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APRIL 2010

Prague Watchdog: Hello Sochi!

posted by eagle on April, 2010 as Imperialism

April 30th 2010 · Prague Watchdog / Usam Baysayev · 

Hello Sochi!

By Usam Baysayev, special to Prague Watchdog

On a colleague’s bookshelf I recently found a booklet containing some picture postcard views of Sochi. The usual snapshots, like the ones that are printed for visiting tourists to any medium-sized town. The names of the booklet’s authors did not say very much to me. But the press that produced it bears the name of Leo Tolstoy, and is apparently a local one, based in the city. Everything in the booklet is connected with celebrities, past or present.

I examined the cards carefully, one after the other. After all, it was my homeland, the Caucasus. When I’m away from home I always feel drawn to it, because it lies two or three hundred kilometres away. I had picked up the booklet, not with a thrill, perhaps, but certainly with interest. I didn’t put it back on ...

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Window On Eurasia: Daghestani Attack On Russian Military Unit In Leningrad Oblast Highlights Broader Problems

posted by eagle on as Imperialism


Window on Eurasia: Daghestani Attack on Russian Military Unit in Leningrad Oblast Highlights Broader Problems

Paul Goble

Vienna, April 13 – Last weekend, some 40 Daghestanis entered a Russian military base near St. Petersburg, beat up an officer who had insulted a Daghestani soldier, and then fled after other soldiers fired shots into the air, an event which has focused renewed attention on inter-ethnic and inter-religious relations in the Russian armed forces.
The incident, which took place in the Sapernoye settlement of Leningrad oblast’s Priozersky rayon, has received extensive attention in the press of the two capitals, with particular attention being given to the 18 Daghestanis who were arrested and whose cases are still under investigation (
According to these media accounts, "the conflict began when a contract soldier from Daghestan who was serving in this unit got into a fight with his landsman who was serving in the Sapernoye settlement” ...

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Window On Eurasia: Russian Flight From Caucasus Bringing ‘Russian Question’ Into The Center Of The Country, Markedonov Says

posted by eagle on as Imperialism


Window on Eurasia: Russian Flight from Caucasus Bringing ‘Russian Question’ into the Center of the Country, Markedonov Says

Paul Goble

Vienna, April 10 – The migration of North Caucasians to Moscow and St. Petersburg has brought the problems of that region into Russia’s core, but one Russian commentator is suggesting that the flight of ethnic Russians from that region has had the effect of bringing "the Russian question” there into the center of Russian politics.
Sergey Markedonov, one of Moscow’s most thoughtful analysts on the Caucasus, however, argues that understanding the real dimensions of Russian flight from that region is essential for the understanding not only of developments there but also of "the Russian question” more generally (
He argues that "the chief distinction of ‘the Russian question’ from other ethno-political problems of the region consists that its two ‘dimensions’ [-- political and humanitarian –] are clearly separated in time,” with ...

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Window On Eurasia: Moscow Still Doesn’t Recognize That Russia Is ‘a Country Of Cities, Not Subjects,’ Glazychev Says

posted by eagle on as Imperialism

SUNDAY, APRIL 11, 2010

Window on Eurasia: Moscow Still Doesn’t Recognize that Russia is ‘a Country of Cities, Not Subjects,’ Glazychev Says

Paul Goble

Vienna, April 11 – Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s call for the definition of a strategy of social-economic development for federal subjects and districts is "absurd,” a leading Russian expert says, because Russia "consists not of subjects but of cities” and because development occurs in macro-regions whose borders have little in common with those Moscow has imposed
In an interview published in "Vzglyad” on Friday, Vyacheslav Glazychev, a professor of the Moscow Architecture Institute and a member of the Social Chamber, says that "raising the question about strategy for a federal district is absurd because a federal district is a controlled framework,” lacking "any physical essence” (
The only positive thing one could say about such an idea, he suggested is that earlier efforts to come up with strategies for particular subjects ...

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Window On Eurasia: Russians Can Identify As ‘Cosmopolitans,’ ‘Soviets,’ And 1838 Other Nationalities In 2010 Census

posted by eagle on as Imperialism


Window on Eurasia: Russians Can Identify as ‘Cosmopolitans,’ ‘Soviets,’ and 1838 Other Nationalities in 2010 Census

Paul Goble

Dayton, April 7 – Officials preparing for the 2010 Russian Federation Census have released a list of 1840 "permitted” responses to questions about national self-identification, a range that highlights the variety of ethnic identities there, the fragility of many of them, and the willingness and ability of the authorities to manipulate the figures.
Most of the 1840 identifications on the approved list that census takers will use involve "dialect variations of the self-designations of this or that people,” Russian commentators say, but the list also provides some alternatively amusing and potentially disturbing names because when the responses are tabulated, they will as in all censuses be grouped into a much smaller list.
And past Soviet and Russian practice shows that opens the way to serious manipulation. Thus, subgroups of one nationality such as ...

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