Staunton, June 2 – “Never before in history,” Vladimir Pastukhov says, have there been so many people not only in Russia and its neighbors but around the world wanted Russia to disintegrate into a multitude of smaller states; and never before have they had so many grounds for wanting that outcome.
Indeed, the London-based Russian analyst says, “at present there really exists a critical mass of people who quite sincerely and not without basis want the disintegration of Russia into its constituent parts and the removal of this civilization canopy over Eurasia” (polit.ru/article/2022/06/03/pastuhov/).
The Russian powers that be are responsible for this development, insisting on Moscow’s right to rule over a new empire and to homogenize its population by means of a hyper-centralized state, Pastukhov says. Neither they nor the Russian people should be surprised that they have generated the reaction they have.
At the same time, no one should be surprised that the Russians don’t want to see Russia dismantled because they fear that such a tearing apart of this civilizational matrix would threaten the continuity of Russian culture; and as a result, they are more than prepared to follow the siren song of the Kremlin that only an authoritarian and a hyper-centralized state can save them.
But in this, they are making a fundamental mistake because it is precisely the authoritarian and hyper-centralized nature of the Putinist state that has produced the desire of so many within the borders of Russia and beyond to want to see the Russian state dismantled and replaced by a number of states.
There is only one real alternative to a see-saw battle between hyper-centralized authoritarianism and disintegration and that is a genuinely democratic federation, the achievement of which will be extremely difficult given the lack of trust on the one side and confidence on the other, the London-based analyst says.
Russians must choose a genuinely democratic federation or they won’t have the country they think is rightfully theirs, and the amount of time they have before another wave of disintegration passes over them is far less than any of them is prepared to admit is now the case, Pastukhov concludes.
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