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  • Writer's pictureDmytro Levus

"The deconstruction of Russia". Trends July 26, 2023

1. On the Kremlin's use of the potential of Russia's regional and ethnic identities for the war against Ukraine on the example of the "Embroidered Russia Festival". Idel-Ural.

The "Embroidered Map of Russia" is a project to deceive peoples under Moscow's control

On July 27, 2023, the so-called "Minister of Culture, Nationalities and Archival Affairs of Chuvashia" Svetlana Kalikova announced that the "Embroidered Russia Festival" is planned to be held in Chuvashia on August 18-21. It is stated that this is the final stage of the project, which is to be attended by representatives of 60 regions. Craftsmen are to bring hand-embroidered maps of their regions. The Russian Post is also actively involved in the project: a separate postcard has been created for each subject of the Russian Federation. The formal initiator of the festival in December 2022 was the head of Chuvashia, Oleg Nikolaev, who invited all regions to embroider their own canvases and announced the Embroidered Russia festival. The idea was supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the State Russian House of Folk Art named after V.D. Polenov. It is noteworthy that this initiative is also used to legalize the seizure of Ukrainian regions, the "incorporation" of which was announced in the aggressor state in September last year. It is emphasized that Nikolayev exchanged postal cards with "colleagues in the new regions." It is clear that the "embroidered map of Russia" implies the placement of embroideries of the nationalities of the peoples absorbed by Russia and could be interpreted as a manifestation of hidden separatism. However, in the context of the war that Russia is waging against Ukraine, which is not successful for the Kremlin, it is worth saying that Russia is using the mobilization resource of regions and nationalities in this way, creating illusions of equality between regions and ethnic groups. It is also worth noting that the "project" of "embroidered Russia" itself looks like a continuation of Russia's traditional appropriation, in the form of appropriating someone else's cultural heritage, as well as forms of cultural life and methods of shaping cultural and ideological space. In particular, we are talking about Ukrainian heritage. Because the whole world knows about Ukraine, including through the popularity of Ukrainian embroidery and vyshyvanka. What is especially piquant in this situation is that Russians are actually extremely irritated at all levels by Ukrainian identity, one of the main manifestations of which is embroidery. Carriers of the "Russian world" ideology come out in force on Vyshyvanka Day and on derivatives of this initiative in the form of, for example, an embroidered map of Ukraine (held, for example, in 2016 in Lviv). Russian anger is transformed into devaluation and ridicule. At the same time, Russians see the effectiveness of Ukrainian cultural initiatives and apologize for them, believing that they can achieve the same success. The initiative of the Russian authorities in the form of an "embroidered map of Russia" can be compared to similar initiatives of Stalin and the leadership of Red Russia during World War II in the format of the "great Patriotic War." The defeats of 1941-1942 showed that communist ideology is incapable of acting as an effective mobilization tool and a real value. Then there was a return to the use of "traditional values" - ethnic and religious ones - and their "rehabilitation". In the context of the so-called "SVO," the Kremlin is using the capabilities of the regions to conduct effective mobilization. Since last year, we have seen this appeal to regional and ethnic identities. Local volunteer battalions are being formed in the ethnic subjects of the federation, bearing names associated with the republics (emphasized ethnic) and the names of national heroes. These structures are also partially funded by the regions. Of course, this is a fiction. Such formations have no national character. At the same time, Moscow is parasitic on Russian nationalism. Thus, concealing the Kremlin's insincerity and using regional and multi-ethnic potential in the war in Russia's interests is done with the help of an "embroidered map of Russia" and postcards with it. The project keeps regional or ethnic identity within the framework that does not allow it to develop into real separatism.

2. North Caucasus, Ingushetia. Regarding the Ingush Liberation Army

Chevron of the future army of Ingushetia

On July 15, representatives of the Ingush National Movement announced the introduction of a single military chevron of the Ingush Liberation Army. The creation of this structure was announced in April 2023 by the Committee for Ingush Independence, which, in turn, was established in early 2023. It is stated that Russia "has repeatedly demonstrated its inability to comply with the agreements". In this regard, the army will help the Ingush to protect their interests and prevent the Russians from dragging the Ingush people into a "new adventure." "The decision is also aimed at restoring the territorial integrity of Ingushetia and protecting its borders from possible aggressive actions by Russian satellites." The thesis about the actions of "Russian satellites" refers to the territorial dispute with Chechnya, led by dictator Kadyrov, which has taken away some territory from Ingushetia, as well as the unfinished conflict with North Ossetia-Alania, which controls the Prigorodny district, which the Ingush consider their territory. Regarding the chevron of the Ingush Liberation Army, it is noted: "The military chevron was made on the basis of a drawing of one of the Ingush warriors who gave his life in the fight against the occupiers (may Allah accept his shahada). Description: The round shape of the chevron symbolizes the traditional Ingush shield, which represents the protection of our people from external threats and aggression. The naked swords in the center symbolize the unity and valor of our warriors who are ready to defend freedom and justice. This chevron is not only a symbol of our army, but also a reminder of the selfless deeds of our mujahidin soldiers who sacrifice their lives in the fight against tyrannies."

3. The Far East. Buryatia. On the Congress of Buryat Political Organizations for Independence in New York

On July 23, the Congress of Buryat Political Organizations was held in New York (USA). The event was attended by delegates from Erketen, Tusgaar Buryad Mongolia, and the Buryat People's Congress, the most influential representative structures of the Buryat people. The main decisions of the Congress of Buryat Political Organizations: 1. Condemnation of Russian aggression against Sakartvelo, Syria, Ichkeria (Chechnya), and Ukraine. The non-recognition of the occupation of Crimea and other Ukrainian territories is emphasized. 2. Condemnation of the mobilization of the Buryat population into the Russian Armed Forces, which is a hidden form of genocide carried out by Moscow against the Buryat nation. 3. Seek recognition of the genocide of Buryats committed by the USSR in 1937, the illegality of renaming the republic in 1958, and acts of linguistic violence in 1973 and 2014. 4. Seek recognition of the sovereignty of the Buryat Republic and prepare the ground for secession from the Russian Federation. 5. Create a Buryat Independence Committee to coordinate the actions of the Buryat national movement on the way to secession from the Russian Federation. Struggle for the return of Buryat territories illegally alienated by Russia.

The Congress adopted a resolution (attached).

Declaration of Buryats seeking independence

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