Staunton, Dec. 29 – A new and genuinely ethnic Russian Russian Federation should consist of 17 republics, according to a commentator writing anonymously for the telegram channel of the Forum of Free Peoples of Post-Russia, one based on the belief that the non-Russian republics now within the current Russian Federation will all leave.
That idea will be opposed by three different groups: those who don’t want the borders of the Russian Federation to contract at all but don’t want any radical changes, those who don’t believe that all the non-Russian republics will want to leave, and those who believe that some Russian regions may also seek independence as second, third or more Russian countries.
Given this combination of opponents, it is almost certainly utopian in conception and impossible to achieve. But the proposal itself, available at t.me/freenationsrussia/2229, is important because it highlights two important realities that are often lost sight of by those discussing Russia and its possible futures.
On the one hand, given that the non-Russian republics form only about 20 percent of the population of the Russian Federation now as compared to nearly 50 percent of the population of the Soviet Union, whatever happens or should be considered now must be fundamentally different than what happened in 1991.
And on the other hand, it calls attention to the fact, often lost sight of, that Moscow engaged in ethnic engineering with regard to Russian areas just as often as it did with regard to non-Russian ones, drawing borders so as to include or exclude various resources, including population, to limit the ability of these areas to challenge Moscow.
Consequently, the new list of 17 “Russian” Russian republics that might constitute a Russian Federation after the independence of the non-Russian republics now within it is worth attending to as an indication of how borders should be withdrawn to create a genuine Russian federation.
According to the commentator from the Forum of Free Peoples of Post-Russia, these are:
· Lapland (the former Murmansk oblast)
· Ingria (the former Leningrad oblast and St. Petersburg)
· Novgorod (Novogorod oblast)
· Pomorye (Astrakhan kray minus the Nenets AD and Vologda oblast)
· Eastern Krivia (Smolensk, Tver, and Pskov oblasts)
· Zalesye (Moscow and Moscow, Yaroslav, Ryazan, Kirov, Nizhny Novgorod, Kaluga, Tula, Vladimir, Ivanovo, and Kostroma oblasts)
· Black Earth (Voronezh, Belgorod, Tambov, Lipetsk, Kursk, Oryol, and Bryansk oblasts)
· Volga (Samara, Saratov, Volgograd, Penza, and Ulyanovsk oblasts)
· Don (Rostov oblast)
· Kuban (Krasnodar kray without territories transferred to a restored Circassian Republic)
· Stavropol (Stavropol kray)
· Urals (Sverdlovsk, Perm (without the Komi-Permyak District), Chelyabinsk, Kurgan, and Orenburg oblasts)
· Tyumen (tyumen oblast without the Khanty-Mansiisk and Yamalo-Nenets ADs)
· Chaldonia (Omsk, Novosibirsk, Tomsk, Kemerovo, and Irkutsk (without the Ust-Orda Buryat District) oblasts, and the Altai and Krasnoyarsk (without the Taymyr and Evenk districts) krays)
· Trans-Baikal (Trans-Baikal kray without the Agin Buryat district)
· Far East (Magadan, Amur and Sakhalin oblasts, the Khabarovsk and Primorsky krays, and the Jewish AD)
· Kamchatka (Kamchatka oblast without the Koryak AD).