Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Putin’s Russification Drive Creates Conditions for Russia’s Disintegration when Moscow becomes Weak, Eidman Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Feb. 22 – Vladimir Putin is now pursuing a policy of “pure Russification,” convinced that that will make Russians out of the non-Russians of the country, Igor Eidman says. But by offending so many of the latter, including officials who appear to go along, the Kremlin leader is setting the stage for the disintegration of the country when and if Moscow weakens.

            The Russian sociologist who lives in Germany argues that “the current Putin fascist ideology is based on traditional imperialism, which in part existed in Stalin’s USSR and in part in the empire of the Romanovs (idelreal.org/a/sotsiolog-igor-eydman-putin-vernulsya-k-politike-rusifikatsii-chistoy-vody-/32822324.html).

            In Putin’s view as in his those of his predecessors, Eidman continues, “Russian are the elder brother ad the rest are some junior subordinate peoples who supported by the Russians are working toward the achievement of a common goal” even those the republics of the latter are “in essence Russian colonies.”

            “The majority of the representatives of Russia’s non-Russian nationalities have a completely different internal self-identification: They do not conceive themselves as non-ethnic Russians let alone ethnic ones. Rather they view themselves above all as Tatars, Bashkirs, Sakha, Buryats and so on.”

            The word for a non-ethnic Russian – rossiyanin – “means nothing to them; it is absolutely devoid of content,” he continues. They “don’t love Moscow; and consequently, “when this regime weakens, several republics will exit from Russia, and the further existence of the Russian empire will be put under question.” Even those who don’t leave will demand real federalism.

            According to Eidman, the Bashkir national movement is “one of the most prospective,” even though that republic does not have a border with a currently independent country.  But both there and in other non-Russian republics, elites recognize they have no way to advance or even survive if they do not profess undying loyalty to the Kremlin.

            But such professions of faith do not reflect the real values of the officials involved, Eidman says, especially under conditions of Putin’s Russification drive. And when the situation becomes less favorable to Moscow, such people will reveal their real views and align themselves with the national movements.

            Putin may not recognize this in his own time, but he should remember that that is exactly what happened in the last decade of the Soviet Union.

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