Bulletin 5:4 (2011)
- THE RUSSIAN NATIONALISM BULLETIN
A Biweekly Newsletter of Current Affairs
Vol. 5, No. 4(125), 2 February 2011
Compilers: Scott Littlefield & Andreas Umland
I NEWS: 15 - 31 January 2011
II SURVEYS, ANALYSES, COMMENTS
III ANNOTATIONS OF RECENT PUBLICATIONS
[NOTE: When viewing an RNB issue in the Messages archive of the homepage and the end of the text is truncated, scroll to the end of the message and click "Expand Messages." Only then, the whole text of the - otherwise truncated - issue will appear.]
I NEWS: 15 - 31 January 2011
Expert Calls For Dialog With Radicals Instead of Their Mockery
Interfax, January 17, 2011
MOSCOW. Jan 17 (Interfax) - The dialog with various groups and ethnic communities is the best way to combat radicalism, President of the Institute of Contemporary Development Igor Jurgens said in an interview published by the Monday issue of the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.
"If radicalism is growing in society, it is necessary to open valves as soon as possible. Radicals should not be mocked, instead, there must be a respectful debate," he said.
"We do not want these rough boys from Manezh Square to rampage through Moscow, so, before it is too late, they should be involved in politics and those prepared to take part in state development must be discovered," he said.
Jurgens explained radicalization with the laziness of those bound to interact with civil society. "By the way, all of our problems stem from laziness. Detectives are too lazy to hold investigations: a person sent to jail will make a confession. Political technologists are too lazy to interact with radicals: let the police disperse them, while I talk to (Communist Party leader Gennady) Zyuganov and (Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir) Zhirinovsky because they are controllable. I think that is a short-sighted attitude," he said.
It is also necessary to develop a dialog with the leaders of ethnic communities. "We will either press on leaders of these communities or give the possibility of a dialog with the authorities to the most adequate of them," he said.
Jurgens criticized the idea of separation of the North Caucasus. "Separate and see what will happen to the Stavropol territory bordering on the separated North Caucasus. The disorganized society, which will not become democratic in the near future like Iraq or Afghanistan, will produce its radical leaders and they will receive support from Saudi Arabia. We will have one war after another," he said.
Asked whether the country will stay calm in December 2011 (during the parliamentary elections), Jurgens said, "Yes if we start the dialog with the groups to which the federal authorities are not listening attentively enough. In that case, the country will have a tempting prospect for six years. If we don't, I fear there will be no calm."
Russian minister says more needs to be done to help migrants integrate
Interfax, January 19, 2011
Moscow, 19 January: Russian Culture Minister Aleksandr Avdeyev believes that migrants need to be afforded social protection.
"Migrants need to be taught, and they need to be afforded social protection. Migrants are mercilessly exploited here, they have no guaranteed healthcare, they don't have normal pay, they're fleeced and they're robbed," Avdeyev told the Ekho Moskvy radio station on Wednesday (19 January).
He noted that the migrant problem had been neglected and hasn't been addressed in decades.
"My French colleagues often said to me: Aleksandr, make use of our mistakes, learn from them, because otherwise it might be too late, so deal with the migrant problem as a matter of urgency, ensuring all their rights but, naturally, also forcing them to observe Russian laws, moral standards and customs," Avdeyev said.
In his opinion, if we admit migrants into our country, we must "integrate" them into society, and "teach them Russian".
(passage omitted: remarks by Avdeyev on the same issue in 2009)
United Russia calls for to remove Lenin's body from mausoleum
Itar-Tass, January 20, 2011
MOSCOW, January 20 (Itar-Tass) -- On the eve of the anniversary of Vladimir Lenin' death (passed away on January 21, 1924) members of the United Russia party have again called for to remove Lenin's body from the Mausoleum in Red Square.
"Lenin was an extremely controversial political figure, and his body remaining in the necropolis in the very heart of Russia is absurd," said MP Vladimir Medinsky.
"In his lifetime Lenin never intended to build any mausoleums for himself; his relatives were categorically against it," Medinsky stressed. "They wanted to bury him in St. Petersburg near his mother, but former Communist leaders ignored the will of their leader and his family. They wanted to make Lenin a cult to replace religion and turn Lenin into someone like Jesus Christ. But nothing came of it, " Medinsky said.
"It's time to put an end to the wild ideas," the United Russia official website quotes Medinsky as saying.
Gorbachev Urges No Rush in Lenin's Burial
Interfax, January 20, 2011
Jan 20 (Interfax) - Ex-President of the former Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev thinks that Vladimir Lenin, whose embalmed body is still on public display in the Red Square Mausoleum, will be buried sooner or later.
"I think that this will eventually happen. But I am against any particular steps to force his burial now. Society will understand everything itself," Gorbachev told Interfax on Thursday.
He was commenting on a call by a State Duma deputy from United Russia, Vladimir Medinsky, who said on Thursday that "Lenin is a highly disputable political figure and his presence as the central figure in a necropolis in the heart of our country is a sheer absurdity."
Meanwhile, Chairman of the presidential Council for Human Rights Mikhail Fedotov has proposed turning Lenin's mausoleum into a museum.
The issue of whether Lenin's body should or should not be buried needs to be put to public debate, Fedotov said.
"The theme has long been hovering in the air. It's high time to lift a taboo on the issue. But lifting the taboo does not mean that Lenin's body must be reburied immediately. I am against any haste here," he said.
"I think it would be better to continue public debate on the issue. This would be of great use in terms of wiping out the remaining legacy of totalitarian rule from people's minds and from public practice," Fedotov went on.
Making the mausoleum a museum would seem more appropriate and more in tune with the spirit of tolerance and the need to preserve history, he said.
Russian Church and youth associations suggest working out rules of conduct among newcomers and instill order in migration field
Interfax-Religion, January 20, 2011
Moscow, January 20, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate and youth public associations offered recommendations to improve interethnic relations and migration policy in Russia.
They offered "a code of rules that regulate practice of estimating personalities and groups on national characteristics, standards of behavior in public places, including display of national cultures."
They also spoke for the idea of working out "intellectual system of attracting qualified migrant workers from the CIS countries, taking into account their professional skills, knowledge of the Russian language, national and cultural traditions of Russian regions where they are going to work."
Besides, it was recommended to carry out programs of cultural integration and education of migrant workers, teaching them the Russian language, Russia's national and religious peculiarities, to cut short any forms of illegal immigration.
