Thursday, April 13, 2023

Russia’s Regionalist and Nationalist Movements Cooperating

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Apr. 7 – One of the greatest worries those who oppose the disintegration of the Russian Federation often express is that the territorial units likely to emerge will be in conflict with each other, a fear that is fed by the fact that Muscovite-based movements, on the one hand, and non-Russian and regional ones, on the other, find themselves already at odds.

            But there are increasing indications that while regionalist and national movements do have difficulty in working with pan-Russian movements organized by people from Moscow may of whom live abroad, they often find it relatively easy to work with one another, an indication that a post-Russia future may not be as violent as many now think.

            There have been two signs of this pattern in recent days. In the first, the exile government of Tatarstan and the Committee of the Bashkir National movement, also abroad, signed an agreement on mutual recognition and cooperation (

            And in the second, Buryat, Cossack and Oyrat-Kalmyk activists came together to take part in a dialogue on how they can cooperate with each other both now and in a post-Russian future, a commitment especially important given Moscow’s efforts to promote Cossack-Non-Russian enmity (

            Obviously, such discussions do not ensure that there won’t be conflicts when there are real equities at stake; but they are a sign that the pessimism about the cooperation of regionalist and nationalist movements in the future now widespread among Russian commentators and Western analysts who rely on them are overstated. 

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