Staunton, December 19 – The program of the National Democratic Alliance, which calls for the immediate separation of the North Caucasus from the rest of the country and the division of the federation into seven “ethnic Russian republics” is “the beginning of the end of the Russian Federation,” according to a Moscow commentator.
In an article on Forum-MSK.ru yesterday, Maksim Kalashnikov says that the new union’s idea, which he says “corresponds completely with the plans of INSOR,” the liberal think tank that has provided ideas for President Dmitry Medvedev, represents “the confederalization of the country, a CIS-2, and a new 1991” (forum-msk.org/material/politic/4984630.html).
Moreover, the Russian commentator says, this plan will lead to “the complete destruction of hopes for the conversation of the Russian Federation into a full-blooded unitary ethnic Russian state,” all in order to permit “the current ‘elite’ to remain unpunished and hide abroad” with “the trillions of dollars” they have stolen.
In support of his contention, Kalashnikov appends to his brief remarks three documents, the Manifesto of the National-Democratic Alliance adopted in March, the declaration about the formation of the National-Democratic Movement of the Russian Civic Union slated to be adopted this weekend, and a commentary on the need to separate the North Caucasus.
Although Kalashnikov almost certainly overstates the importance of these declarations – they are at most the views of one part of the Russian political class and not an indication of the steps Moscow is likely to take in the near future – he is clearly right to point to them as an indication of the directions some in the Russian capital are now considering.
In the draft manifesto scheduled to be adopted this weekend, the National Democrats declare that they believe in “the indivisibility of the terms ‘nation’ and ‘democracy,’” in the “naturalness” of nationalism and democracy in Russian history, and in the “necessiry of a synthesis of civic, ethnic, and cultural nationalism.”
They thus call for the formation of a genuine Russian national state based on democracy, a free market economy, and genuine federalism and regionalism. In addition, they urge the formation of a socially-responsible state, the tightening of immigration rules, the defense of the environment and culture, and the transition to a professional army.
With regard to the status of the republics of the North Caucasus, the draft manifesto says that “the price which Russia is paying today for holding these territories is too high” and that the subsidies these republics are receiving need to be cut, the borders need to be changed to separate out ethnic Russian regions, and that the borders between them and Russia must be strengthened.
In a commentary that first appeared on the Nazdem.org site, Moscow commentator Aleksey Shiropayev expands on these points and concludes that Russia must separate out the North Caucasus and give that region its independence if Russia is to have a chance to develop as it should in the future.
“It is obvious,” he writes, that there were “three geo-political factors which made Russia an empire:” Ukraine, Central Asia and the Caucasus. After 1991, only the Caucasus remained inside the borders of the state centered on Moscow. And that must change or Russia will remain in terrible straits.
Shiropayev recalls that Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn who “dreamed about the transformation of Russia into a Russian national state” wanted to get rid of Central Asia, although even the great Russian writer hoped to retain Ukraine and Belarus as “a continuation of the so-called ‘Russian world.’”
The current Kremlin rulers, Shiropayev continues, “much better than Solzhenitsyn understand the imperial essence of Russian pretensions in Ukraine. They fight for Ukraine precisely as a necessary component of the internationalist Eurasian empire, covering this struggle with demagogic comments about ‘the Russian world.’”
But the Moscow commentator points out, “Ukraine just like Central Asia already is all the same foreign territory.” And that in turn means that “the main thing which gives an imperial character to Russia is now the North Caucasus,” defined he points out by the ethnic territories not by the lines of the North Caucasus Federal District.
“Let us remember,” Shirpoyev says, “with what began the restoration of the imperial paradigm after the destruction of the USSR – with the Chechen war unleashed by Yeltsin under hurrah-patriotic slogans.” It was precisely that war which “put an end to the hopes for the transformation of Russia into a normal federation consisting of equal subjects.
One must note, he continues, that “as a result of the Chechen wars, which have cost so much blood of ethnic Russian soldiers, both the Kremlin and Chechnya have achieved mutually profitable results: the central powers that be have ‘demonstrated’ the necessity of their existence as guarantors of the much-ballyhooed integrity of the country.”
And at the same time, Shiropayev points out, “Chechnya has obtained the chance for unlimited subsidies as a parasite on the Russian regions of the RF.” But there is “just one small detail: neither the one nor the other has any relationship to ethnic Russian interests.” Indeed, both contradict them.
“The Kremlin needs the North Caucasus for its presence within Russia justifies the existence of an enormous repressive Chekist-cop machine and what is the main thing the very existence of the Kremlin as the center of power.” In fact, “the Moscow-centric Russian statehood” of today rests on the North Caucasus.
And likewise, “the North Caucasus needs the Kremlin as a source of aid, concessions, and all possible special legal arrangements” and that is not to mention the unbelievably enormous “corrupt schemes “which connect the capital’s bureaucracy and the North Caucasus elites.”
Given all that, Shiropayev says, “it is obvious that the main question for Russia, the Russian question, cannot be resolved which the imperial character of Russian statehood is preserved. And it will be preserved while the North Caucasus remains within Russia,” an arrangement the Kremlin and the North Caucasus are vitally interested in seeing continue.
“The starting point for the reconstitution of the Russian Federation” must thus be placing the national republics of the North Caucasus outside its borders. “It is finally time to openly and honestly acknowledge the cultural, mental, and psychological incompatibility of the Russian people and other peoples of Russia with the phenomenon of the North Caucasus.
“We are OTHER and we want to live in another way, in a European way, and not according to the laws of the mountain taips. It is time to deprive the Kadyrovs of the possibility of living as parasites on the Russian and other peoples of Russia. And it is time to deprive the Putins of the possibilities of speculating on imperial patriotism.”
In fine, Shiropayev says, “it is time to put an end to the criminal union of the Chekists and the wild men.”