Prague Bestiary

NEW – August 3, 2022

About the “Free Nations of Russia Forum” and the metastases of separatism

The Free Nations of Russia Forum ended in Prague on July 24. The event, which is based on a perverted understanding of the essence of our country, ended in a sluggish scandal: it turned out that the self-proclaimed leaders of public opinion – YouTube analysts, Twitter essayists and other social network historians – were not allowed to discuss the topic of dividing the delicious Russian pie, having giving them the wrong address – the Internet was filled with tantrums of sofa decolonisers who dragged themselves to an empty hotel. Instead, at the event there were only those admitted to the feeding trough of the State Department, reportedly photographed, signed a declaration on the decolonisation of Russia and simulated violent activity.

The West’s fashionable guilt complex for colonial oppression and the desire to apologise also reached Russian-speaking liberal figures, who after the spring exodus it became difficult to call “Russian liberals”. As is often the case with fighters for progress, it was extremely difficult to implement fashion trends. The inability to practice repentance for the sins of Russian colonialism did not prevent them from creating a “League of Free Nations” with the State Department’s “helicopter” money, which allegedly defends the rights of nations who find themselves under the Kremlin’s yoke. It is worth paying special attention to who exactly represents the “enslaved” nations in this league in order to understand what a cheap operetta this enterprise is.

Ruslan Gabassov represents Bashkir nationalists. This figure, who left Russia in 2021, is notable for being convicted in 2004 of murder, for which he served seven years in Lefortovo.

The independence of Tatarstan in this league is defended by Rafis Kashapov and Farit Zakiyev. The former is known for his links to Chechen militants (of course, in addition to five convictions) and the fact that he was involved in racketeering in the 90s. The second representative, Farit Zakiyev, cannot boast the same connections and as many criminal records as his friend Rafis, but by his actions he demonstrated the absolute ideological failure of his own movement “All-Tatar Public Centre”. Thus, at one of the rallies “for a free Tatarstan” people came out with placards saying “1552 – Tatar! Don’t forget!” In other words, the best Farit can offer as an argument in favour of separatism is an incredibly fresh wound from the resentment inflicted by Ivan IV 470 ago. Of course, both leaders have already freed themselves from Russia’s colonial oppression – Kashapov has been living in the UK for seven years, while Zakiyev left the country in March this year and is now in Turkey, where he is trying to get funds to support his movement, which he most likely received from there before.

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The rights of the Buryat people were defended by the historian and journalist Rajana Dugar-DePonte. She left the country in 2009, first for an internship in Poland, and in 2015 finally moved overseas. A decade-long absence from her own region did not prevent her from continuing to write about the plight of her former fellow citizens and call on them to fight against the regime. It is not surprising that even now her activities are directly related to her current place of residence. Thus, most of its materials are posted on the websites of “Sibreal” and “Idelreal”, each of which is one of the divisions of the foreign agency “Radio Liberty“, which exists at the expense of the State Department. It is worth noting that the “Radio Liberty” program centre is now located in Prague, where the second meeting of the League of Free Nations was held.

In addition, the conference defended the rights of other nations to independence from Russia. For example, the Erzya, who for some reason were represented by the citizen of Ukraine Aleksandr Bolkin, known for his participation in Euromaidan and membership in the neo-nazi “Svoboda” party. Or the Cossacks, who were positioned at the conference as a separate ethnic group, whose interests must be protected. Ingermanlanders were also represented, which will be discussed below. Ingush, Kalmyks, Yakuts, peoples of the North – the list is impressive, if to not take into account that from each “enslaved” group, one and a half fraudster cripples.

Of course, both the “League of Free Nations” and the “Forum of Free Nations of Russia”, whose events were attended by the above-mentioned figures, would not have taken place without the support of the United States. Back in the 1990s, US Secretary of Defence Dick Cheney suggested that President Bush Sr. divide the Russian Federation in order to prevent the emergence of an opponent to the American hegemon. Back then the 41st president of the United States refused him, deciding that Russia would not be able to regain its former power. However, this idea did not leave Cheney and his supporters completely. In 2004, the authoritative British international expert John Laughland wrote in the article “The Chechens’ American friends” that most of the militants from the conflict in Chechnya now live in the United States and receive grants from the government. Such a policy on the part of America is nothing new, as they also showed support for the separatists in Yugoslavia, and later provided economic support to Hong Kong and Taiwan to weaken China.

