Staunton, April 14 – Putin’s war in Ukraine has created his nemesis in an unexpected way, Ruslan Gabbasov says. It has highlighted the value of civic nationhood based on attachment to common values rather than just ethnicity not only in Ukraine but for all the peoples currently within the borders of the Russian Federation.
Ukraine has succeeded in resisting Russian aggression, the Bashkir activist currently seeking political asylum in Lithuania says, precisely because it has become a civic nation with a Jew as president, Georgians and Russians as active supporters, and the world supporting it as a result (region.expert/bashkraine/).
According to Gabbasov, Ukrainians advanced on this road after the Maidan when “they began to build a new nation of an open type, open not only for people of various nationalities already living in Ukraine but also for those who wanted to become Ukrainians in spirit and calling and who joined the Ukrainian project.”
Ukraine’s success in attracting support and resisting Putin reflects the success of this project, the Bashkir activist says; and consequently, the Ukrainian model of a civic nation must be the model for others, including the Bashkirs, who are seeking to create a new nation based not on ethnicity alone but on civic values of democracy and freedom.
Imprisoned Bashkir activist Aydar Dilmukhametov began talking about this a decade ago, “but then this idea was not yet fully understood. Now it is obvious that the only peoples who have a chance to advance themselves are those who adopt this project,” Gabbasov argues. (On this idea, see windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2021/01/civic-nationalism-in-non-russian.html and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/08/russian-court-sentences-dilmukhametov.html.)
According to Gabbasov, “in the eastern part of the present-day Russia, the future Bashkortostan must become like what Ukraine has become in the eastern part of Europe.” Otherwise, it won’t be a success, and those who care about Bashkortostan must want it to become “the second Ukraine.”