On August 17, a March for federalizing Siberia will be held in the unofficial Siberian capital of Novosibirsk. Originally intended to be held under the slogan “Enough feeding Moscow” with the goal of creating a Siberian Republic as part of Russia, it was banned by the city administration of Novosibirsk. An interview with the organizers of the march, in which they expressed the desire to do what Putin has publicly demanded that Ukraine implement in Eastern Ukraine — federalization, was censored in Russia, only to appear on Euromaidanpress. The organizers renamed the event into a march “For the inviolability of the constitutional system, in particular for the state’s compliance with the principle of federalism laid down in Article 1 and 5 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation,” but still did not receive the agreement of the city administration for the march. Furthermore, the organizers and their family members have received threats and have been arrested. The Russian government’s crackdown on the march have not prevented the “federalization idea” from spreading into other regions of Russia –– Yekaterinburg, Kaliningrad, and Kuban. Voices have been raised that Putin’s actions of inspiring separatism in Donbas have had their part in stirring up federalization sentiments in Russia: if it’s good and desirable in Donbas, why not do the same in Russia? The Siberia federalization supporters believe that it will allow Siberians to introduce rebates and wage premiums for those living in areas “with harsh climate conditions” and ensure fair distribution of revenues between local and federal budgets.
Follow @EuromaidanPress on twitter and this liveblog post to be updated on the march’s developments on August 17. It is planned to start at 11:40 GMT+2.