Sunday, February 11, 2024

‘Krayevedeniye’ Again Becoming Breeding Ground for Ethnic and Regional Activists, ‘NeMoskva’ Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Feb. 7 – Krayevedeniye, a nearly untranslatable Russian word, for a focus on local history, has attracted a new generation of younger people who often move from examining the glories of their home areas to criticism of the authorities for their attacks on these sites, has become a breeding ground for ethnic and regional activism, the NeMoskva portal says.

            The portal, which follows developments outside of the Russian capital, reaches that conclusion after speaking with those involved in this transformation of what had often been viewed as nothing more than boosterism that older people could be drawn into and the authorities were comfortable with (

            Its journalists spoke with activists from Tomsk, Tyumen, and Syktyvkar, the capital of the Komi Republic, and found that while young people were increasingly attracted to the study of local conditions, they were, in contrast to earlier and officially approved programs, not only raising tough questions but taking steps to challenge the powers that be.

            Typical of those with whom NeMoskva talked was Valera Ilinov, a Komi journalist now in emigration. After getting involved with local tourism and historical preservation work, he founded the investigative journalism outlet, Komi Daily, which challenged the Russian authorities so frequently that he was forced to go into emigration.

            To the extent that NeMoskva is right, people in the regions and republics of the Russian Federation are recapitulating the path that led to the emergence of national movements in the occupied Baltic countries and elsewhere, a development that will help to re-invigorate such movements now and thus make krayevedeniye itself a threat to the Putin dictatorship.

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