Staunton, November 5 – Moscow must demand the establishment of autonomous regions for ethnic Russians in all the post-Soviet states, Russian nationalist commentator Grigory Mironov says; and the non-Russian countries should support this because it will reduce the impulse of the Russian state to seek to re-absorb one or another of them.
In a commentary for the Novaya Rossiya information agency, Mironov says that Russians are among the most divided nations in the world and should act as other countries do and demand that the places where their co-ethnics form compact majorities should be given formal state autonomy (novorosinform.org/opinions/2499).
“The largest Russian territory” beyond the borders of the country, he says, is Northern Kazakhstan (Southern Siberia).” But there are also Russians in Ukraine, the northeastern sector of Estonia, Latgalia in the east of Latvia, the Mugan oblast in Azerbaijan, and the northern portions of Kyrgyzstan.” There are even Russians further afield in Israel or Transcarpathian Rus.
And despite everything that has happened since 1991, ethnic Russians “still form a majority in almost all these regions.”
According to Mironov, “the creation of ethnic Russian national subjects would secure many of these countries from possible destabilization in the future. Ukraine may not want to make concessions and federalize” fearing that “having lost Crimea and the Donbass, it will lose more in the future.”
The same thing is true in Kazakhstan and Belarus, the commentator says. And saving the Russian communities in these countries is essential to increasing the size of the Russian world.
“It is a mistake to think that if for example in Kazakhstan, Estonia or what remains of Ukraine that giving Russians national districts would mean that these regions would automatically separate a automatically separate these and join Russia.” In fact, he insists, just the reverse is the case.
“Having received the desired national formations, the Russian population will be calmed, will acquire all national rights and will live for the good of these states.” That is especially important for the countries of Central Asia, he says, because there the presence of Russians prevents the rise of “a conflict of all against all.”
Pushing for such things, Mironov says, is not only a matter of simple justice for the Russian people but also a characteristic of any great country that will not want to let its compatriots be tossed to the winds. “Little Hungary is doing this,” the commentator concludes. “What about us?”