Staunton, Oct. 9 – Moscow forced Kazan to drop plans to promote Tatarstan identity and to boost all-Russian identity instead because the center is afraid of the consequences of the growth of non-Russian identities as a result of Vladimir Putin’s expanded invasion of Ukraine, according to Rafis Kashapov.
The prime minister of the government of Free Tatarstan in exile says the share of non-Russians choosing to identify with their own culture, history and traditions has grown rapidly primarily because the non-Russians now within the borders of the Russian Federation don’t want to identify with Russia’s war in Ukraine (region.expert/program/).
For them, Kashapov continues, the term Rossiyanin, the non-ethnic term for Russians, has become the equivalent of the term “occupier, aggressor and conqueror” and the intellectuals and youth of non-Russians do not want to associate themselves with something they did not decide upon and do not support.
Many organizations that have arisen abroad, including the League of Free Nations, the Forum of Free Peoples of Post-Russia, Free Idel-Ural and national liberation movements as well, are promoting this shift as “their chief goal is the right to self-determination and their commitment to the idea that we are not Rossiyane but captive nations.”
The appearance of such groups and ideas is a product of the fact that “Russia is a unitary state which is consistently transforming itself into an updated model of the ultra-terrorist formation of the Stalinist era of the 1930s” in the hopes of “consolidating all the peoples under one idea, the existence of a foreign enemy and of one people.”
But this effort is failing, Kashapov says. “The process of decolonization of Russia has already begun, and the time of the Russian empire is ending.”