Staunton, May 30 – Vladimir Putin fails to recognize that Lenin’s nationality policy, one that offered the non-Russians carrots as well as sticks, saved the Russian Empire when all the other great empires of modern times were falling apart, Mikhail Pozharsky says. And it he destroys what Lenin put in place, the Kremlin leader will ensure Russia’s final de-colonization.
The notion that Ukraine was a Soviet invention and that the non-Russian republics within the Russian Federation are a time bomb reflects Putin’s view that had the Bolsheviks not taken power, the Russian Empire would have continued its untroubled existence right up to the present, the Russian commentator says. But that is nonsense (region.expert/inevitable/).
In fact, Pozharksy says, while all other empires lost territory in the 20th century, Russia was able to avoid that outcome not just because it created a totalitarian state to hold things together but also because it offered the non-Russians some advantages that reduced demands among them for separation from the Russian state.
Had Lenin not put that combination in place, the Russian Empire would have lost not only Ukraine, Belarus and the non-Russian union republics “but even Siberia” and some of the non-Russian autonomies within the current borders of the Russian Federation. If the Leninist arrangements are retained Russia might survive. If they aren’t, it won’t.
At present, Pozharsky says, the prospects that the Kremlin will recognize this are not great. Instead, it appears that “the Russian powers have made a different choice and are seeking to reanimate a rotting historical corpse.” And because they are, they are ensuring that what began before Lenin will continue now and in the future.