Staunton, Aug. 14 – Most discussions of what the area now occupied by the Russian Federation will look like tend to produce maps showing the area divided up into five, ten or even 100 lands, as if the division was going to take the same form in all parts of the enormous region, the Federation now occupies, Stanislav Grayevsky says.
But in fact, the entities into which this region will devolve, the futurist says, will reflect the four kinds of areas it consists of – non-Russian republics, colonized territories, ‘the Moscow core,’ and a European Novgorod Republic with Petersburg as its most important urban center (region.expert/plurality/).
This four-part division reflects the fact that these parts became part of Muscovy in four different ways, Grayevsky says. And it is critically important to specify that the country now on view is Muscovy because Russia today “in fact has at its foundation not Kyivan Rus or even Vladimir but the Muscovite principality.”
“All of today’s regions, like cabbage leaves, are superimposed on the stalk of the Moscow principality of Ivan III;” and consequently, Grayevsky says, “the futures of the inhabitants of Russia today depend on how carefully we can separate these leaves from this stalk.”
There are four basic groups, he says: “the national republics swallowed up by Muscovia, beginning with the Kazan khanate in 1552 and ending with Tyva in 1944,” “territories which do not have particular nationality basis where the absolute majority of people are the descendants of colonizers,” regions close by to Moscow, and European Novgorod.
Those in the first region are likely to seek independence, those in the second new federations much as breakaway elements of the British Empire did, those in the third may be part of a Muscovy much reduced in size and power, and the final one is likely to become an important democratic Russian state with St. Petersburg as its most important center.
The future of Novgorod is especially interesting because of its past, Grayevsky says. Its absorption by Moscow was a unique case in which “a less culturally and economically developed country swallowed and threw backwards a more developed and pro-European one” and Novgorod in the future will represent a restoration of sorts.
In this scenario, he continues, “Moscow will remain rooted in its horde-like nature, while the Novgorod Republic will continue to develop in such a way that Petersburg will not be a window or even a door to Europe but rather together with the Novgorod Republic become a full-fledged part of Europe.”