Staunton, Oct. 20 – The sizeable movement of ethnic Russians from the north to the south and from the east to the west has left many of the non-Russian republics in the far north of the country far more non-Russian than they were three decades ago, a development that has received widespread attention and sparked alarm in some quarters and hope in others.
But a related phenomenon has not gotten the attention it deserves – namely, the fact that the ethnic Russians who remain are very different than the ethnic Russians who have left, not just older and thus less mobile but also more adapted to local conditions and having better relations with the titular nationalities.
A rare discussion of this pattern is provided by ABN in a discussion of the relations between the Slavic and predominantly Russian groups who remain in Lapland as compared to those who have left that northern region in recent decades (abn.org.ua/en/liberation-movements/lapland-identity-of-the-kola-peninsula-and-the-west-of-murman/).
The commentator says that the remaining Slavs are “very passionate and enterprising, more similar in spirit and culture to the Pomors, Sami, Karelians, Finns and Scandinavians, who have gone through centuries of northern selection. Also, despite the abundance of closed military camps, Murmansk residents are very free people, which also unites us with the nations of Northern Europe who do not know serfdom.”
And that leads him to the following conclusion, one that the commentator says is “self-evident: free Lapland is born, then a new community will be born. These people will be united not only by a common place of residence and a passport but also by common cultural characteristics, values, traditions and way of life.”