Kamil Galeev Profile picture
Apr 1 103 tweets 41 min read
Imperial Reboot

In a previous thread I outlined three scenarios for the Russian future:

1. North Korea
2. Imperial Reboot
3. National Divorce

Last time I discussed North Korea (Putin stays in power). Now I'll reiterate its main points and then outline the Imperial Reboot🧵 Image
When I said that should Putin stay in power, Russia becomes North Korea I referred to its foreign policy. It'd be highly militarised, aggressive and isolationist nation that will have no other major partners but China. It will be obsessed with revenge against Ukraine and the West Image
However, domestic policy-wise it would be more accurate to say that Russia will turn into a huge Donbass. Donbass is a part of Ukraine that was misfortunate enough to fall under the Russian rule and became a laboratory for a Kremlin's gargantuan experiment in social engineering Image
In Donbass Kremlin's agents rule freely without any procedural constraints, including even the Russian law. And what society did they build there? Well, a hypermilitarised kleptocracy. Donbass experiment worked out so well that now it's likely to be scaled up in entire Russia Image
Donbass is now a fully militarised statist society. There's almost no private sector. Locals must either work for government enterprises (for food) or serve in Donbass army (for better wage). You have no choice but to toil for pro-Russian warlords or to shed your blood for them Image
There's no law in Donbass, people have no protection against the arbitrary rule of pro-Russian warlords. There's obviously no place for dissidence, those who object will just disappear. People are purposefully kept in poverty so they can be better used as workers or cannon fodder Image
Russian sources paint grim picture of the WWI-style war in East Ukraine. Z-forces do frontline attacks on fortified Ukrainian positions again and again. They suffer huge losses with almost no progress but commanders keep sending them in frontline assaults. As Strelkov points out: Image
Now whom are Russians sending to these frontline attacks? Well, the Donbass people. They do "total mobilisation" in Donetsk and Luhansk and send these guys to frontline attacks. That's very smart. They're not Russian soldiers, so you can keep official casualty numbers low
Why would Russia itself turn into a Donbass? First, Russia has been lowkey drifting to the Donbass state for years. It's an oil exporter that is running out of cheap oil and wants to stay highly militarised. Thus it must reduce life standards and personal freedoms Image
Second, main arguments against sanctions are both true or false depending on whether we view them in a short term or in a long term. Yes, they may lead to Putin increasing his power in Russia. And they will lead to Russian rapprochment with China. But only if Putin stays in power Image
Anecdotally in 1999 a general close to then Prime Minister Putin approached a Moscow businessman. He asked him for investment: give us N dollars and join the club. We need cash right now. And when we take power "nobody in the country will have money but us". You can be one of us Image
This businessman didn't invest. He didn't have enough available cash. Neither did he really believe that yet another Yeltsin's PM would be able to consolidate power. And yet, Putin did consolidate it and soon nobody in Russia had (big) money except for his team. General was right Image
Independent money is always a threat to established order. Financial resources can and will be used for renegotiating the power balance. That's why independent fortunes shouldn't exist. Ideally people should have no sources of cash except for the government wage. As in Donbass Image
Paradoxically, destruction of Russian private sector as a result of sanctions can lead to Putin increasing his power within Russia (provided that he stays in power). If Russia can export resources, the government will have cash but normal people won't. That's very advantageous Image
Furthermore, integration with China is possible. It just takes time. You cant reorient Russian technological import and resource exports from the West to China overnight, it gonna take years. Should Putin stay in power, Russia will have time to steadily progress in this direction Image
It'd be wrong to describe current Russian-Chinese relations as an alliance. Some Chinese intellectuals rather view Russia as an icebreaker that would clear a route for the Pax Sinica. This article may be representative of the mainstream Chinese discourse readingthechinadream.com/zheng-yongnian…
Putin's invasion of Ukraine could distract the US for 15-20 years. America being preoccupied with Russia, China will have time time to grow stronger to "play a more important role in the construction of the new world order". Russia isn't a Chinese ally. It's a Chinese icebreaker Image
See the original publication here. This argument makes total sense and Putin will indeed serve as an icebreaker for the Pax Sinica, provided that Putin's regime survives Z-war and exists for yet another decade or two

mp.weixin.qq.com/s/FyC1hfGRP3GO…
Now the third reason for Russian turning into Donbass is that should Putin keep power, Russia will be obsessed by revenge and revanche. Russian public opinion absolutely will view peace with Ukraine as huge Putin's defeat. It already does Image
There will be lots of revanchist pressure. Consider this interview with a mother of a National Guardsman KIA. She admits she didn't think much about Ukraine before and operation went wrongly. But:

