Staunton, Sept. 12 – It is impossible to imagine the Russian Federation will disintegrate into its individual federal subjects – there are 83 of them – even as it is easy to imagine and even probable that many of its non-Russian republics with titular majorities will go their own ways, according to Stanislav Grayevsky.
That means, the Russian futurologist says, that the real question is how the various predominantly ethnic Russian oblasts and krays will act. For many, such as Tver or Vologda, there is as yet no clear answer; but for other regions, the future will reflect the past because of geography, economics and history (region.expert/nnr/).
One of these “Russian” successor states almost certainly will be “a New Novgorod Republic,” a state including five regions: Pskov Oblast, Leningrad Oblast, Novgorod Oblast, the Karelian Republic and St. Petersburg. That is now Russia’s North West; but it is “in fact” and likely will be in the future “the North East of Europe.”
This is the Northwest Federal District minus Kaliningrad, but it is with that difference the only one with “natural borders, a common historical past, and, I hope, a common future,” Grayevsky says. Its existing subdivisions have seen their borders drawn too often and they are both relatively small and would have to have many border crossings to work, he continues.
Moreover, he continues, the regions within this notional state are tightly interconnected with transportation links, something that would mean they’d have to set up an enormous number of customs borders, and have had their own borders changed so often that there is little identification by the population with the existing lines.
A New Novgorod Republic would be 4.5 times as large as Germany and 2.5 times larger than Ukraine; and it would need only a few more border crossings than Leningrad Oblast would require on its own, 33 for highways and 20 for railroads, the futurologist continues. All these things make its reemergence as an independent state not only plausible but likely.