Sunday, August 21, 2022

Russia’s Regions and Republics Find Common Language at Prague Meeting, Putting Them at Odds with Kremlin and Its Opponents, Shtepa Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 25 – Many assume that the predominantly ethnic Russian oblasts and krays in the Russian Federaion and the non-Russian republics in that same country want different things, with the former perhaps seeking more autonomy and the latter only independence, Vadim Shtepa says.

            But at the just concluded meeting in Prague of the League of Free Peoples of Russia, representatives of more than 30 federal subjects of the Russian Federation took strikingly similar positions, the editor of the Tallinn-based regionalist portal Region.Expert says (  reposted at

            “In reality,” Shtepa says, “the representatives of the national republics and ‘the Russian obasts’ found a common language in the Declaration about the Decolonization of Russia they adopted.” (For its text, see

            To no one’s surprise, he continues, the Kremlin and its media outlets attacked the Prague meeting as being about secession and the disintegration of the Russian Federation. But what is most unfortunate is that similar “centralist thinking” dominates those who identify as opponents of the Kremlin. And that represents a serious retreat from three decades ago.

            The Prague meeting can be compared with the formation of the Inter-Regional Deputies Group at the First Congress of Peoples Deputies of the USSR in 1989. Russia’s liberals and democrats supported that, but now the same people or their ideological descendants in that regard do not.

            Participants in the Prague meeting spoke much more rarely about the disintegration of Russia than those who took part in the Inter-Regional Group did about the coming apart of the USSR. Instead, today, these representatives of Russia outside of Moscow discussed the transformation and reconstruction of the Russian space to benefit everyone.

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