By Paul Goble
The West cannot occupy what is now the Russian Federation and destroy its imperialistic approach to the world, Volodymyr Viatrovych says. “The only way to dismantled the [Russian] empire is to destroy it from within” and do that in an alliance with the non-Russian national movements there.
In remarks to the Verkhova Rada, the Ukrainian politician who serves on the newly created commission to help ethnic groups within the current borders of the Russian Federation says that “national movements … destroyed the Russian Empire twice already – in 1918 and in 1991” (abn.org.ua/en/liberation-movements/volodymyr-viatrovych-the-empire-must-die/).
And these national movements can do that again after Ukraine defeats Russian forces on the battlefield, Viatrovych says. He concedes that “these movements are weak right now … but let’s remember how weak the Ukrainian movement was some 40 years ago” when Ukrainians too served as “cannon fodder for the empire.”
“If they are weak, you need to help them become stronger,” the Ukrainian deputy continues. “This is reality. The main thing is to form a systemic policy of interaction with these movements. This is the task of our temporary special commission of the Verkhovna Rada (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2023/08/kyiv-creates-commission-to-help-ethnic.html).
Further, he continues, “we must establish cooperation with the different minority people of Russia and develop mechanisms for strengthening their self-awareness, develop their media, their political and public structures and national military formations in our armed forces.” That will “not only help destroy the empire but also because the foundation of Ukraine’ future relations with the states that will emerge from its ruins.”
“Of course,” Viatrovych says in conclusion, “we need to change the positions of our Western partners. They should not repeat the mistakes of 1918 and 1991.” Instead, they need to make the destruction of the Russian empire their primary goal and for that “they need to support the people enslaved by Moscow.”
(On Western policy toward the Russian Empire in 1918 and 1991 and its shortcomings, see the paper I prepared for the Sixth Forum of Free Peoples of PostRussia, Washington, D.C., last spring, at windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2023/04/approaching-end-of-todays-russia-more.html and in Russian translation at region.expert/1918-1991/.)