Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Amelina Warns the Separatism and Regionalism in Russian Far East Now Being Promoted by West Threaten to Link Up with Islamist Radicalism

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 16 – Speaking at the Far Eastern Media Summit in Vladivostok earlier this month, Yana Amelina said that Russia’s ideological opponents in the West are seeking to promote national separatism and regionalism in many parts of Russia but especially in the Far East.

            The coordinator of the Caucasus Geopolitical Club added that in that region there is every possibility that such ideas will link up Islamist radicalism that infects the large number of migrant workers from Central Asia in the Russian Far East, many of whom don’t know Russian (

            Amelina, who specializes on the North Caucasus, says that “national separatism, regionalism and decolonization have become ‘most popular’ themes” in Western media. After the launch of the special operation in Ukraine, Western centers examined what themes they could use most effectively against Russia and decided on “de-colonization.”

            She says that “regionalist national-separatist projects” in the Russian Far East, projects focusing on the many residents there who identified as Ukrainians in the past ( -- may “very logically combine with Islamist radicalism.”

            It is very likely that Amelina has three audiences in mind with her remarks on this point. First, she is warning officials in the Far East that they may in fact face a more serious problem than they had thought. Second, she is sending a message to Moscow that the Russian government must watch out for these linkages and fight against them.

            And third – and this may be the most important target audience– Amelina is sending a message, one for which she provides no evidence, to Western governments that they could be unwittingly helping Islamists by doing so. That, of course, is an outcome few of them would be interested in, and her words may be intended to discourage the West from what it is doing now.


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