Staunton, May 8 – Before Moscow banned regional parties two decades ago, the Baltic Republic Party called for renaming Kaliningrad Oblast when it gained independence the Baltic Republic; and now the online newspaper Svobodny Konigsberg newspaper has done the same, adding that the future republic will be Russian speaking.
The newspaper says its model for that decision is the United States of America which broke away from the British Empire but retained English as its national language. And it stresses that the language a people uses does not define its identity or the identity of the country they populate (region.expert/free-kenig/).
Undoubtedly, other predominantly Russian-speaking regions that are likely to break away from the current Russian Federation will adopt a similar position, although it is striking that language issues among them are seldom discussed even by those who favor secession and independence.
Perhaps now that the people of a future Russian-speaking Baltic Republic have done so and have rooted their argument in the American experience more will do so. If that is the case, it will be another nail in the coffin of what Putin believes the Russian world to be and another sign that regional identity is not limited by language in the way that Moscow and many others think.