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Ethnic confrontations in Russia: effect of boomerang

By Messenger Staff
Friday, December 17
It has started.

Russia is reaping what it sowed. The nationalism stimulated by Moscow and its actions concerning Georgia and the creation of ethnic confrontation has backfired, turning Russia into in more aggressive and tragic country.

Recent confrontations and clashes in the capital of Russia were completely out of control. However, some analysts think that the current confrontation between Russian nationalists and those of Caucasian ethnicity is under state control, reflecting a tense situation inside the Russian elite itself. Other analysts however challenge this opinion, claiming that the Russian state is simply incapable of managing the situation. They say that the Genie is out of the bottle and it could devastate the Russian statehood. Almost 20 years on from the collapse of the Soviet Union, the idea of nationalism is very confused. There are Nazi slogans in the capital of the Russian federation with mottos such as Russia for Russians, and Russian nationalists confront representatives of other nations under these slogans. It is not only Caucasus nationals that the Russians are attacking but central Asians and all non Slavonic ethnic representatives.

The confrontation started after one of the fans of Spartak Moscow soccer team was killed by one of the residents of Caucasian ethnicity. But this was only the spark for starting clashes. The smell of intolerance was already there in Moscow, in particular, and around Russia generally. This is the result of the policy of the Russian Federation, particularly against Georgia.

The first man to trigger Russian nationalism was Vladimir Putin, who in 1999 became the PM of Russia and started to build up his popularity and carry out his PR activities under nationalistic slogans. Even though he personally never said the slogan 'Russia for Russians' publicly, if you read between the lines of his speeches, intonation, references and so on, it is clear he strived for a successful career based on this ideology. Russia was undergoing difficult times with widespread corruption, unemployment, economic crisis, poverty and other similar factors bringing Russia to this situation. The Non-Russian ethnic population in the Russian federation comprises around 60 mln out of a total 143 mln of the Russian federation population. Aggressive moves of Russian nationalists could easily spread around the country, inflaming nationalistic sentiments and further deteriorating the situation in Russia. The events in Moscow are sure to reverberate around the so called subjects of the Russian federation, either in Caucasus or in Tatarstan, or elsewhere involving not only ethnic but religious motives as well.

Currently, the Kremlin tries to suppress nationalistic actions, because it has realized the danger. However, what had been aggregated and accumulated for years has burst out. The Genie is out of the bottle and it will be very difficult to drive him back. The international community should be prepared for all sorts of developments. It could be the beginning of the end for the Russian Federation and it could yield tragic results not for Russia itself but to the entire world if it spirals out of control.