Friday, October 20, 2023

World Must Move Beyond Talk about the Decolonization of Russia and Focus on Independence for Non-Russian Republics There, Gabbasov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 16 – An increasing number of Western experts and some officials in Western governments are now prepared to talk about the decolonization of Russia in quite positive ways, but they need to take the next step and focus on the acquisition of genuine independence by the non-Russian republics, Ruslthan Gabbasov says.

            Speaking at the Eighth Forum of the Free Countries of Post-Russia in Paris earlier this month, the Vilnius-based leader of the Bashkir National Political Center asks what are the analysts and politicians in the West afraid of given that over the last 30 years, more than 30 new countries have appeared (

            “Unfortunately,” Gabbasov continues, “we see that some countries which only yesterday were rightless colonies of empires today, having become independent countries, speak against other still unfree nations from acquiring independence,” the result of their fundamental ignorance about Russia.

            For many such people and others as well, “Russia is a big country with only Russians living on it, with a single language and a single culture. But this isn’t the case. In Rusia live dozens of peoples many of them numbering more than some peoples in Europe and having  territories greater than the area of many countries in the world.”

            Gabbasov asks: “why should some countries be independent and define their own policies while others must remain colonies without any rights?” Russia is supposed to be a federation but in fact it is a unitary state in which all decisions are made in Moscow and everyone else is deprived of a voice.

            “Today,” he points out, “Western politicians love to meet with the so-called Russian liberal opposition, whose members represent only one city, this same Moscow … and none of whom represents the national republics and regions.” Consequently, this opposition is not liberal despite its claims to be. It consists of “the most genuine imperialists.”

            Like the Putin regime, its members insist that Russia “can’t fall apart” and that the national republics “’cannot’ become independent states.” And also like the Putin regime, they refuse to debate questions about the future with representatives of those national republics and regions.

            Today everyone knows about the Russian opposition and about Russian political prisoners like Aleksey Navalny, Andrey Pivovarov, and Ilya Yashin, but no one knows about political prisoners like Ayrat Dilmukhametov, Rami Saitov, Oltan Ochirov, Malsag Uzhakhov, Akhmet Barakhoyev and many many others.”

            Gabbasov concludes that because this is the case, the non-Russians must press their own cases and as “Moscow opposition figures do not have the right to conduct talks with European, American or other world leaders without us and without representatives of national and regional movements about the fate of a future Russia.”

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