Authors of the document suggested using opportunities of informal youth associations including ethnic and religious ones to organize voluntary people's guards to secure public order, to carry out work on liquidating judicial illiteracy and exterminating legal nihilism in informal environment.
The Church urges to form Russian domestic and foreign policy on the country's originality
Interfax-Religion, January 21, 2011
*** "Core importance" of Russian people and Orthodox world outlook shouldn't be left out
Gorki, January 21, Interfax - Russia should not be afraid to follow its own original way in history, the Russian Church official believes.
"We have wonderful models of the countries that despite criticism go on following their own way in history: it's Great Britain, countries of Arabic world, Switzerland and Israel. They've displayed political will that make others respect them and I am convinced the same will be with Russia," head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin said at a meeting of the Russian Public Chamber with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
According to him, citizens of Russia "shouldn't repeat previous mistakes, we shouldn't be ashamed to be Russians, to be Orthodox. We shouldn't be ashamed to be Muslims, Tatars, Chechens, Dagestanians as well. We shouldn't be afraid to be ourselves."
"It seems to me that all attempts to create unified "uniman" have failed. Even if such "unipeople" are created, they will be deeply unhappy, the whole human history proves it. Only true people with their traditions, world outlook, lifestyle cooperating with each other can create truly healthy and harmonic society," Father Vsevolod stressed.
He urged to think over "how to make traditional, indeed eternal national values capable to mobilize people for a heroic deed, for great achievements," and pointed out that "a Russian man and representatives of all peoples living in Russia can give themselves only for the sake of great goals."
"The goal can be the boldest. Why don't we set such task to young people as to make Siberia and the Far East an independent center of electronic world!" Father Vsevolod gave an example.
According to him, Russia is rich with its national diversity "and each nation living in it needs attention of the state and the whole society," and each nation can have a possibility to develop their traditions, culture, language, world outlook.
"I wish people could dance lezghinka (the Caucasian dance which some Chechens keep dancing in Russian cities today irritating Russians - IF) and celebrate their national and religious feasts - of course observing laws and norms of decency, when and where it is appropriate for surrounding people. In this case, I am sure that people will always positively embrace our cultural riches and rejoice with joys of those who live beside them," the priest stressed.
At the same time he urged not to leave out "core importance" of Russian people and Orthodox world outlook, Orthodox culture that "formed us as a nation and state." The speaker reminded that first spots of education, culture and thought in Russia were monasteries and churches: art, music, scripture "that have become symbols of Russia appeared there guiding Russian culture of 18th-19th century."
"It's not by chance that reproductions of the Rublyov's Trinity and Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God are frequent in Catholic churches of France, Belgium, Italy. These icons are not given by the Russian Embassy or Moscow Patriarchate parishes. Western Christians, especially Catholics know and respect Russian culture and awe "the light from the East" and it seems to me they are waiting for it at the times of current Western crisis of world outlook," the Church official said.
Foreign Ministry, Russian Orthodox Church to cooperate in international matters
Interfax-Religion, January 24, 2011
Moscow, January 24, Interfax - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has promised support to international efforts of the Russian Orthodox Church and pledged further cooperation.
"We have coordinated with colleagues from the Russian Orthodox Church the plans of further cooperation in the strengthening of Russia's position and authority on the international scene," Lavrov said at the opening of the 19th International Christmas Readings at the State Kremlin Palace on Monday.
The ministry and the church have a common understanding of "the key role of the dialog between religions and civilizations," he said.
"We highly value the Church efforts aimed to develop the dialog on international floors, including the Council of Europe and UNESCO, and aim at the creation of the most favorable political and diplomatic environment for this work," he said.
The Church activity coincides with the Foreign Ministry's cooperation with compatriots living abroad and "promotes the strengthening of spiritual and cultural relations between the Russian world and the home country," he said.
"In close cooperation with the Russian Orthodox Church, the ministry resolves many international matters, including the reconstruction and building of Orthodox temples in foreign countries and the restoration of Russia's ownership of Russian cultural monuments abroad," he said.
Lavrov indicated the important role of the Church in the preservation of "spiritual and cultural traditions and values as the foundation of peaceful and constructive living and innovative development of Russia."
Activists Across Russia Commemorate Markelov and Baburova
SOVA Center, January 24, 2011
Rallies were held in several Russian cities on December 19, 2011 in memory of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova. Markelov - a lawyer and civil rights advocate, and Baburova - a left-leaning journalist and activist, were shot and killed in Moscow as they left a press conference on that date in 2009. It has since become a day of protest in Russia not only to oppose racism and discrimination, but also to draw attention to the inadequate response from the authorities in addressing racially motivated violence.
At the end of 2010, human rights- and antifascist activists applied for a permit to demonstrate in St. Petersburg but were denied, being told by city authorities that applications would not be reviewed between December 31 and January 11 due to a break for federal holidays. Additionally, they were told that application before December 31 would be too early for the January 19 date, while application after January 11 would be too late. At the same time, nationalists who applied on December 31 were granted permission to demonstrate "against ethnic criminality" in St. Petersburg.
Despite the obstruction by Petersburg officials, antifascist activists went through with their plan to demonstrate in several Russian cities, including Petersburg.
The country's largest demonstration took place in Moscow. It began as a march down Tverskoy Boulevard ending at Pushkin Square, and by SOVA's estimate, between 500 and 600 people participated. At Tverskoy, human rights defenders and social activists joined members of informal antifascist youth groups and leftist organizations for a procession. Arriving at Pushkin Square, they observed a moment of silence in memory of Markelov and Baburova, and ended their rally with the release of Chinese lanterns into the sky. The Ministry of Internal Affairs counts 21 arrests at Pushkin Square, with a common charge being refusal to remove a mask. (Many antifascist activists cover their faces at rallies out of fear for their safety should they be photographed; the Associated Press and other wire services ran photos of demonstrators at the January 19 demonstrations.)
According to differing estimates, between 150 and 300 people gathered at Trinity Square in St. Petersburg. They laid flowers, lit candles, and carried portraits of the departed. Organizers projected a film devoted to Markelov and Baburova, but were forced to play it without sound after city authorities forbade the use of sound-amplifying equipment (the use of which determines the difference between "picketing" and a "meeting" under Russian law).
