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Jun 12, 2022
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Yuri Boldyrev: “Again we are celebrating Russia’s initiation of the destruction of the USSR?”

Yuri Boldyrev:

Photo: Igor Zotin/TASS

Well, are we once again celebrating, as we recently joked sadly, the day of Russia’s independence from the Kyrgyz and Uzbek enslavers? I hope that for the Kyrgyz and Uzbeks this former joke is not at all offensive: firstly, it’s just a joke, and secondly, it’s obvious that they weren’t any enslavers of Russia, just if the Declaration of Sovereignty, then from whom? From the soulless union center?

And thirdly, we joked, it just so happened, about the liberation from the “enslavers” of the Kyrgyz and Uzbek, but in terms of meaning it is appropriate to add – and Belarusian, and Latvian, and … Ukrainian?

Here’s the problem: a few years ago it was possible to joke sadly about this, but obediently celebrate the Day of Russia – the weekend, and even at the very beginning of summer – everything just itself is conducive to celebration. But today, during the period of the special operation, in relation to which the President of the country has just explained at a meeting with young people that we simply, as Peter the Great“returning ours”?

So explain: we are the heirs of Russia (RSFSR), along with the Baltic states, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Ukraine and others, finally escaping from under something broader, more powerful and, judging by the fact that we continue to celebrate it, not good, oppressive? And then June 12, the Day of the adoption in 1990 of the Declaration on the Sovereignty of Russia, is quite reasonably our great holiday.

Or are we the heirs of that very broader one, from under which, by some mistake or criminal intent, we ourselves happily (this decision did not cause any protests among the inhabitants of the RSFSR) escaped three decades ago, and others were allowed to do it? But now we condemn the actions of others in leaving this single broad, moreover, we are trying to return the recalcitrant by force, but our own previous actions in the same direction, for some reason inexplicable to me, we still not only consider justified and true, but even celebrate as your great achievement?

To me, who is incomprehensible, they will explain: dialectics.

I object: schizophrenia.

Let me remind you about the main driving motive for the collapse of the USSR in 1991. It was not someone else’s nationalism, although as an appendage to the general treasury of factors – and this fit and even stuck out. It’s just that the former unifying idea collapsed, depreciated, including in the eyes and actions of the country’s leaders themselves, large-scale socio-economic difficulties set in, the central allied power lost credibility and trust, and the leaders of the parts of the united Union realized that they had to fight for completeness of power and key a post in the central government is long, difficult and, most importantly, unpredictable in terms of achieving results. But to separate your “village”, in which you are already, after all, the “first guy” – this is a very real and achievable prospect.

From this point of view, what was the adoption in 1990 by the Russian Congress of People’s Deputies of the Declaration on the Sovereignty of Russia? The statement that we – Russia – is not a metropolis in the empire, but exactly the same as the others, the suffering part. A part, not a whole. And, no less important, by calling on other republics, which, unlike the Baltic republics and Azerbaijan, had not yet declared their sovereignty by that time, to immediately do so. Which, of course, followed. It is logical: well, if Russia declares state sovereignty, then the rest of us, including, by the way, Ukraine, God himself ordered …

Three decades have passed. Suppose they realized a mistake or even a crime, they realized themselves not the heirs of Russia, which, along with other republics, escaped from the “yoke of the union center”, but the direct heirs of this very center – the Russian Empire and then the USSR. What then should have followed?

Legally, maybe nothing. But necessarily – moral reflection, the cessation of the celebration of a holiday that is strange in these conditions and, preferably, a change in the socio-economic course – I do not decipher in detail, and so it is clear.

No less important: I personally know only seven deputies of the Congress of People’s Deputies of the RSFSR (I myself was not a deputy of the RSFSR), who in the late autumn of 1991 voted against the ratification of the Belovezhskaya agreements. All the rest enthusiastically voted for the abolition of the USSR, but these, moreover, with different political views and, accordingly, for different motives, nevertheless, did not raise their hand to destroy their country. A naive question: so if something is finally realized at the state level, then why are these people – only seven people – still not the greatest of heroes?

Again “dialectics”? Or is it just those who have already been appointed to the places of heroes, who then – obediently in one direction, now – just as obediently in the other?

That’s all, I repeat, if in fact, “no fools”, just realize.

And if we also intend to take some actions to at least partially restore the big, previously lost, then, logically, first of all, it is necessary to denounce the Belovezhskaya Accords? But this proposal, made by those who realized a quarter of a century ago, did not find support.

It is important to understand that if Russia, represented by the Russian authorities, had denounced the ratified Belovezhskaya Accords, then it would not have given up the role of “the first among equal separatists.” At least one of the first, and among the Slavic republics – certainly the first. That is, Russia would break in this sense with the heritage Yeltsin – as the initiator of the “scattering” of the Union republics. In this case, one could speak of the emergence of some, above all, moral, and, perhaps, legal grounds for raising the question of the “return” of any territories. It would be clear and understandable where they are returning – they are not assigned to one of the parts of the split empire, but are united again into a previously single space and state association. Preferably, of course, not by military means.

But our current government is the direct heir of Yeltsin, his Declaration of Sovereignty of Russia, his Belovezhskaya conspiracy (plus the 1993 coup d’état). Without renouncing this legacy either ideologically or, what is no less important, in terms of personnel, it suddenly appears as a “union center” that was almost offended (although it had previously been abolished by it). Not a paradox?

The main thing: the break with the legacy of June 12, 1991, the sooner the better, could demonstrate a fundamentally different direction for the future development of Russia. And if an independent socio-economic policy aimed at development were added to this, the creation, in fact, of an alternative center for scientific, technical and industrial development, then real prerequisites would arise not for forceful, but for a possible peaceful voluntary reunification in the future.

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