Staunton, June 25 – Many non-Russians object to the term Rossiyane as a designator for all the people who live in the Russian Federation because they view it as a denigration of their national dignity, but many Russians object to the term for the same reason and complain that it has forced them to stop using their as their own self-designator, Russkiye, or ethnic Russians.
One of the latter who does so is Regnum commentator Yevgeny Tsots who says that because Russian have been forced to live “according to the rules of political correctness,” its titular nation can’t use its own name for itself and instead has been diluted first as part of the Soviet people and now as Rossiyane (regnum.ru/news/society/3645372.html).
Members of minority nationalities are free to call themselves by their national names, but “to say ‘Russian’ is dangerous” unless it is about something in the past, Tsots argues. Russia’s enemies, foreign and domestic, have encouraged this process because they want to destroy Russia by boosting the identities of the non-Russians and destroying Russian identity.
As a result of their efforts, the commentator continues, “only the minorities have ‘the right’ to nationality in Russia.” Step by step, “Russianness has become incorrect and even dangerous.” Those who talk about it are treated as violating a code of conduct and putting themselves beyond the pale.
To be sure, he says, some Russians continue to talk about their Russianness, and in some places, there are even advantages to doing so; but “there are no Russian cities let alone republics,” and thus Russians are left in a situation in which they both exist and don’t exist at one and the same time.
In the current environment when Russia’s enemies have made clear that they want to destroy Russia, it is time for Russians to take pride in calling themselves Russkiye rather than continue to live shamefacedly behind the meaningless but dangerous term, Rossiyane.