Smaller demonstrations made up of between 20 and 50 participants were held in the cities Yekaterinburg, Saratov, Rostov, Perm, Tyumen, Chelyabinsk, Yaroslavl, and Ufa. The meeting in Rostov was not sanctioned by the local authorities and as a result was limited to picketing at the entrance of Gorky Park, while activists in Tyumen were forced to be content with a gathering without any signs or banners. The provincial demonstrations were bound together by memorials to Markelov and Baburova, as well as clear antifascist sentiment: demonstrators carried banners reading "In the country that defeated Fascism, no place for fascists," "There's no such thing as an illegal person," and "Enough blood on our streets."
No arrests or violent incidents were reported at the rallies outside the Federal Cities.
Georgian Restaurants Ban Russian Songs - TV Channel
Interfax, January 28, 2011
TBILISI. Jan 28 (Interfax) - The Georgian authorities imposed a silent ban on musicians performing songs in Russian, Georgia's Maestro television channel has reported.
A week ago, the directors of large restaurants were summoned to the Georgian Finance Ministry's Revenue Service, where they were warned that they will be fined 500 lari ($277) for songs performed in their restaurants in Russian,. The directors of the restaurants were told not to tell anyone that this order was issued by the authorities, Maestro has reported.
"If this ban is adopted on the level of a law, the whole world will be laughing at Georgia because it's so stupid," Temur Rtskhiladze, prominent Georgian pop singer and composer, told Maestro.
Rtskhiladze said he was in a restaurant several days ago and visitors asked him to sing his song, which was in Russian, but the restaurant administration prohibited him from doing that.
Renowned missionary believes Russia can lead globalization on its own conditions
Interfax-Religion, January 28, 2011
Moscow, January 28, Interfax - Renowned Orthodox missionary, head of the Information and Publishing Directorate of the Synodal Youth Department Hieromonk Dimitry (Pershin) believes Russia has all opportunities to become a leader in the epoch of globalization.
"Russia has something to say in the epoch of globalization. We can conduct globalization on our conditions as in fact globalization is a market of ideas, a market of values and we have something to offer," he said in his interview with Interfax-Religion.
According to him, it is not be chance that two thirds of visitors in the Tretyakov Gallery are Japanese, Chinese, English, Europeans and Americans and better part of guided tours go to icon halls. "The entire world comes here to see the beauty of Russian Orthodoxy, Russian Christianity. I think if with the help of progress more Internet users will see this beauty then there's a chance that Russian spiritual culture will represent Christianity," the priest said.
He believes that the 20th century was a century of "successful Orthodox mission, especially Russian Orthodoxy, as thanks to emigration Russian spiritual culture became heritage of the whole world."
Father Dimitry said that today Rublyov's Trinity "witness to Christ among Protestants, Catholics, in all continents" and without knowledge of Russian theologians Vladimir Lossky, Father John Meyendorff, Father Alexander Men, Father Georges Florovsky "it's impossible to get a diploma in any Catholic and in majority of Protestant seminaries and universities."
The priest pointed out that films about Russian Orthodox shrines and saints "attract attention as there a person finds answers on the most important questions," and "until a person will ask these question and he will ask them till the end of times, mission will have a chance for success."
"Once Apostle Paul used his knowledge of Greek philosophers and mythology to speak to the Areopagus. It also was globalization, he passed beyond the limits of Jewish tradition and went to absolutely different people, of different culture and some of his listeners later became Christians," the priest said.
WITH MAUSOLEUM, WITHOUT LEADER: LEVADA-CENTER SOCIOLOGISTS GAUGED RESPONDENTS' ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE BODY OF VLADIMIR LENIN
By: Yulia Krivoshapko
Izvestia, January 31, 2011
Levada-Center sociologists conducted an opinion poll and discovered that 40% respondents stood for proper interment of Vladimir Lenin's body in St.Petersburg near the graves of his mother and sister. Sixteen percent nevertheless said that the Kremlin Wall was a better place for Lenin. Promoters of the idea of leaving Lenin where he was numbered 38% in 2006, 34% in 2008, and 31% in 2010. "That's logical," said Aleksei Makarkin of the Political Techniques Center. "It is mostly elderly Russians who want Lenin's body left alone and where it is. After all, they strongly identify themselves with Lenin. And yet, new generations are less in awe of Lenin. For them, he is but part of history and nothing more." According to sociologists, 66% respondents suggested leaving Lenin in Red Square and 13% said that it would be better off without him. Eight percent actually went so far as to suggest demolition of the Mausoleum. Most specialists, however, say that nobody is going to move Lenin anywhere in the foreseeable future. "It requires consent of his relatives. Even more importantly, it requires political will on the part of the national leadership. I do not think that our political leaders will want it now. They'd be just as happy to leave things as they are," said Makarkin.
Church's interference in secular issues justified - Patriarch Kirill
Interfax-Religion, February 1, 2011
Moscow, February 1, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has said that the Church's interference in secular matters is justified.
Patriarch Kirill was enthroned as the 16th leader of the Russian Orthodox Church exactly two years ago.
The Patriarch conducted a liturgy at the Christ the Savior Cathedral on Tuesday morning.
The present period differs from the past by "the presence of some apocalyptic tension because the power of the force of sin over mankind is stronger today than ever," Patriarch Kirill said.
The Russian Orthodox Church could "not stay indifferent to this multiplication of evil," he said.
"Some politicians are asking us with puzzlement why the church is interfering in spheres that do not fall under its jurisdiction. This is the response to the Church's work to help reduce divorce and abortion rates, to teach people to dress decently," he said.
However, this criticism will not force the church to change its policies, Patriarch Kirill said.
"We will be scolded in the future. We are ready for it. The Church has no words other than: 'Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand,'" he said.
January 2011 - The Month in Review
SOVA Center, February 1, 2011
Our monthly review addresses xenophobia, radical nationalism, and the state's reactions for the month of January 2011. The contents of the report are excerpted from the results of SOVA Center's daily monitoring activities.
We ask the reader to keep in mind that the numbers stated here - which are the most current available to SOVA - will inevitably increase. As an example, due to updated statistics we now know the number of people attacked and killed in January 2010 is nearly triple the number stated in our January 2010 monthly review.
In January 2011, no fewer than 14 people were victims of racist and neo-Nazi attacks - 3 of these were killed and 11 sustained injuries. The violent incidents took place in Moscow - 9 injured, 1 killed; Voronezh - 3 injured; St. Petersburg - 1 killed; and Samara - 1 killed. As in the past, the main targets of attack continue to be people from Central Asia, 6 of whom were attacked, and 2 killed.
The issue of Neo-Nazi terror resurfaced in January 2011 when the deputy director of the Agency of Journalistic Investigation received threats by mail from the so-called Combat Organization of Russian Nationalists (BORN).
