Tuesday, April 12, 2022

For a Better Future, Russia Must Undergo ‘De-Kremlinization,’ Tushin Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 4 – Now that the Putin regime is talking about the need to “de-Nazify” and even “de-Europeanize” Ukraine, some in Russia are wondering what their country needs to overcome for a better future, with proposals ranging from de-Sovietization, de-Stalinization to de-Nazification.

            But Artur Tushin, the Moscow federalist, says that none of these things will prove sufficient unless and until the country undergoes a rigorous process of “de-Kremlinization” and the elimination of all the centralizing structures and habits that have held the rest of the country in the center’s clutches (region.expert/dekremlinization/).

            After Putin’s war in Ukraine concludes with Russia’s defeat, Ukraine will recover and be transformed by massive assistance from around the world; but there is a grave risk that if Russia does not make fundamental changes in the way it is governed, “the war in Ukraine will grow over into a domestic war of all against all.”

            To avoid that horrible outcome and establish a foundation for a better future, Tushin says, “Russia must move to demolish the imperial Vertical and change over to a federalist Horizontal. Otherwise, when the Vertical inevitably collapses, the country will be buried under its own fragments.”

            Those associated with the Kremlin must be excluded from politics, and the Kremlin itself must cease to be the center of power. Otherwise, “any ‘dove’ who lands there will soon grow into ‘a dragon of war,’” so powerful is the bewitching quality of that architectural monument, Tushin says.

            Representatives of the regions must assemble in a new Constituent Assembly and define a new set of political rules that have nothing to do with those which governed the country when it was the Russian Empire or the USSR. Among those rules will be the quality of subjects and a center which has obligations and authority but no independent rights.

            To assist this process, the federalist says, it will likely be necessary to shift the Russian capital to some new city in Siberia. Moreover, no new capital should have all the functions of government. Instead, they should be distributed across the country, something the Internet makes possible.

            Without such changes, Tushin concludes, anything else that may be done will prove meaningless – and Russia will continue much the same however much the names are changed. 


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