Friday, August 26, 2022

Moscow’s Obsession with Foreign Centers May Cost It Its Empire at Home by Serving as Model for Peoples It Now Rules, Sidorov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 30 – Moscow has not become “the self-sufficient center of a self-sufficient space,” Vadim Sidorov says. Instead of addressing the space it controls, it remains “obsessed with the idea that the real center is external to this space” as symbolized by talk of being “the third Rome,” demands for the recovery of Constantinople, and now “the return of Kyiv.”

            That approach, the Prague-based commentator says, entails the risk that Moscow will lose control over the territory it claims as its own country not only because of its own inattention but also because groups within that territory are now forming up who also are looking to foreign centers for inspiration and assistance (

            Sidorov points to three such groups. First, the Buryats, Tuvans, and Kalmyks, all of whom have Mongol roots and are attracted to a Mongolian state that is now rapidly growing and thus has every possibility of promoting in the future “a certain Mongol sphere” of influence that will separate these peoples from Moscow.

            Second, the Turkic-Muslim peoples of Russia. While not all Turks of Russia are Muslims and not all of its Muslims are Turks, there is enough of an overlap to speak of these as an already established combination, one that increasingly looks to the rising power of Turkey as an alternative to Moscow.

            And third, there is “the broad group of peoples of the Western part of Russia who do not fall into the previous two and under the influence of their centers, from the Finno-Ugric peoples in the north to the Slavic population in the center and southwestern part of Russia,” Sidorov continues.

            The West does not now provide any single center for nations in this group, Sidorov says. Instead, it is divided between the old West, the Americans, and the former Soviet-controlled areas. Because this is so, he says, the idea of an Intermarium focused on itself is re-emerging. (On that, see and the sources sited therein.)

            “Of course,” the Prague-based commentator says, “the Intermarium is still not a consolidated center but a conglomerate space.” Nevertheless, it is entirely possible that it will follow the two other super-regions within Russia focused on foreign centers just as Moscow has and that that focus will play a key role in the dismantling of the current Russian Empire.

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