"If so many boys died, we can't stop now. We should continue, till the victory" Image
She won't accept her son died in vain. Well technically he didn't. A grieving mother gets 7 441 000 rubles + monthly allowance. But she also needs clear consciousness (and social recognition). Will she ever admit her son died on a criminal war? You'll never manage to convince her Image
Russia suffered massive losses in Ukraine and will suffer more as the fighting keeps going. People will lose their relatives, friends neighbours. Their logic will work like this:

Our boys died -> They died for a good purpose -> We should regroup and complete what they started Image
Mass consciousness will choose a path of minimal suffering as it always does. And minimal suffering is secured through the glorification of vice. So Z-war will be glorious, Z-soldiers will be heroes and Russia will feel obliged to take revenge so that their death won't be in vain Image
There's no return to the status quo now. If Putin stays in power, he *must* regroup and attack again. Otherwise he gonna lose face and authority. In this revanche he will be supported by the majority of Russian society which shares the common imperial mythos and its values Image
If you think I'm exaggerating consider the Chechen Wars. In the First Chechen War Russia lost and signed a Khasavyurt Peace. Which was widely viewed as the national shame. So in a few years Russians regrouped and attacked again to restore their imperial honour and pride Image
Prime Minister Putin's invasion was widely supported by the political establishment. Chubays fully endorsed the war:

"I truly think that today in Chechnya we are solving not the Chechen question but an incomparably more important one: Russian army is being revived in Chechnya" Image
A revanchist war is a return to normal. It is a way to solve domestic problems and restore our mythos. We can't just accept we've been defeated by a former colony: we must return and finish what we've started. Russian mythos doesn't allow to accept defeats and demands a revanche Image
Putin could consolidate his power because he went with the flow. He acted in accordance with the Russian imperial mythos. That allowed him to quickly consolidate his power. A noname became a national leader in just 5 months because he took revenge for a Russian defeat Image
Like Chechnya, Ukraine is a former Russian colony which complicates everything. It Russia accepts a defeat, it will shatter Putin's mythos and undermine Russian imperial mythos as a whole. While victory is all redeeming, a defeat will have the opposite effect. That's unacceptable Image
Consider comments when Russia "decreased military activities on Kyiv and Chernihiv directions"

- That's ununderstandable
- Haha, they ran out of money for war. They'll retreat by May 9 to organise the Victory Parade
- America won. Putin's approval rate dropped
- No step back ImageImage
- No step back! What are you doing?!!! We pushed the Nazis a bit and thats it? In three years we'll need to fight again? Putin, blink if they have captured you!
- What for did we lose so many boys?
- So many broken lives. So many kids, women, elderly died. And it was all in vain? Image
- That's it, Putin's power is over. That's a treason of our boys
- Shame. Everyone will reject you, negotiators...
- "Ukraine confirmed it's aspiration for neutral non-nuclear status". But it had same status before! What a crap! And now they have "aspiration"! Now that's a shame! Image
That's how Putin's core supporters feel. They don't view results as a victory. They percieve it as a shame. Putin rose stakes too high and his demands for neutral non-nuclear status are viewed as a domestic policy tool. He needs to present a victory, but nobody believes he's won
Apart from people lamenting current results as a shame and a defeat and calls for continuing the war, we see here a very smart and realistic comment. One commenter mentioned that Putin will retreat by May 9. Why May 9? Because it's a Victory Parade commemorating the WWII Image
That doesn't mean that Putin *will* retreat by May 9. It means May 9 commemorating the end of the War with Germany is a benchmark. It's a deadline that exists in Putin's head and the heads of other Russians. Some sort of resolution must be achieved by that date Image
That makes total sense. Russian military operations have been often motivated by the need to meet symbolic deadlines. For example Russians suffered enormous casualties during the Siege of Plevna in 1877 because commanders wanted to take the fortress by the Alexander II's nameday Image
"There's a huge kurgan near Plevna
Corpses haven't decomposed there yet
To cheer the Tsar in his nameday
They killed many thousands of their own.
A nameday pie with the human meat
Is a gift to the emperor"

