Staunton, May 8 – Vladimir Putin’s worldview is predicated on the primacy of national identity over citizenship. Thus, he believes that people will react to what he does both inside Russia and abroad not because of their citizenship but because of their ethnicity or at least their place of residence.
That view has led him to expect that ethnic Russians in Ukraine will support him in his invasion rather than the country of which they are citizens or, at a minimum, residents rather than Ukraine, a notion that the reaction of ethnic Russians in Ukraine to the invasion of their country has shown to be mistaken.
A corollary of Putin’s views about the supremacy of ethnicity over citizenship is that members of ethnic communities in Ukraine which are titular nationalities of other countries will support the position their countries have taken rather that that of the country in which they now find themselves today.
That view too is wrong as well. An example of just how wrong is provided by a commentary offered by Murad Dzhafarov, vice president of the Unified Diaspora of Azerbaijanis of Ukraine (apostrophe.ua/article/world/ex-ussr/2022-05-08/novyiy-russkiy-natsizm-vo-chto-prevratila-rossiya-den-9-maya/45798 ).
While Baku has been cautious in its assessments of Putin’s war, Dzhafarov is blunt: Ukraine, he says, is now having to fight a second time against fascism, but this time the fascism is Russian rather than German. Ukrainians could not hope for a better and more supportive ally than that, especially as it underscores just how wrong Putin’s worldview is.