Incidents of ideological, neo-Nazi, or otherwise hate-motivated vandalism were few: a mosque in Tambov was damaged, and a monument to veterans of the Great Patriotic War near Belorussky Train Station in Moscow was defaced by graffiti artists.
Three convictions were made in cases of hate-motivated violence. The first sentence came from a case in Tula regarding the 2005 attack of a citizen of Cameroon. The second was in Protvino, in the Moscow region. The case tried the leader of the local DPNI chapter, who is accused of - among other things - the fatal assault of a Tajik in summer 2009. The third case in question brought convictions against seven individuals accused of attacking a group of bicyclists in Irkutsk in May 2009. One individual was sentenced to two years in an "open prison," a penitentiary for individuals convicted of crimes of negligence or minor severity. Another individual in the same case was sentenced to two and a half years in a penal colony, while the five others received suspended sentences. One of those was the Protvino DPNI leader who, according to the Investigative Committee at the Prosecutor's Office, fully admitted his guilt but struck a deal with the investigation.
Additionally, a case that had previously left out the hate motive was concluded. The verdict addressed the November 2009 murder of a Kyrgyz national in the Moscow region.
At least two convictions were made for distribution of xenophobic propaganda (Article 282 of the Criminal Code): one in Kogalym in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, and the other in Naberezhnye Chelny in Tatarstan. Sentences were brought against five individuals total: three were given a year in open prison; one, forced labor; and one, probation.
The Federal List of Extremist Materials was updated three times in January 2011, on the 18th, 21st, and 23rd; paragraphs 749 - 763 were added. The updates included anti-Semitic articles, Islamist texts, anti-Caucasian videos, Jehovah's Witnesses materials, and ethnographic essays containing anti-Russian commentary on the website guraba.net (which has been shut down) on indigenous peoples of the Russian Far East.
The List, as of February 1 2011, contains 763 entries. Four of these have been "excluded," meaning their contents were removed though the number remains with a blank entry. Thirty-two entries on the List remain despite decisions from a higher court deeming their inclusion inappropriate. Further, there are 49 overlapping entries.
Just as in 2010, the most notable anti-xenophobia event of January 2011 was the all-Russian commemoration of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova on January 19. Demonstrations were held in at least 23 Russian cities, and between 500 and 600 people attended an anti-fascist march and rally in Moscow alone.
All of the usual abuses remained in the misuse of anti-extremism legislation. We are paying special attention to a few different cases: a criminal investigation into the "distribution of nationalist books" at the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow, which has been the target of repeated searches by the police; the conviction of two activists in Ulan-Ude for "inciting hatred against military and law enforcement officials"; and the categorization of new Jehovah's Witnesses publications as extremist despite the group not being given an opportunity to appeal.
II SURVEYS, ANALYSES, COMMENTS
National Identity Through the Prism of Immigration: The Case Study of Modern Russia - Event Summary
By: Amy Shannon Liedy
The Kennan Institute, October 04, 2010
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the collective identity of the population of the Russian Federation has been defined and redefined to address various social, political and economic forces in the region. The tremendous shift in territorial boundaries and populations throughout the former Soviet space catalyzed the need to understand Russia's self-perception after 1991. At a 4 October 2010 talk, Ekaterina Romanova, Assistant Professor, School of International Service, American University, discussed her research on Russia's national identity through the lens of modern immigration. By analyzing the country's self-perception using this approach, Romanova argued that "immigration serves as a litmus test for determining national identity in Russia."
Migration trends to and from the Russian Federation have caused significant controversy in the country's construction of its national identity. Russia has the second-fastest growing immigration population, ranking only second to the United States. In light of the 20 percent increase in cases of nationalist violence in Russia in recent years, Romanova emphasized that the issues of immigration and national identity in the country are inextricably linked. The subsequent creation of states following the dissolution of the USSR challenged populations to reevaluate the concept of self perception that was only previously understood as Soviet collective identity.
The speaker elucidated that Russia has experienced two major waves of immigration in the last twenty years. The first influx of immigrants, which arrived to Russia in the 1990's, primarily consisted of ethnic Russians who sought repatriation after being temporarily displaced following the redrawing of boundaries of the former Soviet space. The second wave of immigrants arrived after the 1998 financial default, which caused crippling economic damage to the newly independent Soviet countries. These satellite states provided Russia with a wealth of ethnically diverse labor migrants, whose presence in the Russian population at that time curbed the population decline as well as supplemented the "brain drain" of the ethnic Russian populace.
Despite the seemingly positive aspects of both of these immigration waves, Romanova explained that the perception Russian citizens have of immigrants is overwhelmingly negative. In the mid-1990's, for example, 75 percent of the Russian population thought negatively about immigration. Romanova explained these opinions were largely based on false figures circulated among the native population in the immigration discourse, which also emphasizes all negative aspects of new arrivals. For the population of the Russian Federation, minority immigrants are regarded as "unwelcome and abusive guests."
The domestic socioeconomic and political problems challenging the Russian Federation in its youth overwhelmed its population's search for a new national identity, which Romanova called an "agonizing process." Although determining the state's identity took precedence in the Russian mind, this negative perception of minority immigrants shed light on ethnic Russians' understanding of state identity as ethnic identity. The separation of the population into the majority and minority groups encouraged the ethnic perception of national identity, and the concept of "statist nationalism" found in the country's territorial boundaries grew more ethnicized. Indeed, statist nationalism allowed Russians to bolster the legitimacy of state and ethnic identity as it supported the idea of who was and was not a part of the Russian Federation.
However, Romanova concluded that while understanding Russian national identity through the prism of contemporary immigration trends in that country is critical, potential issues related to this perspective may manifest themselves in the future. Various trends in Russian society today reflect the imminence of reevaluating Russian national identity. For example, the demographic crisis is bound to play a principal role in the reformation of Russia's self perception; as the country's native population of ethnic Russians begins to decline simultaneously with the influx of immigrants, the host population will need to reconsider the level of authority it possesses over minority groups. Essentially, argued Romanova, the shift in demographics will make toleration of immigrants a necessity, not a choice, as Russia's population will need to be supplemented.
Additionally, Russia's regard for immigration needs to correspond with its geopolitical strategy. As 90 percent of immigrants to Russia are originally from the former Soviet space - and that Russia's population requires immigrants to sustain itself - the need to maintain diplomatic relations with the Soviet successor states is critical to the nation's success. Romanova emphasized that the Russian Federation will have to redefine its approach to international relationships in order to be able to compete for immigrants. As migrant workers have a choice in their destination, rising competition for qualified laborers poses a previously nonexistent threat to the sustainability of the Russian population, which the government will have to address.