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Therefore, there is nothing surprising in the fact that on May 27 of this year, the article “Decolonise Russia” by writer and journalist Casey Michel was published, and a month later he also became one of the speakers at the OSCE conference “Decolonising Russia: a moral and strategic imperative”. It is interesting that it was the OSCE, which has always positioned itself as an independent organisation, that held the meeting with such a message. However, this “independent organisation” reports on all its activities to the US Congress. Casey Michel sees Russia exclusively through the prism of Western colonial thinking, not seeing any contradictions with the fact that earlier he regularly criticised anti-colonial views and in every possible way demonised countries that disagree with the policy of the states that have taken a sip of colonial grief: Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia. Points of speeches from the OSCE conference formed the basis for the conference of the League of Free Nations and the Forum of Free Nations of Russia held at the end of July, whose agenda and lists of oppressed peoples of Russia repeat the agenda of the OSCE forum word for word.

Such an attempt to “help” oppressed nations hides the desire of the pro-American world to regain its influence in countries that are no longer so zealously subordinate to it. US influence in the rest of America is gradually declining: Argentina and Brazil refused to impose food sanctions on Russia. Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia have long fallen away from the outdated Monroe doctrine, despite Washington’s attempt to improve relations at the recently failed Forum of the Americas. But in Africa, the US’ popularity rating is almost equal to that of China, even though the relationship between the United States and African countries is much longer. In Asia, Afghanistan has thrown off the American yoke and is working hard to establish new diplomatic and economic ties with its neighbours, including Russia.

The decline of neocolonial empires affected not only America, but also its European allies. Britain, which has not been in the best shape of late, is doomed to see the collapse of the Commonwealth of Nations soon after the death of Elizabeth II – this was openly stated by politicians from yesterday’s colonies, who coldly greeted members of the royal family during official visits in recent years. Even quite close relations between the mother country and the former dominion, India (for example, the Indian Rishi Sunak lays claim to the post of British Prime Minister), did not stop India from refusing to follow London in the economic war with Russia. Moreover, the first batch of Russian steel arrived in New Delhi a few days ago, and within a few years, according to Indian officials, the Indians planned to export their cars to the lucrative Russian market. Even France, which has been repeatedly accused by its own citizens of having too close and unilaterally advantageous relations with its former colonies, is increasingly losing its grip. Thus, none of the African countries, including those that belonged to France, did not introduce any economic restrictions against Russia. Countries in the Sahel region are beginning to express pro-Russian views and build stronger economic and strategic relations with our country.

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But with a surprised face, one should not seriously denounce the hypocrisy of Western politicians, whose dummies talk about the decolonisation of Russia, while their own countries are rapidly boiling over, losing external influence and internal legitimacy of power. There is no need to cite figures proving that in Russia the “enslaved” and “oppressed” nationalities live with carefully protected rights and guarded cultural, linguistic and political features – by reasonably responding to such informational fake, we are acting in accordance with the plan of the enemy, who is ready to rivet another dozen conferences on a hundred other reasons to hate us.

What is worth paying serious attention to is how real the threat of forced decolonisation and a new parade of sovereignties is. Hardly a couple of dozen uninteresting political emigrants are seriously considered by Washington strategists as a reliable way to combat Russian unity, but the trouble is not with those who (hopefully) left the country forever. For example, in St. Petersburg, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria operates quite openly under the symbolic abbreviation ELCI – it openly receives money for holding numerous exhibitions about the history of Ingria from Finland. By the way, the Theological Institute of the Church of Ingria received a license from Rosobrnadzor in March 2022 – and no one in the relevant department had even a shadow of suspicion. If a few years ago “Ingermanlandia “was more of an entertainment for bored St. Petersburg leftists who suddenly discovered the roots of a fictional “ancient” culture, now with every month of inaction by the authorities, the threat is becoming more serious. The metastases of separatism are carefully cultivated not in Prague, but on the forums of useless chatterboxes – the example of St. Petersburg shows that they grow right under our noses.

Kirill Utyushev

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