Sunday, February 4, 2024

Khabirov's Actions are Fueling Growth of Bashkir Nationalism, Gabbasov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Feb. 1 – Although many Moscow analysts feel Radiy Khabirov has handled the Bashkir protests well, so well in fact that the Bashkortostan leader feels free to invite Vladimir Putin to visit Ufa ( and, Ruslan Gabbasov says Khabirov has in fact so angered Bashkirs by his actions that a new growth of nationalism there is certain.

            The author of Notes of a Bashkir Nationalist ( now living in exile says Bashkirs may not go into the streets in the short term because of repression but adds that that repression, on top of attacks on the Bashkir people will lead to an intensification of nationalism (

            The problems Bashkortostan and all other non-Russian republics within the current borders of the Russian Federation are the work of Moscow and its agents in place. That is why recently the largest demonstrations about various issues have been in Daghestan, Sakha and Bashkortostan.

            But it is also why, Gabbasov says, that just getting rid of Khabirov is not sufficient. The current Bashkir head is not the problem. Moscow is and so demanding his ouster alone is an “illiterate” approach, one that the Bashkir nationalist argues members of his nation are rapidly overcoming.

            And as that happens, he continues, Moscow won’t be able to play the population against the regional leader and present itself as above the fray but rather the center will find itself in a situation in which the nations will see the republic heads for what they are: Moscow’s agents in place. And they will demand the ouster of the heads and an entirely new deal with the center.

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