LMFS wrote:This is IMHO a must read for anyone willing to understand the fundamental elements of realpolitik linking the Russian Federation and the independent republics arising from the rests of the Russian Empire and USSR:
Very relevant to understand Russia's approach to the conflict in NK too...
I am not that impressed. "Discrimination" against "conquered" peoples in Russia was no such thing. Russia offered an economically
advantageous safe harbour for many of the indigenous groups who were not all singing cumbaya around a campfire before Russian
imperialists showed up. As in North America strife between ethnic groups was normal and brutal. Russia offered the 3rd party
mediator role that made "imperial subservience" worthwhile. For countries like Georgia it was about survival in the face of brutal
Turk expansionism. Contrast Russia with Turkey if you want to know what Russian "imperialism" looks like.
Association of various peoples with the Russian empire meant that they were typically left to their own devices. This is not
discrimination, this is laissez-faire. The Russian center did not dispatch brutal viceroys to impose Russian culture and language
on these peoples. That is why they still speak their native languages today. Contrast that with even integrated countries like
the UK where Welsh was deliberately being eradicated during the 1800s with tactics like residential schools for Canadian aboriginals
where children where beaten for speaking their own language and the purpose was to convert them into another culture. Russia
never had residential schools or such agendas.
The term Tsar of All the Russias is actually very radical for any monarchy. Russia's self image was of a pluralistic ethnic composite
and not ethnic-chauvinist Russian monochromatism. The USSR took the laissez-faire policy of Russian poly-ethnicity and turned it
into a species of identity politics BS. This why the "chauvinist" Russian center was suppressed much like today's cultural Trotskyists
wail against whites and claim minorities cannot be racist. So we had grotesque gifting of ethnic Russian lands to fake constructs
like Ukraine and Moldova. The USSR force-elevated the republics and we see them evanesce to their natural state after the breakup
in 1991. Baltic statelets demand reparations for "Russian occupation" but all of their economies exist thanks to this "occupation".
It is not an exaggeration to state that they were rural backwaters even during the 1930s. They were also not rich rural backwaters
but poor ones.
So the Russian Empire policy was vastly more sane than the Soviet one. All these "discriminated" against peoples were under no
yoke and their development was at their own pace. It is a pure lie to claim that Russia deprived them of some golden future.
The last 30 years proves that no such future was waiting for them during the 1900s.
But the Siberian expanses were sparsely populated. For this reason, they were easily subdued by small Cossack bands, but then there was the problem of controlling and retaining the conquered lands.
This is a simply BS claim. The Cossacks would have fought any bandits and not whole ethnic groups. A few Cossacks would
be physically unable to subdue whole peoples. That is true even if there were not many of them. In fact, fewer people
scattered over large territory are harder to subdue. By contrast, in the USA and Canada the policy was to subdue whole
peoples and thus we had creation of reservation ghettos. Disease helped Europeans take over the new world, but there
was plenty of slaughter involved as well. In Argentina the Patagonians were exterminated down to the last one. In this
regard the USA and Canada are better, but only relatively.
It is not an accident of the USSR that all sorts of ethnic groups have functional republics that could secede from the RussianFederation
. If the Russian Empire would have followed the policy of other colonialist Europeans, there would have been
a collection of useless reservations and not countries.