Putin’s Goal Now Is To Do Away With Remaining ‘Remnants’ Of Federalism – OpEd


Doing away with “all the rubbish introduced into Russian statehood after the destruction of the Soviet Union” forms a core value of “late-Putin statehood,” Russian nationalist writer Aleksandr Prokhanov says; and the Kremlin will carry this principle to fulfillment regardless of how much resistance anyone shows.

The Tatars will lose their presidency and many other things they acquired in the 1990s, but it is quite possible, the writer says, that “a very interesting trend will mature” among them which “perhaps will be adopted by Russian nationalist and Russian social consciousness” and work to the advantage of the Tatars (business-gazeta.ru/article/528221).

This is what he has in mind, Prokhanov continues. “Russians ae considered the state-forming people although the start of Russian statehood was to a large extent connected with the escape of the Moscow principality from the yoke of the Tatars and the horde. But now, people are beginning to understand the Horde was a cementing factor in the rise of the Russian state.”

“That is because precisely under the horde, Ivan Kalita was able to establish his Moscow patrimony -cand receive recognition of his rule,” the writer says. And what that means, of course, is that “not only Russians are the state-forming people but also the Tatars, a concept quite interesting for Tatar self-consciousness.”

And such an awareness could mean that Kazan “also will be transformed into a capital city” of Russia, “the third capital between Petersburg and Moscow. And that sense,” Prokhanov suggests, will “compensate” the Tatars for anything they may think they are now losing in the course of Putin’s re-centralization drive.

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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