Romanova concluded her presentation by expounding on the dichotomy between the Russian population's perspective on immigration versus the government's legislative responses. As immigration to the Russian Federation is both inevitable and vital to the country's survival, the current administration will need to manipulate the current legislative climate to promote immigration as a national resource. In addition, the government will have to counter an inevitable "mainstream backlash" against positive perspectives to immigration that could potentially impact national identity and the rise of nationalism.
High School Revamp Stirs Fears
By: Alexandra Odynova
Moscow Times, January 19, 2011
"Trash and hell will follow," blogger Dr-lex wrote about a plan to overhaul the high school system that was released for public discussion by the Education and Science Ministry.
"Our children will be left face to face with ... a school for zombies," blogger Suzjavochka chimed in, lashing out at the reform's main staple: reducing the number of mandatory subjects and introducing classes in patriotic education.
The draft of the reform, released to a blast of patriotic fanfare last month, is stirring up sharp criticism from opponents, who fear that the new program will not educate teens but be used to brainwash them into becoming docile servants of the authorities.
But educators said the reform was quite sensible and, in fact, long overdue.
The changes will be implemented this fall, Grigory Ivlev, a State Duma deputy with United Russia, said in a statement late last week.
The high school program for grades nine through 11 currently consists of about 15 subjects, most of which are mandatory. Students can only specialize in a certain subject by enrolling in a special school that places an emphasis on that area of study. The system is widely considered too rigid, and the abundance of subjects leads to students overworking.
The reform introduces a more flexible schedule, capping the number of subjects at 10, with only three remaining mandatory: physical education, general safety and a new subject called Russia in the World.
Students can choose from among six groups which track they wish to pursue in their studies: Russian or native language and literature, foreign languages, social sciences, mathematics, natural sciences, and art or some another course chosen by the school. The total number of course hours would remain the same.
The reform brings the Russian education system closer to those in Western countries. In Finland and Australia, high school students usually take six to eight subjects, while in Britain the figure stands at five to seven.
"It's a big step forward for Russian schools," said Irina Abankina, head of the Institute of Education Development with the Higher School of Economics.
Criticism of the reform came quickly after its co-authors Lyubov Kezina, former head of Moscow City Hall's education department, and former Deputy Education Minister Alexander Kondakov played up its patriotic components while unveiling it at a session of United Russia's patriotic club last month. Skeptics concluded that the document was the Kremlin's response to xenophobic rioting near Red Square earlier that month and said it aimed to mass-produce uneducated patriots.
The Russia in the World subject, meant as a combination of history, geography, economics and other subjects, has faced particularly withering scorn because it lists among its goals to teach teens to "stand against the falsification of history at the expense of Russia's national interests."
Kondakov, co-author of the reform, added fuel to the fire by calling patriotism more important than math. "It's a priority task for any state to bring up a citizen and patriot," he told Gzt.ru last month. "It's even more important than mathematics or physics."
He also linked the Dec. 11 rioting, which saw thousands of youth clash with police by the Kremlin walls while chanting nationalist slogans, to a lack of patriotism among young people.
But despite concerns that education will be sacrificed for the sake of patriotism, educators said the changes would give students greater freedom in choosing their coursework and allow them to absorb more information.
"The document doesn't say that students will study less, but that they will be able to chose and focus seriously on certain fields," Abankina, head of the Institute of Education Development, said by telephone.
Lyubov Dukhanina, an education expert with the Public Chamber, praised the new standard as "really progressive."
Reducing the number of subjects will benefit gifted teens, who will have the opportunity to learn more about the subjects of their choice, Dukhanina said.
"Modern children are very smart. They often stay ahead of the school program and need to develop further," she said.
As for the controversial Russia in the World subject, the criticism is premature because no study programs for it have been presented so far, Abankina said.
The draft of the reform, which has been published on the ministry's web site for public discussion until Feb. 15, will be "reworked," a ministry spokesman said by telephone Monday. He did not elaborate.
Raising Patriots Rather Than Physicists
By: Yulia Latynina
Moscow Times, January 19, 2011
United Russia is apparently planning to solve the problem of Russia's "brain drain" once and for all. Thanks to its proposed school reforms, there may very well be no more brains to drain from Russia.
The reforms presented to the Education and Science Ministry could be implemented as early as this year and propose that, beginning in the ninth grade, the school day will be divided in two parts.
During the first part, students will attend class as usual, but in the second, they will take part in "patriotic education." This will include an old Soviet tradition of sending schoolchildren to old prominent World War II battlesites to dig for heroic artifacts and other activities aimed at increasing the level of student patriotism through the prism of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's autocratic power vertical.
Meanwhile, the number of academic subjects will be lowered to ten, of which only three will be obligatory: physical education, general safety and Russia in the World. The remaining seven will be optional. In other words, learning to love Putin will be obligatory, while math and English will be optional.
These reforms would mean that the ruling regime has not only destroyed modern Russia but now wants to destroy Russia's future as well.
A state's future success can be measured by how much it invests in education. Look at China, for example. The cumulative value of scholarships awarded to university students in China increased more than tenfold from $240 million in 2006 to $2.7 billion in 2008.
Russian schoolteachers earn an average of just 13,500 rubles ($450) per month, and high school graduates cannot get into universities without paying bribes. Take a look at what Russia's privileged are learning at the so-called foreign campus of Moscow State University's law school in Geneva. Their knowledge of international law leaves a lot to be desired, but they are very well versed in "extracurricular activities," such as holding drag races in their Lamborghinis and Maseratis that their daddies gave them as high school graduation presents.
Even with its obsession on Communist ideology, the Soviet Union was nonetheless successful at turning out world-class scientists and technicians. The fact that the Patriotic Education class is replacing algebra and Love for Putin is replacing physics are clear signs of a dying society that has no more need for the exact sciences. I wonder where the top graduates of Love for Putin courses will find jobs. Surely not in Rusnano.
United Russia claims that the Education and Science Ministry's reforms are needed to combat fascism. But education, of course, is both a country's best weapon for modernization and its best defense against extremism. Who, after all, is the most likely to organize pogroms against minorities from the North Caucasus and Central Asia university graduates with degrees in physics and mathematics, or Pyotr Pupkin who only has a high school degree whose favorite subject was the Love for the Motherland class in which he learned how the Jews crucified Christ?
