Staunton, May 13 – After Vladimir Putin launched his expanded invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, non-Russian groups within the current borders of the Russian Federation formed two major groups to combine efforts to pursue greater autonomy and federalism or even independence, the Forum of Peoples of Post-Russia and the League of Free Nations.
Now, in the last week, two additional groups with a similar agenda have emerged, the Alliance of Indigenous Peoples and the Union for the Liberation of the Peoples. Like the two which emerged last year, the new couple have overlapping membership; but they represent some potentially important goals (idelreal.org/a/32408418.html).
The Alliance of the Indigenous Peoples has as its overarching goal the deconstruction of Russia and the rebirth of nation states on their historical territories. Among the groups this umbrella organization includes are the following: the World Chechen Congress, the Karelian Naitonal Movement, the Chuvash-Volga-Bulgar Diplomatic Council, the Tatarstan Government in Exile, the Cossack National Liberation Movement, the Higher Council of the Nogay People, the Daghestani National Center, the Free Byarmiya/Pomor group, and the Moksha movement.
The Union for the Liberation of Peoples includes many of the same but insists that its goal is sovereignty not only for peoples within the current borders of the Russian Federation but also of the former union republics and their component parts. As such, it includes representatives from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Georgia.
One can only welcome this effort to join the forces of national liberation together, a sharp contrast to both the experience of Russian émigré groups and the expectations of many about the abilities of the non-Russian and regionalist forces within Russia to get along and cooperate both now and in the future.
But at the same time, it is almost inevitable that some of these unions will become the vehicles for the promotion of those who lead them, something that may by itself lead to tensions that might be avoided if there weren’t so many of these unions and alliances and if they didn’t arise and disappear so quickly.