Staunton, Nov. 10 – The Tatars of Tatarstan have long viewed themselves and attempted to present themselves to others as the leaders of all Tatars in the country, but the divide between them and the large number of Tatars living beyond the borders of Tatarstan about the past and future is growing, Lenar Miftakhnyky says.
According to the prominent Tatar publicist, “the Tatars are not monolithic” with the main divide being between those who live in the republic and favor independence or at least a radical increase in autonomy and those who don’t who want to remain in Russia but in a Russia in which they will play an increasingly important role (t.me/qozgin/711).
The latter who form 75 percent of all Tatars nonetheless routinely get less attention but they may play a major role not only in determining the future of the former but the future of Russia itself, Miftakhnyky suggests.
Most of them, he says, view Russia as the heir to the Golden Horde and a place where Tatars should be rights have a much greater role than they have at present. If they aren’t to be its rulers, then they should have a much greater role. And to that end, they don’t support republic independence, especially as doing so would compromise their chances of getting such a status.
The second group of Tatars, those who live in Tatarstar, differ on how they assess the Golden Horde heritage, “but they are ever more drawn to the history of Volga Bulgaria and the Kazan khanate. They aren’t indifferent to the fate of Tatars beyond the republic, but they are for raising the status of Tatarstan.”
“Some are for independence, but some see a sovereign Tatarstan within a confederation either of a EU type or a genuine federation” of Russian regions, the publicist says.
And he concludes: “over time, these ideological differences will grow, given that Moscow will use the first to destroy the republic and suppress” its population which wants greater independence. At the very least, this means, “there is unlikely to be any unity among the Tatars.” And that means that “difficult times lie ahead” for the nation.