There are some things no one in Russia must say or even think. Perhaps the most important of these is the idea that the Russian Federation will disintegrate just as the Soviet Union and all other empires have. But the Kremlin hasn’t managed to keep the idea out of the newspapers or to eliminate it by taking it off line when it does appear.
Today, Ukraine’s Gordon news agency reported that “Moskovsky komsomolets [a Moscow-based daily newspaper with a print circulation approaching one million, covering general news – Ed.] had taken down from its site an article about the inevitable disintegration of Russia.” At 03:24, the Moscow paper put up a story declaring that “a former Putin advisor considers that the disintegration of Russia is inevitable.” And that is an entirely “natural process” as far as “multi-national empires” are concerned.
The article was on the newspaper’s website for eight hours and attracted more than 207,000 page-views. But then it was taken down.
By taking this action, of course, the Moscow paper and its Kremlin bosses have only called more attention to the article than it might have otherwise received; and it has certainly not eliminated the article from the Internet because on the web almost nothing ever goes away completely.
Below is the text of the article which remains online at irnet.ru:
In the opinion of the former advisor of the President of the Russian Federation (2000-2005) Andrey Illarionov who at present is on an employee of the Cato Institute (US), Russia will not be able to avoid the tragic processes which are natural for all multi-national empires.
The beginning stage of the disintegration of the empire, Illarionov considers, could be observed at the beginning of the 20th century, in 1917-1918. “Then a partial reconquest and reoccupation of some territories occurred. Another stage in this imperial disintegration took place at the start of the 1990s. Then again was carried out a partial reconquest,” Glavred quotes him as saying.
The third stage is certain; it will be accompanied by the separation of certain non-Russian ethnic territories from the present-day Russian Federation, the economist and political figure notes. “Such processes are usually accompanied by tragedies and blood. However, it is impossible to stop such tectonic forces of universal history.”
In Illarionov’s opinion, the disintegration of Russia will reduce military pressure on Ukraine depending on who will be sitting in the Kremlin. If the leader of Russia will be a responsible figure, then it is not impossible that democratic Ukraine will help Russia navigate this process in a way that will be less horrific for Russia itself as well as for the newly formed states.
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