World Congress of Tatars, August 2017 (Image:

World Congress of Tatars, August 2017 (Image: 

Opinion, Russia

Oleg Shro, a Russian political émigré in Ukraine, says that the Russian leadership is engaged simultaneously in the destruction of the remnants of the sovereignty of Russia’s non-Russian republics and “the continuing ethnocide of the indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation.”

Subjects of the Russian Federation (Image: ~

Subjects of the Russian Federation (Image:

In a Guildhall commentary, he suggests that these two processes, in turn, are connected with “the strengthening of ‘the criminal structure called ‘the Russian Federation’ and the final destruction of the remnants of the state.”

At the regional and especially the republic level, Shro says, the remnants of genuine statehood still exist. These present “a serious danger” to Moscow, which has already destroyed the government at the center in favor of a criminal corporation and thus give “legitimacy to an alternative government structure,” something the Kremlin can’t tolerate.

Both the political opposition in Moscow and the leaders of the republics should recognize just how serious this threat to the country is, but neither is prepared to do so at least not yet. The so-called opposition in Moscow is easily distracted by “shows” like the Navalny protests, and the regional and republic leaders have proved unable to form a united front, the Russian political émigré says.

It is especially important, he argues, that those outside of Moscow recognize what is going on and take steps to resist it before all the features of federalism and multi-nationality have been destroyed; and it is critical that “the non-national regions” be part of this effort right alongside the non-Russian republics. They need federalism too.

Moscow is now stepping up its attack on the republics by attacking the languages of the nations that form their foundation, Shro says. He points to the recent proposal to strip the titular languages of the republics of state status.

Shro’s comments follow another Guildhall commentary by Aleksandr Bolkin, the vice president of the Free Idel-Ural movement. He says that Dmitry Bondarenko’s attack on republic languages reflects thinking in the Kremlin that Vladimir Putin is as yet not willing to say himself lest he provoke a backlash.

According to Bolkin, stripping republic languages of their current status will “accelerate the assimilation of all non-Russians” and thus allow Moscow to destroy the republics and reduce everything outside of the Russian capital to a common and undifferentiated mass. Before that happens, he argues, republics and regions must organize to resist this existential threat.

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