Saturday, August 12, 2023

Mordvinia’s Moksha Nation Issues Detailed Manifesto on the Path to Independence

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Aug. 6 -- At end of Soviet times, Mordvinia was one of only two autonomous republics in the RSFSR that did not declare sovereignty, a reflection of the dominance of ethnic Russians there and low level of mobilization among the two component parts of the Mordvin nation (in Soviet and Russian understanding), the Erzya and the Moksha.

But three developments since that time have changed the attitudes of these two peoples. First, both have been outraged by the ever more draconian forms of Russianization and Russification Moscow has adopted and have formed small but active national movements to defend themselves (, and 

Second, as the combined total of Erzya and Moksha has grown, approaching 50 percent of the population and thus outnumbering the ethnic Russians, Moscow has been less adverse to the playing up of the two identities in the hopes of preventing them from challenging the Russians and thus Moscow’s control (

            And third, vocal diasporas of both Erzyas and Mokshas have emerged, diasporas that are now actively discussing whether they should pursue separate independent statehood or a federative state that would combine the two of them either as a half-way house or as the final goal and considering precisely how they should pursue independence, militarily or otherwise.

            The Erzya have been the far more visible of the two and have attracted more attention ( But the Moksha have formed an emigre Committee of Representatives of the Moksha People and may soon overtake the Erzya in this regard (

            Having concluded that the end of the Russian Federation is approaching so rapidly, the Moksha say in a 46-page manifesto released on August 3 that they are ready to take power in cooperation with the Erzya but ultimately on their own and seek cooperation with other nations in speeding the end of the Russian Federation.

            For the complete text of the manifesto, see; for a discussion of its contents and their likely impact on Moksha relations with the Erzya and other nations, see

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