Staunton, Aug. 26 – Historically, Yury Krupnov says, Russia has achieved “the peak of its national sovereignty” each time by establishing a new capital in formerly underpopulated macro-regions and shifting the political center there. These new capitals have included Kyiv, Vladimir, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and again Moscow.
The economic geographer and commentator made that argument to a meeting of the Moscow Eurasian Club, adding that the movement of the capital in each case was accompanied by a restructuring of the country’s political elite (gumilev-center.ru/moskovskijj-evrazijjskijj-klub-perenos-stolicy-iz-moskvy-v-sibir-otkroet-novyjj-period-rossijjskojj-istorii-sibirskijj/).
Krupnov proposes Omsk as one possibility, “not in its current shape but as ‘a new super-contemporary city, around which would be developed a multi-infrastructure transportation and logics hub.” Should that happen, “this would allow for the opening of a new stage in the evolution of the country, the Siberian, following the Muscovite and the Petersburg ones.”
This is not the first time Krupnov has made this suggestion – for earlier cases, see windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2017/08/krupnov-proposes-shifting-capital-to.html – or that others have. On some of those, see windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/09/deripaska-calls-for-opening-window-to.html.
The Eurasianist Club is a most sympathetic audience for such ideas, but almost unanimously other experts and especially Russian officials are opposed, not only on practical grounds but also as a result of their belief that moving the capital without changing the country will change little.
Instead, Russia will obtain “a Moscow on the Ob” perhaps but not the motor for new development that Krupnov suggests (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2021/08/does-russia-need-to-move-its-capital-to.html, windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2021/08/simply-moving-russias-capital-to.html and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/03/window-on-eurasia-support-grows-for.html).