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RL: SVERDLOVSK GOVERNOR CALLS FOR ABOLISHING NON-RUSSIAN REPUBLICS

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  • Uli Schamiloglu
    RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC ___________________________________________________________ RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 9, No. 102, Part I, 31
    Message 1 of 2 , May 31, 2005
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      RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
      ___________________________________________________________
      RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 9, No. 102, Part I, 31 May 2005

      END NOTE

      SVERDLOVSK GOVERNOR CALLS FOR ABOLISHING NON-RUSSIAN REPUBLICS

      By Paul Goble

      Sverdlovsk Governor Eduard Rossel has argued that all
      non-Russian republics within the Russian Federation should be
      abolished in order to ensure that all citizens of that country will
      be treated equally and that the country itself will avoid the fate of
      the Soviet Union.
      Speaking to a conference in Yekaterinburg last week on "State
      Nationality Policy: Problems and Perspectives," Rossel said that, in
      his view, the Russian Federation should consist exclusively of units
      based on the territorial principle rather than as now on both that
      principle and the ethnic one. In his remarks, which were reported
      extensively in Moscow's "Vremya novostei" on 26 May, Rossel argued
      that there are two reasons for taking that step. On the one hand, it
      would reinforce the common identity of the citizens of that country.
      And on the other, it would help Russia to avoid a repetition of "the
      disintegration of the USSR."
      Indeed, he said, the adoption of the territorial principle in
      place of the ethnicity principle would allow the Russian Federation
      to avoid interethnic conflicts and to ensure that citizens will be
      treated in exactly the same way regardless of their ethnicity. Rossel
      added that he had urged such a step in 1993 when he represented
      Sverdlovsk Oblast in the working group that prepared the current
      Russian Federation constitution.
      However, Rossel's own views have evolved over the years. More
      than a decade ago, he was a leading force behind the creation of one
      of the largest and most important regional political associations,
      the Greater Urals Interregional Economic Association. In that
      capacity, he cooperated closely with the leaders of Tatarstan and
      Bashkortostan, republics which, if his proposals are implemented,
      would be dismantled.
      And only two years ago when Moscow began talking about
      reducing the number of federal subjects by combining existing ones,
      Rossel limited his public proposals to one that would affect his own
      region: He called for the unification of Sverdlovsk, Chelyabinsk, and
      Kurgan oblasts.
      What prompted him to go public with this broader and more
      radical proposal? One of his advisers, who spoke with "Vremya
      novostei" on the condition of anonymity, said that Rossel's statement
      was intended to curry favor with the Kremlin, which has not yet said
      whether it will retain him as head of the Sverdlovsk Oblast.
      Rossel's words might have more weight than might otherwise be
      the case. If he is indeed reflecting current Kremlin thinking, then
      perhaps Moscow plans to move against all non-Russian units --
      including the largest and most important ones such as Tatarstan and
      Bashkortostan -- much sooner than many had thought. And that in turn
      could set the stage for potentially serious conflicts in the near
      future. Indeed, a symbolically important one occurred last week when
      law-enforcement officials demanded that Tatarstan either take down
      the republic's flag or put up a Russian Federation flag over all
      government agencies there.
      Many Russian officials are very sensitive to the implications
      of abolishing the ethnic republics, and one who attended the same
      meeting where Rossel presented his ideas suggested that Moscow would
      move cautiously in this sphere. Yevgenii Trofimov, who heads the Duma
      Nationalities Committee, said that there is no guarantee his group
      would approve such changes in the short term.
      And, in words that both Rossel and the Kremlin may find
      chastening, Trofimov added: "A change in the principle of the
      federative arrangement of the country will occur when society is
      prepared for such developments." That condition, he implied, has not
      yet been met. Given those realities, Rossel's words may have been
      nothing but a trial balloon. But given his own political skills and
      current aspirations, they almost certainly were at a minimum a trial
      balloon not only for himself but on behalf of the Kremlin as well.


      Uli Schamiloglu
      Professor of Turkic & Central Eurasian Studies
      Department of Languages and Cultures of Asia
      1254 Van Hise, 1220 Linden Drive
      Madison, WI 53706 USA
      tel. 1-608-262-7141 (office), 1-608-262-3012 (department), 1-608-265-3538 (fax)
      Email: uschamil@...
      LCA website: <http://lca.wisc.edu/>lca.wisc.edu
    • M DK
      ... Rossel - a sad old man... should resign ASAP for pronouncing stupid things... But he won t, a faithful servant of Russian Dictatorship... I am afraid, just
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 1, 2005
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        ... Rossel - a sad old man...  should resign ASAP for pronouncing stupid things... But he won't, a faithful servant of Russian Dictatorship... I am afraid, just like in the last decade of the U.S.S.R., we will be doomed to watching all these geriatric clowns getting older and older and then dropping dead in front of our eyes like Brezhnev/Chernenko/Andropov did back in the 80-ies... while muttering all kinds of insane anti-non-Russian (incl. anti-Tatar) nonsense... 

