Staunton, Nov. 8 – There are important concentrations of ethnic Ukrainians in various parts of what is now the Russian Federation. Identified by color, the most well-known of these is the Green Wedge in the Russian Far East. But others, including the Blue along the Kazakhstan border and the Crimson in Kuban are assuming more prominence.
(For background on the broader Ukraine “wedge” issue within the current borders of the Russian Federation, see windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2016/06/a-real-wedge-issue-ukrainian-regions-in.html, windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/08/kyiv-takes-up-cause-of-ukrainian-far.html, windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2014/06/window-on-eurasia-zelenyi-klin-isnt.html and afterempire.info/2017/09/08/zeleni-klin/.)
Dmitry Dorovskikh, an activist for the Crimson Wedge group and movement in what is now the Krasnodar Kray of the Russian Federation, says many people in his region recall that Kuban declared its independence in 1918 and are thinking about doing so again now (apostrophe.ua/article/world/ex-ussr/2022-11-08/u-kubani-dva-varianta-buduschego-i-odin-iz-nih-svyazan-s-ukrainoy---kubanskiy-aktivist/48834).
Until this year, he continues, most people in the Crimson Wedge hoped that Russia would liberalize and provide them with more autonomy and few thought about independence. But Putin’s decision to launch a major invasion of Ukraine on February changed that. People there now view Russia as “an evil empire” and recognize that to survive they must escape.
They have come to understand, Dorovskikh says, that “the problem is not just who is president, be it Putin or someone else, but the state itself which seeks to conquer other countries and hold in chains its own people in the regions.” Putin’s declaration of partial mobilization only exacerbated such feelings.
He says it is “only a question of time” as to when active protests will begin in the Kuban against Moscow. Ukrainians in both Ukraine and in the Kuban need to be ready to act when that happens. For the time being, such work is being conducted only underground given the repression of the Russian state.
According to the activist, some in the Kuban want full independence while others want to unite with Ukraine possibly joining with Crimea and thus necessitating a Ukrainian bridge between the two of them in place of the Russian one Putin built after his Anschluss of the Ukrainian peninsula.