Staunton, August 12 – Usually when Russians or others talk about the Russian state as the successor to the Mongol Golden Horde, they do so from the perspective of those who believe Moscow hasn’t yet but should escape from that “yoke” and become a modern state. But there are exceptions, people who believe that Moscow deserves loyalty precisely because it hasn’t.
An example of the former position is provided by Academician Yuri Pivovarov, a historian, who said on Kultura (a Russian tv-channel): “yes, we are heirs of the Golden Horde. Yes, to a large extent, contemporary Rus, Muscovite, Petersburg-, Soviet- and present-day are … an heir of the Golden Horde, although Kievan Rus was also.”
By virtue of its structure, such a state excludes “any ‘drift’ toward democracy,” he said, because it involves “the unbelievable concentration of power” in the hands of “one man.” The “Mongol type of power is when one man is everything, and the rest are nothing,” Pivorvarov continued.
Russian rulers have “willingly” adopted this “model” of rule even though they talk about “the liberation from the Mongol-Tatar yoke.” As a result, “the culture of the Horde has put down deep roots in the Muscovite state.”
But this system would not have survived without at least some support. In a few cases, it even enjoys enthusiastic backing. An example of that is provided by Yermek Taychibekoff, a Kazakh who would like to see Kazakhstan be re-united with Russia and who calls Vladimir Putin “our khan.”
“Those who are against Moscow and the Kremlin are traitors, mankurts and separatists.” Such attitudes are especially “unforgiveable” in the case of “Tatars, Kazakhs and Uzbeks” because “Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is our khan!”
It is far from clear whether Putin benefits from such supporters and from such support inside Russia.