September 24, 2023


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Weekend Open Thread – Colorado Pols

2 min read
Weekend Open Thread - Colorado Pols

Exceedingly informative – Ethnicity, Poverty and Russian Regions, Kamil Galeev (unfortunately on twitter) 

In this long thread, Galeev talks about the incentive for the Russian identity to homogenize Russian ethnic/cultural identity, and also to maintain regions in poverty. He says that his region (Tartarstan) post-Soviet had local aristocracy take over, which meant the wealth skimming remained local, while other regions had Moscow owners who pumped the money out-of-region, to Moscow and Europe. 

Case of Tatarstan is very illustrative. People see ethnic balance as primordial. That’s not necessarily true. Ethnic balance depends upon ethnic hierarchy. And ethnic hierarchy can be renegotiated by as little as having a well-run city amidst the post-Soviet desert

One major consequence was the renegotiation of ethnic hierarchy. Until 1989 Russian community was indisputably dominant and the Tatar one certainly inferior one. After 1991 this balance started to crumble Once Tatarstan got richer neighbours started looking at them up, that’s it

When he was growing up, the census takers would write down everyone as russian. Post Soviet, Tatarstan was doing better than other regions because of with local-landlordism, so people were willing to be labeled Tatar, and this is the fracture point for regional breakup potential. Moscow can’t permit any region or city to become successful or else that becomes a 

Also, Galeev thinks that that the Russian “loyal opposition” in Moscow (e.g. Navalny) is part of the ruling class, and therefore any change would merely replace one tsar (or mafia overlord) with another. All roads lead to Moscow, privilege and power.

In other words he sees Russia as a colonial empire.

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