The only difference between the Kremlin's so-called youth policy and fascism is its ostensibly unofficial character. Yes, Russians did burn books in public squares, but that was organized by the Youth for Russia, and not by the Kremlin.
Recall how the pro-Kremlin youth group Stal translated the "Ten Commandments of National Socialism" written by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, replacing "Germany" with "Russia." But that was a private matter.
If Lake Seliger becomes a place of formal instruction, if Goebbels' slogans are studied in schools and if books are burned in Love for the Motherland classes, how will that differ from fascism?
The Great Danger If Russia Stays on the Path It's On
By Andreas Umland
Chechen Center, 19 January 2011 [first publ.: 18 February 2008]
The roots of Russia's currently rising nationalism are threefold: pre-Soviet, Soviet and post-Soviet. The idea of Moscow as the "Third Rome," i.e. of a special Russian mission in world history, goes back several centuries. Russian nationalism had been - contrary to what many in the West believed - an important element of Soviet ideology ever since the 1930s. Like in the early 19th century when Moscow's so-called Slavophiles applied German nativist thought to Russian conditions, ideas of various Russian nationalist movements today are often imported from the West.
A factor accounting for Russia's recent nationalist resurgence is the mode of thinking learned in Soviet schools and universities - a Manichean world-view which sharply distinguishes between "us" and "them." Although the basic definitions of "us" and "them" have changed, a number of Soviet stereotypes, for instance, about the US have survived glasnost until today.
The major determinant in Russian nationalism's recent rise is that the Kremlin's political technologists have discovered it as a tool suitable to reconfigure political discourse in general. In the Kremlin's new political reality, Putin is not competing with alternative programs or parties. Putin's opponents are not socialists, liberals or other Russian political movements. Instead, Putin is juxtaposed to Chechen terrorists, Estonian fascists, Georgian russophobes, Ukrainian neo-Nazis, American imperialists, Western conspirators, and, in general, to various non-Russians who desire to destroy, divide or, at least, humiliate Russia. In this atmosphere of paranoia, it is only logical that those opposing Putin are not acknowledged to constitute legitimate (not to speak of useful) political opposition. Instead, they are represented as a "fifth column" of the West, as traitors who are, in Putin's words, skulking around foreign embassies like jackals.
This has made politics an easy game for the Kremlin: If the government is busy to defend the country's pride and integrity, one cannot expect that all niceties of mass media independence, pluralistic public debate, or fair party competition can be observed. Instead of debating what is best for the country, political discussant are searching for a plausible pretext to label the opposite side an enemy of Russia.
The radical, often neo-fascist wing of Russian nationalism, naturally, has been rising together with the movement as a whole. To be sure, both the Kremlin and mainstream public discourse demonstratively condemn manifest expressions of racism. Yet, the extremists - whether active in the neo-Nazi skinhead movement or publishing in high-brow conspirological journals - are part and parcel of the xenophobic hysteria that much of Russian society has recently gotten into. A widespread fear among Russian and Western analysts observing the rise of Russian nationalism is now that the Kremlin could loose (or, perhaps, is already loosing) control of the genie it has let out of the bottle. Russian nationalism might transform from a political technology tool of the Kremlin into a societal force of a proportion beyond the limits of manipulation by the cynics in the Kremlin.
A main difference between Russian and Western forms of nationalism is that, in the contemporary West, the intellectual and political mainstream of a given country usually more or less clearly distances itself from that country's - sometimes, also rather strong - nationalist movement. While the Russian mainstream is quick to condemn racist violence, its relationship to the world view standing behind such violence is, in contrast, more ambivalent. Thus, authors who, in the West, would be regarded as being far beyond the pale of permissible discourse, such as the ultra-nationalist publicist Aleksandr Prokhanov or ideologue of fascism Aleksandr Dugin, are esteemed participants in political and intellectual debates at prime-time TV shows. The bizarre, pseudo-scientific ideas of the late neo-racist theoretician Lev Gumilev are required reading in Russia's middle and higher schools. Gumilev teaches that world history is defined by the rise and fall of ethnic groups that are biological units under the influence, moreover, of cosmic emissions.
In recent years, the government has started to prosecute racist violence more actively than before. This is not the least, one suspects, because the growing skinhead movement is damaging Russia's international reputation. Extreme nationalism has already made the Russian Federation an unattractive study destination for dark-skinned international students who are regularly beaten and, sometimes, killed at Russia's university towns. In trying to stem this tide, the government deals, however, only with the symptoms of the phenomenon. To get to the root of the problem, the whole logic of current Russian politics would need to be changed - something that a well-meaning ministerial bureaucrat can, obviously, not do.
If one extrapolates Russia's development during the last eight years into the future, we will not only witness a second Cold War. The Russian Federation might become something like a new apartheid state where foreigners and non-Slavic citizens are treated separately from white citizens of Russia by governmental and non-governmental institutions. Some observers do, in this connection, not hesitate to speak of a "Weimar Russia" comparing post-Soviet conditions to those in inter-war Germany. Though it is not likely (yet) that Russia will turn fascist, it seems even less probable that Russian society will become more tolerant soon.
The Kremlin needs to change fundamentally the way it defines Russia's relationship to the outside world. It needs to take resolute action against the already considerable infiltration of various social institutions - schools, universities, youth movements, mass media, etc. - with radical nationalism. If this does not happen, the Russians will be a lonely people and Moscow an isolated international actor, in the new century.
(Source: http://hnn.us/articles/47377.html )
A Dress Code For Russians? Priest Chides Skimpiness
By: ELLEN BARRY
New York Times, January 19, 2011
MOSCOW A top official for the Russian Orthodox Church on Tuesday proposed creating an "all-Russian dress code," lashing out at women who leave the house "painted like a clown" and "confuse the street with striptease."
Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin has angered women's groups recently with his comments about female modesty. At a December round table on interethnic relations, he said a woman wearing a miniskirt "can provoke not only a man from the Caucasus," the predominately Muslim region on Russia's southern border, "but a Russian man as well."
"If she is drunk on top of that, she will provoke him even more," he said. "If she is actively inviting contact, and then is surprised that this contact ends with a rape, she is all the more at fault."
Feminists began a series of protests and petitions against Father Chaplin, who leads the church's social outreach department and is a close associate of Patriarch Kirill I. He responded Tuesday with a pungent letter, saying provocative clothing led to "to short-term marriages, which are immediately followed by ratlike divorces, to the destruction of children's lives, to solitude and madness, to life-catastrophe."
