Staunton, Nov. 5 – Since coming to power, Vladimir Putin has effectively revived the notorious “fifth point” in Soviet passports, with his attacks on “persons of Caucasus nationality” and other minorities, an action that highlights how dangerously sick Russia still is and how many generations will be required for it to recover, Galina Sidorova says.
People of a certain age remember all too well the ways in which the Soviet government used the fifth or nationality line to discriminate against Jews and other minorities and how much they welcomed the dropping of that line in the early 1990s. But now they see what lay behind this discrimination returning de facto and possibly de jure.
According to the Moscow political observer, some Putin allies have been talking about restoring such a line in Russian passports. Those proposals have not been accepted yet, but the anti-Semitic outrages in the North Caucasus show that the Putin regime has restored it de facto (svoboda.org/a/pered-pogromom-galina-sidorova-o-pyatom-punkte-po-putinski/32668801.html).
In this respect, the Putinists are like the Bourbons: they have forgotten nothing and learned nothing. Instead, Sidorova says, they “have ‘enriched’ the experience of their predecessors by dehumanizing people of ‘Caucasisan nationality,’ migrants from central Asia, Ukrainians and finally all those who disagree with the Putin regime.”
“With each new day, month and year of Putin’s criminal rule,” she suggests, “you come to realize just how deeply sick Russian society is and how much the current Kremlin inhabitants have succeeded in turning its most shameful and vile sides inside out” and thus expanding this illness.
Because Russian society is so sick, “re-establishing political institutions” will not be enough to “eradicate the nationalist, racist, and xenophobic infections from the people. That will require long-term treatment and more than one generation.” Until that happens, no one should take seriously the idea of “doing business with Putin or one of his ‘successors.’”