(Olhin's poem on the Siege of Plevna) Image
Back then Russian state cult was largely centered around the Emperor and his family. So military operations were planned in a way to achieve strategic success by some family holiday that was a symbolic deadline. That was suboptimal military-wise but very efficient state cult-wise Image
Now what constitutes Russian state cult now? I believe this Russian nationalist account summarizes it pretty well. It is the cult of WWII, which is called победобесие - "being possessed by the victory" in Russian. That's indeed a form of ancestral cult, cult of the dead Image
That's once used to be predominantly Christian. But then it was violently secularised by the Communists. So what do we have after this Bolshevik de-Abrahamization? Paradoxically, getting rid of Abrahamic values, Russia didn't move forward. It has fallen millennia back Image
Being violently de-Christianized Russia didn't enter the era of progress and reason. Instead it fall back to the Neolith. Russian cult of WWII is a form of a neolithic ancestral cult. It is thoroughly cleansed from any Abrahamic values and centered around the worship of the dead Image
WWII cult became Russian state religion for two reasons. First, people didn't believe in the bright future anymore. When Soviets were sincerely building Communism, WWII wasn't worshipped. But by the times of Brezhnev nobody believed we are building Communism or any future at all Image
If a country is building its future, people will be obsessed with it. But if we don't, then we'll be obsessed by the past. WWII cult is literally the past devouring the future. It's a form of ritual cannibalism interwoven into the ancestral cult ImageImage
Russian society is indeed highly tolerant to war casualties in Z-context. That's not wrong. But who exactly is tolerant to casualties? The elderly. Fascist warmongering dead worshipping babushkas and dedushkas are more than willing to sacrifice their youngsters for the Victory
Polls support this view. What data we have on political preferences in Russian society? Analysts often refer to the Levada as the only independent sociological organisation in Russia. But "the only independent" sounds too much as a controlled opposition. Let's use something else
Consider this poll ordered from the Russian Field agency by a politician Roman Yuneman. Despite his German surname, he is a Russian ethnonationalist. He argues that decision to rush Z was a mistake but now Russia has no choice but to fight till the victory dropmefiles.com/oNhnB Image
It's a small poll, 1000 Moscow respondents but its results are interesting. Question "Do you support Special Operation in Ukraine?" reveals age asymmetry. Elderly mostly stand for Z while youngsters 18-29 are divided. There are less youngsters who support Z than those who don't Image
"Should we continue the Special Operation in Ukraine (red) or start the peace talk (blue)?". Again, majority of youngsters stand for the peace negotiations while the elderly largely support continuing the war till the victory Image
"Would you participate in a demonstration *against* the Special Operation if it was allowed?" Blue - yes, red - no. Only a small majority would actually protest against the war. Whereas there is significant anti-Z minority, especially amongst youngsters, it is very passive Image
"Would you participate in a demonstration *in support* of the Special Operation if it was allowed?" Blue - yes, red - no. Incredible, but pro-Putin's majority is also quite passive. That's amazing, because demonstrations in support of Z entail no risk at all to their participants Image
Z-opposers are reluctant to protest because of strong incentives against. They're afraid they can lose their jobs, can be beaten or potentially jailed. But those in favor of Z have nothing to fear. Considering this they're surprisingly passive, especially the pro-Z youngsters Image
"Will Special Operation increase probability of political upheavals in Russia: coup, revolution, etc?" Blue - yes, red - no. Youngsters believe that Z-war makes regime's fall more likely. Even young Z-supporters think regime is now more fragile. The elderly believe it's robust Image
Btw: a point most agreed with across all age groups is that Kremlin will manage to neutralize the economic damage inflicted by sanctions (blue). Therefore, if Kremlin fails to do so, it will further delegitimize the regime. People gonna be disapponted if their life quality drops Image
