Saturday, June 4, 2022

Free Russia Forum’s Anti-War Effort Failing to Seek Allies Outside of Moscow Circles, Tsaylinger Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 19 – Political activists beyond Moscow’s ring road have long been critical of the Free Russia Forum because that body consists mostly of Russians from the capital rather than other parts of the country, fails to give more than lip service to the rights of the latter, and operates in the same centralist and hierarchical ways as the Putin regime.

            Now that the Forum has launched plans to hold an Anti-War Conference in Vilnius later this month, Anton Tsaylinger, a Petersburger now living in exile in Salzburg, says that those shortcomings are infecting this latest effort and will make it impossible to achieve much success (

            He argues that unless the people in the Forum change their approach and admit that they are in fact “representatives of a Moscow Republic” rather than genuine spokesmen for the country as a whole, they will fail in their efforts. But they are unlikely to make that change because they are infected by the same “Imperial Moscow-centrism” as the Putin regime.

            Tsaylinger says they are afraid to do so because that would force them to confront questions they want to avoid, questions like whether “a free federation between Moscow and the other regions” is possible and whether some in the regions are fed up with being used as a source of cannon fodder by a regime over which they have no say.

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