        >From: Uli Schamiloglu <uschamil@...>
        >To: Tatar-L@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: [tatar-l] RL: SVERDLOVSK GOVERNOR CALLS FOR ABOLISHING NON-RUSSIAN  REPUBLICS
        >Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 11:25:05 -0500
        >
        >RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
        >___________________________________________________________
        >RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol.
        9, No. 102, Part I, 31 May 2005
        >
        >END NOTE
        >
        >SVERDLOVSK GOVERNOR CALLS FOR ABOLISHING NON-RUSSIAN REPUBLICS
        >
        >By Paul Goble
        >
        > Sverdlovsk Governor Eduard Rossel has argued that all
        >non-Russian republics within the Russian Federation should be
        >abolished in order to ensure that all citizens of that country will
        >be treated equally and that the country itself will avoid the fate of
        >the Soviet Union.
        > Speaking to a conference in Yekaterinburg last week on "State
        >Nationality Policy: Problems and Perspectives," Rossel said that, in
        >his view, the Russian Federation should consist exclusively of units
        >based on the territorial principle rather than as now on both that
        >principle and the ethnic one. In his remarks, which were reported
        >extensively in Moscow's "Vremya novostei" on
        26 May, Rossel argued
        >that there are two reasons for taking that step. On the one hand, it
        >would reinforce the common identity of the citizens of that country.
        >And on the other, it would help Russia to avoid a repetition of "the
        >disintegration of the USSR."
        > Indeed, he said, the adoption of the territorial principle in
        >place of the ethnicity principle would allow the Russian Federation
        >to avoid interethnic conflicts and to ensure that citizens will be
        >treated in exactly the same way regardless of their ethnicity. Rossel
        >added that he had urged such a step in 1993 when he represented
        >Sverdlovsk Oblast in the working group that prepared the current
        >Russian Federation constitution.
        > However, Rossel's own views have evolved over the years. More
        >than a decade ago, he was a leading force behind the
        creation of one
        >of the largest and most important regional political associations,
        >the Greater Urals Interregional Economic Association. In that
        >capacity, he cooperated closely with the leaders of Tatarstan and
        >Bashkortostan, republics which, if his proposals are implemented,
        >would be dismantled.
        > And only two years ago when Moscow began talking about
        >reducing the number of federal subjects by combining existing ones,
        >Rossel limited his public proposals to one that would affect his own
        >region: He called for the unification of Sverdlovsk, Chelyabinsk, and
        >Kurgan oblasts.
        > What prompted him to go public with this broader and more
        >radical proposal? One of his advisers, who spoke with "Vremya
        >novostei" on the condition of anonymity, said that Rossel's statement
        >was intended to curry favor with
        the Kremlin, which has not yet said
        >whether it will retain him as head of the Sverdlovsk Oblast.
        > Rossel's words might have more weight than might otherwise be
        >the case. If he is indeed reflecting current Kremlin thinking, then
        >perhaps Moscow plans to move against all non-Russian units --
        >including the largest and most important ones such as Tatarstan and
        >Bashkortostan -- much sooner than many had thought. And that in turn
        >could set the stage for potentially serious conflicts in the near
        >future. Indeed, a symbolically important one occurred last week when
        >law-enforcement officials demanded that Tatarstan either take down
        >the republic's flag or put up a Russian Federation flag over all
        >government agencies there.
        > Many Russian officials are very sensitive to the implications
        >of abolishing the ethnic
        republics, and one who attended the same
        >meeting where Rossel presented his ideas suggested that Moscow would
        >move cautiously in this sphere. Yevgenii Trofimov, who heads the Duma
        >Nationalities Committee, said that there is no guarantee his group
        >would approve such changes in the short term.
        > And, in words that both Rossel and the Kremlin may find
        >chastening, Trofimov added: "A change in the principle of the
        >federative arrangement of the country will occur when society is
        >prepared for such developments." That condition, he implied, has not
        >yet been met. Given those realities, Rossel's words may have been
        >nothing but a trial balloon. But given his own political skills and
        >current aspirations, they almost certainly were at a minimum a trial
        >balloon not only for himself but on behalf of the Kremlin as
        well.
        >
        >
        >Uli Schamiloglu
        >Professor of Turkic & Central Eurasian Studies
        >Department of Languages and Cultures of Asia
        >1254 Van Hise, 1220 Linden Drive
        >Madison, WI  53706 USA
        >tel. 1-608-262-7141 (office), 1-608-262-3012 (department), 1-608-265-3538 (fax)
        >Email: uschamil@...
        >LCA website:  <http://lca.wisc.edu/>lca.wisc.edu
        >
        >



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