As we see from this small yet revealing poll, it is the elderly who most unquestioningly trust Putin and support his Z-war. Youngsters are much less enthusiastic. Which creates a major problem, because it is the less enthusiastic youngsters who have to risk their lives in Ukraine Image
Strelkov talks about professional soldiers контрактники refusing to leave to Ukraine en masse. When ordered to war, they simply quit their job. And nobody can do anything, because there is no war declared. They just lose their benefits. On the bright side, they keep their legs
The elderly support rushing Z and sacrificing the youngsters for the sake of the ancestral cult. But youngsters would rather keep their legs. I like this video where Deputy Minister of Defense awards a soldier who just lost his leg and whishes him to "get on his feet again"
This unwillingness of Russian youngsters to fight explains the ethnic asymmetry in Russian army. Russian government not only sends minorities and pressganged Donbass people to frontline assaults on Mariupol. It even tries to mobilize population of its Caucasian satellite states Image
Watch this video. Ministry of defense of Abkhazia declares it gonna send military aid to Russian forces in Ukraine. Don't you find it weird? Because it absolutely is
Abkhazia and South Ossetia are two tiny unrecognised Russian satellite states in Caucasus. In 2008 Russia wage a war against Georgia on behalf of these separatist republics and then recognised them as sovereign states. Their population is tiny: 245 and 53 thousand respectively Image
Nevertheless, Russia mobilizes forces of these microscopic supposedly sovereign states for the war in Ukraine. They are less than enthusiastic though. Ex-President of South Ossetia just mentioned that many South Ossetian troops in Ukraine deserted and made it back home Image
Why Russia needs to use Abkhazians and South Ossetians in Z-war? Because it has too few youth. Russia grew old, it's pensionary country. The elderly are eager to fight, because they won't have to shed their lives. But the youngsters are much more reserved Image
All of these factors mean that Russia can't win Z-war with conventional means. It simply can't achive a result that will be perceived as a victory by Putin's subjects via a conventional war. And Putin needs a victory by May 9 or he'll lose his face Image
Which makes me fear that before May 9 Russia may suddenly escalate. Many Westerners fear a nuclear with Russia. I find it nearly impossible. Putin is not that crazy. There are of course a lot of mad chickenhawks - this MP Delyagin suggested nuking Azerbaijan oil industry
Delyagin was immediately rebutted by Putin's press secretary Peskov and made to apologise. This tough guy just called for nuclear strikes but started humiliating himself and crawling on his knees straight after being rebuked by the higher ups. Very typical
It shows that contrary to the somewhat popular beliefs Russian leadership is not aiming to raise the stakes indefinitely. They still want a positive outcome for themselves. But if they don't win by late April, they may escalate - to get some victory by a symbolic deadline Image
Russia won't dare to nuke NATO even if NATO attacks Russians in Ukraine. Putin wants to live. But I don't exclude possibility that Russia may use tactical nuclear or other MDW in Ukraine unless NATO makes clear it will retaliate on Russia itself
(or hunts down everyone involved) Image
I've just discussed the North Korea/Donbass scenario when Putin stays in power and the symbolic benchmark of May 9 that will probably play a huge role in Russian military planning. It is the deadline by which an impressive victory must be achieved to save Putin's face and power. Image
Alternative scenario would be some liberal oppositionary taking the place of Putin. Such an oppositionary will be widely considered as a saviour or a redemptive figure. Some would consider this change of a Bad Tsar for a Good Tsar to be a sign of Russia's fundamental reform Image
I disagree. This wouldn't mean any profound transformation of the imperial order. To the contrary, it would be an Imperial Reboot. Empire would be able to start anew with its reputation cleansed and its structure fundamentally unchanged. Same order, just new assabiyah at power Image
One issue with Navalny is his nationalist background. His chief of stuff @leonidvolkov accused me of publishing fake screenshots. I am absolutely ready to accept my responsibility and debunk my lies if they are really fake. But before that I'd ask Volkov to clarify his position Image
I published three screenshots ascribed to Navalny:

