Saturday, January 8, 2011

Window on Eurasia: ‘Yugoslav Variant’ Threatens Russian Federation, Khalidov Says

Paul Goble

Staunton, January 8 – The Soviet Union disintegrated remarkably peacefully largely because the Russian nation and its leaders did not behave in the way that the Serbs and their leaders did in the former Yugoslavia, despite the fears of many at the time that what took place in Yugoslavia would presage what would occur in the USSR.
But now, given the intensification of Russian nationalism and the willingness of some Russian leaders to play to that, a “Yugoslav variant” could threaten a disintegrating Russian Federation, the mere prospect of which should cause everyone to stop and think where their actions and statements may lead, according to an activist from the North Caucasus.
In an article on the portal, Denga Khalidov, vice president of the Russian Congress of Peoples of the Caucasus and of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, argues that the dangerous of such a course are so great that Russians and non-Russians concerned about their country must come together (
Anger about the failure of officials to do their job in investigating a high-profile murder, Khalidov says, “was used by extremists from certain nationalist (youth) movements for igniting anti-Caucasus hysteria and disorders” in Moscow’s Manezh Square last month, as a result of which “dozens of innocent people of ‘non-Slavic nationality’ suffered.”
“The approaches to the resolution of social and nationality problems of Russia” these ideologues of the nationalist movement advocate represent, he says, “a new edition of ethnic racism,” something those who are “far from being the friends of Russia” are quite prepared to exploit.
The actual reasons for the increase in mass unhappiness in Russia, however, are “much deeper,” and include both Moscow’s “new colonial” approach and potentially fatal policies on the part of the elite “literally in all spheres of life:” ethnic, social-economic, culture and media, and national security.”
Indeed, Khalidov continues, it is fair to say that “all signs of a coming Russian ‘bunt’ are present … the result of a conscious and unconscious reaction to this policy.” And that is all the more so because some among the powers that be and expert community want to “channel Russian protest (and that of other indigenous peoples of Russia) in the wrong direction.”
That is they want to push Russian nationalists into “anti-Caucasus and anti-immigrant pogroms as well as in an anti-Islamic direction.” And it is precisely here, the Caucasus activist and analyst says where “the xenophobic attitudes ‘from below’ receive encouragement ‘from above.’”
“Such “controlled conflicts and chaos,” he suggests, “is the best ‘basis’ for continuing the most successful business in the entire history of humanity, when giant property (of billions of US dollars) remain in the hands of an extremely small group of people.” And this will be even more seirous if there is “a new stage of broad privatization.”
In this way, he argues, “the scenario of ‘Yugoslavia-II is being prepared for Russia” by its own capitalist allies who are counting on NATO and the West to keep them in power but who are pursuing a policy which may lead to “the possible occupation” of Russia and its “complete predictable division of the country into ‘zones of influence.’”
Those sparking ethnic and religious conflicts in Russia at the present time, by setting one group against another, Khalidov says, are “the new Azefs and Father Gapons,” people “who cannot guess about the strategic consequence of their ‘heroic’ efforts for the salvation of Russians and Russia as a whole.”
In order to prevent that, Khalidov says, Russian and Caucasus “national patriotic movements must immediately begin a dialogue and develop common principles and approaches to the resolution of growing problems in the interests of the country and of the peoples living in it,” including conflict prevention, joint appeals and joint public actions.
The first such meeting took place on December 14 at a roundtable organized by the editors of “Komsomolskaya Pravda.” But that must be only the beginning, he says, and the two groups, with a common commitment to Russia, can block the efforts of those who want to use ethnic conflicts against the country.

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