‘Russia can be destroyed from within and Turkey has the confederates there to do it,’ Honchar says

Mykhaylo Honchar 

International, Op-ed

Given Moscow’s attempt to use ethnic Russians in Ukraine against that country, some in Kyiv have suggested the Ukrainian authorities should turn the tables on the Kremlin and speak out in defense of the rights of the non-Russian nations within the Russian Federation.

The Russian government is clearly sensitive to this possibility and has responded by imposing sanctions on Ukrainians who have even discussed taking this step:

In fact, the Ukrainians have done relatively little beyond issuing declarations and providing asylum for non-Russian activists, not trivial steps to be sure compared to other countries but hardly comparable to what the Kremlin has done in making use of ethnic Russians to undermine the Ukrainian state.

Now, Mykhaylo Honchar, president of Kyiv’s Strategy XXI Center, has approached this issue in an indirect way but one that is certain to alarm Moscow even more.

He argues that “Russia can and must be destroyed from within” and he suggests that “Turkey has confederates inside the Russian Federation. In Tatarstan, and not only; and in Idel-Ural and not only.” Thus, “if Erdogan decides to do so, Russia will be tied down with internal problems” and won’t be in a position to cause Ankara the kind of problems it has been.

Given that Russia has sought to exploit the situation of ethnic minorities in Turkey for decades, Honchar says, Turkey not only has opportunity but compelling reasons to do as well. That is something at least some in Moscow may now be increasingly worried is an all too real possibility.

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Edited by: A. N.

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