1. On Georgians and "rodents"
2. On Jews and "faggots"
3. On Belarussian language and "khachi"

@leonidvolkov Could you please give your version, which of these three supposedly Navalny's quotes are authentic and which are fake? ImageImageImage
Let me clarify my stance. The nationalist background of Navalny is not a problem. The problem is that he's striving for the supreme power in a country which has absolutely no checks on a supreme power. He might have totally changed. But that doesn't mean he should become a Tsar Image
But if Navalny is not good enough to become a Tsar, then who is? And the answer is - nobody. It's not the personality of a ruler that is a problem. It is the enormous concentration of power in Kremlin and "Kremlin" here stands for the Russian imperial egregore Image
Many think that problem is in the personality of Putin. Some even berate Yeltsin for choosing the "wrong" successor. That's stupid. All three last PMs of Yeltsin: Primakov, Stepashin and Putin were state security officers. Yeltsin knew exactly what he was doing Image
The problem lies in Russian nstitutions and in Russian culture. Let me show you an old interview with Putin's old boss Sobchak then St Petersburg mayor. Sobchak was a well known liberal politician, founder of the Movement for Democratic Reforms Image
That's liberal politician Sobchak discussing the Ukrainian problem in 1991. This interview shows a deep-rooted imperialist mindset under a liberal disguise. The metropoly will weaponize *any* ideology to assert its dominance over the colonies. Any rhetorics will serve the empire
According to Sobchak Ukraine is governed by the alliance of "extreme nationalists" and "conservative Communist nomenklatura". Any minorities the refuse to abandon their identity are extreme nationalists. And they're closely connected to the Communists of course Image
Ukrainian leadership is annoying Sobchak by constantly talking of independence instead of the "human rights". That shows that every and any ideology (or rather phraseology) will be weaponized by the imperialists to justify their rule and deny agency to their colonies Image
Metropoly always portrays a colony as flawed and in need of intervention by the metropoly. Specific ideology doesn't matter, only the asymmetry of power does. If we believe in Communism, Ukraine isn't Communist, but if we believe in democracy, it suddenly becomes too Communist Image
I find the argumentation of Sobchak in this interview on Ukraine strikingly similar to Navalny's argumentation in his investigation on Tatarstan. It's the same logic and same mindset. Let me give you some quotes from Navalny's paper navalny.com/p/6427/ Image
"Tatarstan is a place where there emerged a real Sultanate, Khanate, Tsardom"

Notice their vocab. First they say "Sultanate" and "Khanate" and then use politically correct "Tsardom". The problem with Tatarstan is that it is an oasis on non-Russian statehood within Russia Image
Commenters see Navalny's messageL

"Tatarstan is Asiatic republic. They're ok with Khan swimming in gold, if the rest of the people get something (and they get). Republic is one few donor regions in Russia"

That's a great slip of the tongue. These Asiatics pay the Russian bills Image
It reflects the true structure of Russia. Asiatics are financial donors and pay the bills of the empire. They're however deeply flawed and need the constant supervision by the said empire. You feed Moscow and in return enjoy its wise guidance. See the map of donor regions, 2020 Image
Navalny portrays a colony as much more flawed than the metropoly:

"...Putin allows Tatars elites to steal more than the most impudent United Russia members in Moscow could ever dream of"

That's a bold claim. @fbkinfo @navalny the burden of proof is on you as you made this claim Image
"[Tatarstan] ruling clan became the richest people of the country and may be even the world [sic!]"

