Sunday, January 21, 2024

Petersburg Politics Head Urges Case-by-Case Assessment of Protests in Non-Russian Republics But Admits Moscow has No Easy Answer to Such Actions

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Jan. 17 – Mikhail Vinogradov, president of the Petersburg Politics analytic organization, says that protests now in Bashkortostan following those in Daghestan and elsewhere have led many Russians to lump all the republics into one category rather than to see the diversity among them on this measure as well as all others.

            Russia’s non-Russian republics are enormously diverse, he argues; and they respond differently to the same Moscow policies. Thus, if Moscow does the same thing everywhere as it is inclined to do, it will produce different  results ( reposted at

            In some cases, Moscow’s actions will lead the republic leaders to play the protests back against Moscow for their own interests; in others, what Moscow does will change the views of people in the republics in unpredictable ways that threaten both republic leaders and their Moscow overlords.

            With the notable exception of its approach to Chechnya, Moscow has mistakenly adopted a one-size-fits-all approach both in its actions and in its analysis of the impact of what it does, shortcomings that compound the center’s problems by creating a situation in which what Moscow does will unintentionally exacerbate national differences rather than reduce them.

            At the same time, Vinogradov warns, moves to treat some republics differently than others will create conditions for a bidding war in which those which have benefitted less than others will demand more, something that will radicalize them and make the problems Moscow faces even more difficult.

            In short, he suggests, there is no obvious answer to the problems the center faces; and because that is so, there is a great risk that what Moscow does do in response to unrest in the republics will only make more protests likely and make those protests increasingly radical, again in ways that recall the period before the disintegration of the USSR.

No comments:

Post a Comment