He argued that clothing was not a private business, and that he hoped that Russia would soon be a place where scantily dressed women or men in track suits would not be admitted into public venues.
"You think it's a utopia?" he said. "Well, you will have to get used to it soon."
His comments sounded especially jarring in Moscow, whose women soldier through arctic winters in stiletto heels and cocktail dresses. Commentators responded to the idea with shock and large doses of sarcasm.
"It is not good for a woman to wear only one dress this has long been considered indecent!" wrote Anton Orekh, a commentator for Ekho Moscow radio. "A minimum of three dresses worn on top of one another, this fully corresponds to the dress code of a well-intentioned Russian woman."
Lyudmila Alexeyeva, chairwoman of the Moscow Helsinki group, a human rights group, called the proposal "nonsense."
"The next thing they will say is that women shouldn't wear lipstick," she said.
The church was cautious in its comments on Tuesday. Vladimir Vigilyansky, the patriarch's chief spokesman, said the dress-code proposal would not be reflected in church documents. He went on to say that clothing styles were best influenced through a "social contract."
"If a young woman knows that people will look at her askance and consider her an outcast, she will not dress the way so many of them do today," he told the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
The Orthodox Church has an increasingly powerful voice in Russian society, its agenda closely bound to that of the country's leaders. Kirill, in particular, has made it a point to reach out to young people with a nationalist message, at gatherings that have sometimes resembled rallies of the Kremlin's youth group, Nashi. Father Chaplin, one of his appointees, once proposed the creation of a network of "Orthodox nightclubs" where young people could gather for late-night fellowship.
Skirting the Creed: How Archpriest Chaplin Hopes His Orthodox Dress Code Will Catch On in Secular Russia Is Unclear, but He Has Roiled RuNet
By: Tom Balmforth
Russia Profile, January 19, 2011
The Russian Orthodox official, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, believes that Russia should adhere to a nationwide dress code and that scantily dressed Russian women would be better off binning their mini-skirts and scrubbing off their lipstick. Russian men in cities should also toss aside T-shirts and shorts, unless of course they are tramps who are to be pitied. The precise cut of this Orthodox dress code is not yet known, but strip bars and brothels are apparently let off the hook.
Chaplin on Tuesday stood by his contentious December comments that Russians need to take a leaf out of their Muslim brethren's book and cover themselves up in line with a Russia-wide Orthodox dress code.
Chaplin, the chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for Relations between Church and Society, yesterday explained that it is not just up to a woman what she wears and that women in skimpy clothes are a target for rape and violence by men. "A woman counting on an encounter in the street, on the metro, or in a bar, not only risks running into a drunk idiot, but also will find herself in the company of men who do not have a scrap of intelligence and self-respect. Perhaps she could happen upon a sober idiot, but then, is she searching properly?" asked Chaplin. "It is not a bad thing that companies, universities and schools have their own dress codes. It would be good to think up a Russia-wide dress code (at strip bars and brothels, so be it, it can be done without)," he said with an apparent witty flourish.
Chaplin voiced similar off the cuff beliefs at a December round-table on inter-ethnic relations. At the RIA Novosti conference, a female sociology researcher asked a Caucasus representative to Moscow how Caucasus immigrants in Moscow are educated to treat Slavic women who wear mini-skirts properly. After the representative replied, Chaplin offered his side: "If a woman is wearing a mini-skirt, then she is provoking not only people from the Caucasus but also Russians. If on top of that she is drunk, it is even more provocative. If on top of that she herself actively provokes contact, and is then surprised that it ends in rape, then moreover she is not in the right."
Russia's blogosphere, RuNet, erupted. Chaplin says he did not mean that women are solely to blame for men behaving violently against them. But the comments won a predictably furious reception from Russian bloggers and generated an angry online petition addressed to Patriarch Kirill, signed by 1948 Russians. "It is a cause for serious concern that recent statements from the highest ranks of the Russian Orthodox Church have been made that not only destroy the dignity of Russian women, but also excuse discrimination and violence against them," reads the open letter to Patriarch Kirill. "I'm Orthodox, I dress correctly, I don't support Vsevolod Chaplin...Christ would never have said this," wrote the last signatory of the petition.
Observers are bemused by Chaplin's rationale, which one put down to him "trying to be provocative." "Apart from anything, Russia is a secular state," said Andrei Sinelnikov, the deputy director of ANNA, a Russian NGO working to prevent violence against women. "Secondly, I absolutely disagree with what he said about mini-skirts because it shifts the blame onto the women who suffer and makes them seem like criminals."
Bloggers too were stumped. "I find it hard to imagine a situation in which a 'self-respecting person' gets up to leave a restaurant after noticing that a girl at the table next to him has bright lipstick on or has donned a mini-skirt. But on the scale of single institutions, dress codes are already in place without any archpriest's tips and without any particular religion in general. For that reason, Chaplin's reasoning on the Russia wide dress code is not clear to me," wrote blogger and commentator Anton Nosik.
Other bloggers have been more savage in their dismissal. "Chaplin is so stupid that he doesn't understand that violence is not caused by provocation from women but by society's degradation," said blogger Dmitry Yakushev, who also called Chaplin's ideas "medieval philistinism."
Chaplin's vision though is not tailored to women alone. "A man in a city wearing shorts and a T-shirt, trainers or slippers is also not worthy of respect. Only of pity if he is a tramp, for instance," he wrote in the open letter published by Interfax Russia yesterday. Elsewhere in Russia, rights organizations have condemned the local government's pressure on women in Chechnya to wear headscarves. Last year several Chechen women not wearing the traditional Muslim garment were fired upon by paintballs from unmarked cars.
Anyhow, few but Chaplin seem to expect anything to come of this controversial sermon. He himself appears rather cocky. "I think we will live to a time when badly dressed people will be led out of nice places. Or self-respecting people will get up and leave such places," he concluded.
Medvedev's Words Point Either toward a Russian Federation with Russian Autonomies or toward a Russian National State, Analyst Says
By: Paul Goble
Window on Eurasia, January 19, 2011
Vienna, January 19 - President Dmitry Medvedev's words about Russians this week recognize the difference between the ethnic and non-ethnic definition of Russians and point toward either the formation of ethnic Russian autonomies within the Russian Federation or the transformation of that country into a Russian national state, according to a Moscow analyst.