That's a perfect smear. @navalny @fbkinfo make an obviously false claim [they may be the richest people of the world] but use "may be" to avoid responsibility. I'm quite impressed Image
It's a great smear tactics. You make a claim that you know to be false - that a ruling clan in a Russian region "may" belong to the richest people of the world. But since you don't *technically* assert that, you bear no burden of proof @navalny @fbkinfo Image
Navalny @navalny @fbkinf claims that Tatarstan president Shaimiev "stood at the origin of the United Russia party". That's a lie which sheds Navalny's strategy to blame minorities for Putinism. Which sheds a light on what he's gonna do once he gets absolute power Image
Shaimiev was indeed one of key figures of a certain political party. But it wasn't the United Russia. It was a party "Fatherland: All of Russia" which united most of regional elites. It was a party led by ex Prime Minister Primakov and 84/89 Russian governors supported it Image
In late 1990s three prime ministers founded their own parties *after* being appointed as a Prime Minister (well, technically Primakov did it after having been fired). Primakov created "Fatherland: All of Russia", Chernomyrdin - "Our Home Russia" and Putin founded "Unity" Image
Putin's "Unity" didn't support of regionaд elites. It was led by little known Putin's pal Gryzlov and еру popular minister Shoygu became its "face". It's Shoygu who borrowed much of his popularity and authority to Putin when the latter desperately needed it. He's a great courtier Image
Key role in boosting Putin's "Unity" out of nothing was played by Yeltsin's official Surkov. He would personally meet with governors and "persuade" them to leave Primakov and join Putin. Dossiers on the entire ruling class which Putin collected as the FSB Chief might be a factor Image
One by one governors joined Putin. But Tatarstan wasn't one of the first, it was one of the last. See parliamentary elections 1999: Dark blue - Putin's "Unity", Red - Communists, Light blue - Primakov's "Fatherland". Tatarstan and Bashkortostan stood against Putin till very late Image
Only in December 2001 long after Putin's victory, Putin's "Unity", Primakov's "Fatherland" and Chernomyrdin's "Home" merged into the United Russia. Thus remainders of regional elites were incorporated into the Putin's regime. Tatarstan wasn't the first, it was one of the last Image
Why do @navalny @fbkinfo so blatantly misrepresent the history of United Russia? Why do the portray staunch supporters of a party that opposed Putin and was absorbed by Putin's Unity so late, as founders of the United Russia? Because they preventively accuse colonies of Putinism Image
The dominance of metropoly over the colonies is secured not only by military, legal or economic instruments, but also via ideology. Colony is always flawed in comparison with the metropoly and is in dire need of leadership/being disciplined by the latter Image
Consider Sobchak's interview. We in Russia stand for the current thing (Democracy). They in Ukraine stand for the former thing (Communism). Pseudoliberal language disguises imperial ambitions of the metropoly Image
They're playing the same trick now. Tatarstan didn't originally support Putin, its leaders supported another party till the very end. And yet now @navalny @fbkinfo misrepresent this story. They aim to destroy the rival non-Russian statehood by weaponizing anti Putinist rhetorics Image
I'll clarify: the problem is not in Putin. Neither it is in Navalny. The problem is in imperial structure of Russia and in its imperialist mindset. Any ideology be it Orthodoxy, Communism, Liberalism will be weaponised by the metropoly to dominate and discipline its colonies Image
We don't need a Good Tsar who'll replace a Bad Tsar. Good Tsar can become a Bad Tsar overnight. He can give whatever guarantees now, but nothing will stop him from breaking them later. Even if he doesn't break them, his successor will. There will be no checks on his power anyway Image
Omnis determinatio est negatio. Whatever determined by a statute, can and will be abolished by a statute. Whatever Moscow gave it can take back later. Whatever it created, it can later destroy. Thus freedom can't be given by Moscow. Even the best Tsar ever can't grant you freedom Image
Russia doesn't need an Imperial Reboot. It needs a National Divorce. Moscow has absolute right on self determination, but I don't see why colonies should bound to its will, fund its imperial ambitions and shed their blood for the Russian World as they're doing it now Image
While discussing the prospect of National Divorce, analysts overconcentrate on ethnic tensions. And yet, tensions go far beyond the ethnic dimension. The problem of Locals vs Varyangs which is parallel to Creoles vs Peninsulares problem in Spanish America is at least as important Image
National Divorce in Russia will largely follow the same patterns as the one in Latin America. The weakest link in Russian imperial structure is neither Tatarstan, Yakutia, nor Chechnya. It's the Far East. End of🧵 Image

