Friday, May 19, 2023

Émigré Bashkir Activist Sees War Ahead between Bashkortostan and Tatarstan

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 14 – One of the arguments most frequently advanced by those who oppose the aspirations of ethnic and regional groups in the Russian Federation for greater autonomy or even independence is that the pursuit of such goals will lead to chaos and even civil war.

            Non-Russian and regional activists usually reject such suggestions and even have gone out of their way to show they are ready to cooperate with one another. (For recent examples, see and

            Nonetheless, there are real tensions between some of the nationalities and regions, as some of those involved are ready to admit. For two recent cases, see and, reposted at

            The latter by Ruslan Gabbasov, a Bashkir activist now living in Lithuania, is especially striking as he openly predicts “a war between Tatarstan and Bashkortostan.” It seems unlikely that things will ever go that far given the ties between Kazan and Ufa, but it is certain that many who oppose greater rights for these peoples and others will now fasten on his prediction.


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