Russian Nationalists Fear Rise of Obama-Like Leader in Their Country
by Paul Goble

On-going series: Crisis in the Caucasus - 2008
The Russian / Georgian Conflict and Its Impact on Azerbaijan

Window on Eurasia: Original Blog Article

Vienna, November 11 - Some Russian nationalists are expressing concern about the victory of Barak Obama in the US presidential elections less because they think that he will pursue a radically different anti-Russian policy than because they fear that he will serve as a model for non-Russians in their own country to try to assume the highest offices there.

But while the opinions of these nationalists are far more extreme than those held by most Russians, they represent a dangerous style of paranoid politics in that country, one all the more threatening because the Russian government has in some cases encouraged and on many occasions failed to counter such views.

In a posting on his blog, picked up by the New Region news agency, Andrei Savelyev, a former Duma deputy who heads the far-right Great Russia Party, argues Obama's victory marks "the beginning of a new era" in which minorities will take revenge on formerly dominant titular nationalities.

Consequently, Savelyev says, "Obama is a symbol of approaching national catastrophes" for large countries in general and Russia in particular because for many years, the leaders of the Russian Federation have copied whatever Washington has done, something that he suggests is why Russia is in its current crisis.

For most Russians, he continues, there was "no difference" between McCain and Obama. "But for those who follow politics, the difference is extremely great." That is because the world crisis now requires the US to adopt "an entirely new course, which is no less dangerous for the fate of Russian statehood than that of Ronald Reagan was" for the Soviet Union.

The election of Obama ­ "a representative of an ethnic and even a racial minority" ­ "can be repeated in Russia in the future" and by the same means, "an alliance of various minorities" that will work together and count on divisions within "the majority" nationality in order to defeat its candidate.

According to Savelyev, non-whites will form the majority of the population of the United States by mid-century and the minorities will, thanks to block voting by them and the failure of the white majority to do the same, be in a position to "dominate" the country by taking the most important offices.

But this change in the US has more far-reaching consequences, the Russian nationalist says. "In fact, in the US is being realized a model of world politics which small groups acting together and combining their forces begin to dominate over historical nations." As a result, he says, "the major nations, above all the European and Christian ones" will be destroyed.

In Russia, too, Savelyev insists, "the minorities are forming into an international of their own and are preparing to take revenge on the Russian people, presenting it as a colonizer and occupier and transforming it from a dominating and leading majority into an oppressed minority."

If in the US, this means the passing from the scene of the WASPs, "in Russia," he says, it means the demise "of the indigenous Russians (Great Russians and Orthodox)." And consequently, Savelyev concludes, there are "difficult times ahead" for him and his fellow Russians.

But in fact, the future would be far more "difficult" for both non-Russians and Russians if Savelyev were able to impose his views, and consequently, it is incumbent on all who care about human rights to expose and counter people like Savelyev rather than assuming as is often the case now that his outrageous notions will collapse and die on their own.

Back to Goble Index

Back to Crisis in the Caucasus - Index

AI Home Page | Magazine Choice | Topics | Store | Contact us