But whatever Medvedev's intentions, Sergey Kornyev argues, his words highlight "a well-known algorithm of contemporary feudal statehood: the rights of each social group are recognized to the degree it manifests force and brutality," a reference to the Manezh violence but also an indication of what may happen next (www.inright.ru/blogs/id_4/post_6296/).
And consequently, Kornyev's logic suggests, Medvedev and the Russian state will be forced in one or another direction depending on whether there are more radical protests by Russians or not and on whether other groups feel compelled to respond in kind, thus opening the way to more clashes rather than fewer regardless of what Moscow chooses to do.
"Russians in the form of sports fanatics, school children and a few political activists," Kornyev begins, have forced the powers that be to talk "about [ethnic] Russians in a neutral-positive key" rather than ignore them or criticize them as has been the case for most of the last two decades when the state only wanted to talk about non-ethnic Russians.
One can interpret Medvedev's remarks as the start of the campaign for votes given that the Russians forma majority, he continues, but such comments have the effect of changing "the position of Russians in the framework of 'the Multi-national' [state and society]" and thus must be seized on to promote ethnic Russian interests.
In Kornyev's interpretation, Medvedev acknowledged with his words "three important things." First, the president admitted that "the ethnic Russian people exists and is something distinguished from the multi-national non-ethnic people." Second, his words indicate that "ethnic Russian national culture is different from the multi-national non-ethnic Russian culture."
And third, they represent an acknowledgement that "ethnic Russians in Russia dominate by number, culture, language and religions. Thus, in cultural-linguistic relations, the multi-national non-ethnic Russia is built around the ethnic Russia. In essence, the State Russia is established by ethnic Russians."
These three theses, Kornyev says, do not all point in the same direction. Theses one and two point to the need for the formation of ethnic Russian autonomy within the Russian Federation, while thesis three points "the reformation of Russia into an ethnic Russian national state."
If Moscow follows the first and second thesis, the analyst continues, five things follow. First, Someone must "have the right to speak in the name of ethnic Russians and not just all the citizens of Russia." Second, ethnic Russians must have the right to autonomy and this must be guaranteed by the Constitution.
Third, if ethnic and non-ethnic Russians are different, then it must be acknowledged that ethnic Russians have their own distinctive interests and problems. Fourth, ethnic Russians must have the right to show "solidarity with ethnic Russians living abroad." And fifth, ethnic Russians at home must have their own cultural outlets.
If, however, Moscow follows the third thesis, the one that points toward redefining the Russian Federation as a Russian national state, several very different things follow, Kornyev argues. Such a change does not mean, as some fear, an attack on "the equality of all citizens before the law independent of origin." But it does mean something else.
Specifically, he says, it means that "the equality of all cultures, languages and ethnic groups (as integral collectives) is an absolutely unreal thing for any, even the most tolerant country." It is clear, Kornyev says, that "no real 'equality of languages and cultures' can existin Russia."
The Constitution recognizes the Russian language as the state language, and consequently, "all remaining languages and cultures of Russia re in a situation of natural and inevitable discrimination because they are forced to study Russian in addition to their native language [in order to] avoid discrimination in other spheres of life."
"As a result of the natural order of things," Kornyev says, "'everything ethnic Russian' in Russia is (and must be) 'at the center,' and 'everything non-ethnic Russia just as necessarily is (and must be) at 'periphery' and 'exotic.'"
In fact, he argues, "Russia is not 'Multi-national,'" however much some insist upon that idea, but rather 'a country of ethnic Russians and the Russified.'" That means that "'citizens of Russia' are ethnic Russians by origin and those who unite with them into a unified civic nation, into an ethnic Russian civic nation."
"To this 'ethnic Russian civic nation,'" he continues, "any Russian-language citizen of Russia who is loyal to the ethnic Russians and who 'plays with ethnic Russians on one team.'" This does not diminish the rights of small peoples, Kornyev insists but rather represents "a formula for the only possible path of the construction of the nation."
From this it follows, he suggests, that "to be a citizen of Russia in the full sense of the word, [individuals] must master ethnic Russian norms of behavior, 'Russify' themselves, and show respect to the civic majority, that is to the ethnic Russians," something that some living within the Russian Federation have not done.
Indeed, "as a result of the mistaken conception" of Russia as a multi-national civic nation, Kornyev says, people from the North Caucasus and elsewhere have not had this clearly explained to them, and from that lack of an explanation have arisen "all the problems" that Russia now faces in ethnic relations.
According to this analyst, "ethnoses as integral groups can be 'equally important'" only if they make an equal "contribution to the population, GDP and defense capability of the country." In a democratic state, all this is even simply to understand because ethnic Russians bsides everything else are also a democratic majority."
In that situation, democracy means Russian rule, and to be "for democracy means to be for the power of the ethnic Russians. To be against the power of the ethnic Russians means to be against democracy," and "sooner or later" to have a regime like that of Saddam Hussein ruling over the country.
Thus, "even a tolerant conception of respect for minorities is in fact not a denial but a form of the same conception of 'the Elder Brother,'" assuming of course that that nation is as Medvedev insists the Russian are kind and generous. "Therefore other peoples have nothing to fear from an ethnic Russian national statehood."
Kornyev devotes a great deal of attention to the fact that Medvedev in his remarks talked about the Germans and about the status of Germans in Germany. After 1945, it did not come into anyone's head to create "an FRG nation." Instead, the German nation continued and continues, with ethnic membership primary and territory secondary.
This is not just a question of terminology, Kornyev insists. Rather it shows that the Germans continued to view the German nation as "the nucleus or center of the civic nation of the Federal Republic," an arrangement the Moscow analyst argues "allowed the defeated Germany to so quickly restore itself and again become a leader."
That raises a completely logical question, he says. "Who defeated whom in the Great Fatherland War if the Germans were permitted to built a multi-national Germany as a German national state and the Russians were not permitted to build Russia as an ethnic Russian national state?"
Now, Medvedev as a lawyer must know that having said A, B will follow. According to Kornyev, there are only two possibilities: autonomy for ethnic Russians within an ethno-federal state or "the reformation of "all of Russia (except perhaps the Caucasus) into a Russian national state, 'a Russia for the Russians and those who are with [them] in one boat.'"
But of course there is a third possibility, and Kornyev hints at it himself. And that is this: if the ethnic Russians insist on making their country an ethnic Russian national state, it is possible and even likely that at least some of the more than 30 million non-ethnic Russians in the Russian Federation may decide that the onl<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)