Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Real Disintegration of Empire will Occur with ‘Splitting Up of the So-Called “Russian Nation” and Not Simply the Departure of the Non-Russian Republics,’ Rokash Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 20 – Many don’t think Russia can fall apart because 80 percent of its population by the census are ethnic Russians, Yan Rokash says. But “the real disintegration of the empire will occur precisely via the splitting up of the so-called ‘Russian nation’ and not merely by the exit of the national republics from the Russian Federation.”

            “For starters,” the Belarusian architect and blogger says, “the unity of ‘the Russians’ is by and large a fiction because apart from language and rigid centralized power, nothing unites these people” and many things divide them. Russians from the Kuban, the Urals and the Far East are  “just as much ‘the same’ as Canadians, Australians and the British (region.expert/russians/).

            The common language in both cases is not enough to hold these two sets of peoples together, and “now there is another catalyst pointing to the collapse of ‘the Russians” – the burden of the inevitable consequences” of Putin’s war in Ukraine. Moscow was never popular in the regions, but now people there blame it for everything.

            People in the region now speak about how Moscow has “’ineptly squandered huge sums of money on a failed foreign policy and an army that can’t fight’” and complain that Moscow has “’dragged us into a shameful war” and sacrificed our children’” in poorly organized campaigns, Rokash says.

            As this happens, he continues, “the abyss between the ‘ours’ in the regions and the ‘theirs’ in Moscow will grow … and the local intelligentsia will inevitably transform this dissatisfaction of compatriots from ‘small motherlands’ into ideas about national self-determination.”

            Moreover, Rokash says, the successful effort of the Ukrainians to define themselves as a separate nation, something Kremlin propaganda denies is possible, will only cause this process to develop more rapidly and more fully even though many Russians now dismiss this possibility as something “fantastic.”

            That this hasn’t happened fully before does not mean it will never happen, especially when to use an analogy, there has been a loaded gun on the wall for some time. “I am simply stating a fact: this gun is going to go off.” And when it does, it won’t be a catastrophe but a positive development.

            Just as “no one today is worried by the fact that there are separate Australians, Canadians, Americans, Brits, and New Zealanders or thinks there should be “’a single Anglo-Saxon people.’ Each of these nations is doing quite well on its own, and there is nothing wrong with the possibility that the Russians will be divided as are “the notorious ‘Anglo-Saxons.’”


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