Monday, September 18, 2023

De-Imperializing Russia will Take Not Years but Decades, Ukrainian Parliamentarian Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Sept. 7 – In 1991, many assumed that the demise of the Soviet Union would more or less automatically transform Russia into a democratic and non-imperial state. Now, everyone should know better and recognize that de-imperializing Russia will take not years but decades, Yaroslav Yuchyshyn says.

            The task of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada deputy who heads the Special Commission on the Preparation of Ukrainian State Policy for Interacting with National Movements within the Russian Federation says his group will do what it can  to ensure that the number of decades involved is as few as possible (

            To do so, Yuchysyn says, Kyiv must reach out in two directions: to the national movements of peoples currently inside the borders of the Russian Federation and to disabuse Western governments of their mistake and Kremlin-encouraged view that the demise of the empire will lead to disaster.

            Instead, he argues, Russia will cease to be a threat to the world only if it is simultaneously dismembered and transformed, tasks that while require enormous efforts but ones that Ukraine cannot turn away from lest if and the world find themselves in a situation in which the disintegration occurs in a completely unstructured way. 

            What is significant about Yuchysyn’s statement is that unlike many in both the West and among the non-Russians, he recognizes that this process even if it goes in the best possible way is not something that will occur quickly but will take decades of work. That is an important correction to what many in both places are now saying. 


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