turn his wrath on the non-Russians both to cover his losses in Ukraine and to try to win back the support of the ethnic Russians.

            In either case, the fate of the non-Russian republics and their leaders likely hangs in the balance in the coming weeks and months; and those who think they can save themselves and their nations by slavish support for Putin are deceiving themselves, the analysis of Sidorov makes clear.

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