Friday, May 31, 2024

Putin’s Regional Amalgamation Plan a Revival of Khrushchev’s in 1957, Idel-Ural Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 27 – Vladimir Putin has been promoting the amalgamation of smaller non-Russian federal subjects with larger and predominantly Russian ones off and on since he came to power in 2000. Now, he is set to begin again; and his plan traces its origins not to his earlier efforts but to a plan that Khrushchev first considered in 1957 before Brezhnev shelved it.

            Many commentators and some officials in Russia have suggested Putin will launch a country-wide regional amalgamation this year or at the latest yet, beginning with poorer and predominantly ethnic Russian ones and then extending to non-Russian republics (, and

            Most of these discussions have accepted the idea that Putin is simply reversing Lenin’s division of the Muscovite state into national republics or later divisions of Russian areas, both of which the Kremlin leader has suggested represent “delayed action mines” under the country that he wants to reverse to ensure control and improve efficiency.

            And they have also accepted the idea that what Putin is doing is something new. But a new article on the Idel-Ural portal notes that plans for amalgamation of republics and regions first arose in Khrushchev’s time in 1957 during his economic regionalization of the country (

            Those plans have never disappeared, the Idel-Ural portal says, although they have been delayed sometimes by officials in Moscow who fear that any such change could lead to chaos and at others by the resistance of people in the republics and regions who don’t want to lose the status and even limited advantages such arrangements provide.

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