Staunton, Mar. 21 – Last week, police in Kazan arrested Magomed Muslimov, the permanent representative of the government of the Republic of Daghestan to the Republic of Tatarstan, on charges that he had extorted 6.7 million rubles (100,000 US dollars) from Tatar businessman Gennady Starostin (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/387009/).
This is a rare public report about offices and officials that many regions and republics of the Russian Federation have in other regions and republics, in Moscow, and sometimes in foreign countries. (https://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2016/11/not-just-facade-federalism-russias.html, windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2016/11/not-just-facade-federalism-russias.html and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2022/10/embassies-of-non-russian-republics.html.)
Such institutions were first established in the 1920s and were especially important symbolically for union republics whose permanent representations in 1991 became enemies. For the non-Russian autonomies, they have remained important as one of the few channels for horizontal communication and cooperation among the regions and republics.
Since coming to power, Vladimir Putin has worked hard to destroy all aspects of federalism in Russia except in the country’s formal name; and there have been reports, most recently at the end of last year, that he wants to close these permanent representations down (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2023/01/putin-rumored-planning-to-close.html).
The scandal in Kazan may be just what the Kremlin leader needs to take that step and eliminate one of the last remaining features of Russian federalism sometime in the near future.