Tag: Russian Federation

Why are Only Some Non-Russian Republics Led by Members of Their Titular Nationalities?

November 3, 2015

Staunton, November 3 – In the final decades of the Soviet Union, many in the non-Russian union republics began to ask why some of them were headed by members of their titular nationalities and others by Russians and increasingly demanded that members of the titular nation occupy key posts. Over time, Moscow backed down, first […]

New Regional Policy Draft Pushing Russia Toward Hyper-Centralized ‘Post-Federalism,’ Shtepa Says

June 1, 2015

Staunton, June 1 – Vladimir Putin is launching a new regional policy, one so deeply centralist that “the regions will in fact lose their title of subjects of the Federation and be converted into only objects of administration from the center,” according to Vadim Shtepa, one of Russia’s leading regionalist writers. In today’s Gazeta, Shtepa […]

Forced Marriage Sets the Stage For a New And More Fateful Chechen War

May 23, 2015

Staunton, May 21 — Many in Russia and elsewhere have been horrified by the personal tragedy of the forced marriage of a young girl to a 57-year-old Chechen that Ramzan Kadyrov and some Russians have defended, but they should be more concerned about how this event sets the stage for a new Chechen war in […]

151 Years After the Genocide And One Year After Sochi, the Circassian Issue Isn’t Going Away

Staunton, May 21 — No nation more skillfully used an international event than did the Circassians during the Sochi Olympiad to call attention to the Russian-orchestrated genocide of their people 150 years earlier. Despite Moscow’s best efforts, few independent reporters talked about Sochi without talking about the continuing crimes against the Circassians. In the past […]

To Moscow’s Making Of Republics Inside Ukraine, There is Apparently No End

April 9, 2015

Staunton, April 8 — During the first years of Soviet power, a Moscow newspaper published an article telling its readers how easy and potentially profitable it would be for them to form a national republic. According to the paper, they didn’t need a nation or anything like a set of institutions: they needed only paper […]

Belarus Must Vote This Year To Join Russia Or Face ‘Liquidation’

Staunton, April 9 — In what appears to be a response to Alexander Lukashenko’s recent declaration that Belarus will never become the northwestern part of the Russian Federation, a Moscow journalist says Belarusians must vote this year to become just that or face “the liquidation” of their country and “the fate of Ukraine.” In the […]

Russia Cannot Become a Democracy in Its Current Borders, Walesa Says

Staunton, April 7 – Just as the notion of a liberal Soviet Union proved to be a contradiction in terms, so too the Russian Federation in its current borders cannot become a democracy, according to Lech Walesa. It must first disintegrate and then some parts of it might be able to come back together in […]

Despite Lukashenko’s Claims, Belarusian Language Is Under Threat

April 4, 2015

Staunton, April 3 — Despite Alexander Lukashenko’s tilt away from Moscow and even his own use of his country’s national language on occasion, the situation of the Belarusian language is dire and is likely going to deteriorate further because of the failure of Minsk to live up to its own laws, according to the Frantsishak […]

Russian ‘Federalism’ Now Means As Little As It Did In Soviet Times

April 3, 2015

Staunton, April 2 — Moscow now runs the federal subjects in much the same hyper-centralized way the Soviet Politburo did before Gorbachev’s perestroika, despite the name of the country now being the Russian Federation and Moscow routinely insisting that Ukraine which is less centralized than Russia, must “federalize,” according to Vadim Shtepa. After the USSR […]

Russia’s Closing Of Crimean Tatar Media Backfires On Moscow

Staunton, April 2 — No Crimean Tatar media outlet could ever do as much harm to Russia’s reputation and its ability to attract any members of that nation to its side as Moscow’s decision to shut down ATR and other Crimean Tatar broadcasters and publications already has, according to Anatoly Baranov, a Moscow commentator who […]