There are four reasons the pro-Moscow Russian nationalists have begun spreading this term:
First, they want to invent “a Buryat threat” in order to unite pro-Moscow people and to justify repressions.
Second, they want to suggest that Buryats aren’t patriotic but rather involved in some “pan-Mongol” schemes, even though the latter aren’t banned by Russian law.
Third, by adding the diminutive suffice “-ik,” these pro-Moscow figures are seeking to attach it to all Buryats and thus transform it into “a kind of yellow ‘Star of David’” for them in order to ghettoize the nation. Russians are doing the same thing by adding diminutive endings to other nations like the Tatars, Tuvins, Yakuts, and so on, Khalturov notes.
And fourth, the Russians can’t help themselves. They are projecting their own hatred onto others just as they did in the past with their anti-Semitism and Judophobia. For all these reasons, he continues, Buryats must insist that “we are not Burnatsiki” as the Russians imagine, “but rather Buryat nationalists” who are proud of that fact.
Consequently, Gerasimov thinks, “it is very difficult to fight such organizations, which act as networks, because destroying one cell does not take you to the next.” And he further understands that “there is no warfare that is not hybrid. Such wars begin long before war is officially declared and end long after a peace treaty has been signed.
These wars “begin in the form of information warfare, diversionary acts and guerrilla warfare, and this is what the headquarters level proceeds from in planning modern warfare,” and that in turn means, Manoylo says, that “defense attaches need to be excellent specialists in information warfare, influencing the public and psychological operations.”
As a result of this understanding, the Moscow hybrid war specialist says, “the proportion of people without epaulettes is growing fast in the [Russian] military,” including a new push for private military corporations that can be deployed with deniability because it allows governments to “participate in military conflicts in their active face while not risking military involvement at the state level.”