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More from @kamilkazani

Jul 6
FYI: Mulino is where German Rheinmetall company was building (in their own words):

"Measuring over 500 square kilometres, the state-of-the-art Russian army training centre in Mulino designed to train a reinforced mechanized infantry or armoured brigade"

rheinmetall-defence.com/en/rheinmetall…
Mulino was modelled after the training center of Bundesehr in Altmarkt. In order to proceed with the construction, the Rheinmentall entered in the strategic partnership with Russian stated owned defence company Oboronservis Image
That was the high point of Serdyukov's reform. Serdyukov tried to modernise the Russian army importing ready solutions from the West: from the armaments to the tactics. And the Rheinmetall was more than ready to help to train the Russian troops Image
Read 9 tweets
Jul 5
It might be more accurate to describe Daudov (Lord) as the commander-in-chief (вице-премьер по силовому блоку)

Regarding his rhetorics the level of religious observance in Chechnya is vastly exaggerated. I'd even say that being really observant is a sign of nonnocformity there
The large mosque in the centre of Grozny is nearly empty with exception of Friday and religious holidays. Theoretically everyone is supposed to pray five times a day. Very few do that in reality. You might think they pray at home, but majority doesn't. It's certainly an exception
I find that most discussions about Chechnya amount to savagery-porn. Like some paint Chechens as "evil savages". Some as "noble" ones. But that's all projections, because they're neither. Not that much of traditional society or culture survived through the 20th century
Read 14 tweets
Jul 5
If I had to recommend one single book on the Tatar political tradition that would be:

Natalia Królikowska-Jedlińska "Law and Division of Power in the Crimean Khanate (1532-1774)"

Great study based on Crimean archives and a nice introduction into the topic for the wide audience
There are also great books in Russian but they are untranslated to English. Also there are studies in Tatar which are not even published
Read 4 tweets
Jul 4
He assimilated. He bears Russian name and gave Russian names to his children. He's baptised. Russian masses would considered as almost Russian. His Chinese-style palace or books portraying him as Subaday would hurt his Russified image though. But may be this is exactly his plan
If Shoygu looked too Russian he could be seen as a potential successor, thus risking a conflict with Putin. Perhaps it's more rational to play "Asian" card in order *not* to be seen as a heir

NB: Shoygu remained in government under all Presidents and PMs since 1991. He's cunning
Shoygu never objected to interest groups. He always courted the media. Once journalists who came to Chechnya from Moscow to broadcast his accomplishments lost in the mountains, got scared and wanted to leave. So he drove after them, knelt before them and asked for forgiveness
Read 4 tweets
Jul 4
Great question. My answer:

1. Ethnic republics are super vulnerable. Moscow is much more likely to unhinge violence on them, than on Russian Oblasts. And nobody gonna step up

2. From the minority perspective you must be absolutely cracked to help "liberals" to get into power
Btw Melekhin's tweet perfectly illustrated position of ethnic republics in Russian federation. You know that the Kremlin will do with you whatever they want at the slightest disobedience. And let's be honest: you won't get help from anywhere and nobody gonna step up for you Image
Objecting to Kremlin or not drawing the fake election results it demands is a massive risk. Because the moment Kremlin wants, they'll break you with the Moscow liberal establishment cheering. Moscow liberals are as imperialist as Putin, just with an additional dose of racism
Read 4 tweets
Jul 4
That's a racist lie. It's also an important lie that helps to understand the worldview of Russian "liberals". In the Russian discourse and especially in the "liberal" discourse everything negative or evil always come from Asia. It's an axiom that requires no proof or evidence
Consider the following. Clueless people like parroting the idea about Russian despotism inherited from the Tatar Khanates. Ok. Let's assume this may be true. Then the question about the political & legal culture of the said Khanates should take central place in that discussion
The argument about the Russian absolutist practices being borrowed from the Tatar Khanates, depends on a question of how did those Khanates look like? Politics, law, institutions. Notice that this question strangely misses from the discussion. Because the entire argument is a lie
Read 8 tweets

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