In Episode 118 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg explores the possibility that Putin’s criminal adventure in Ukraine could backfire horribly, actually portending the implosion of the Russian Federation into its constituent entities, the “autonomous” republics, oblasts and krais. Troops from Russia’s Far East were apparently involved in the horrific massacre at the Kyiv suburb of Bucha. But indigenous leaders from Siberia and the Russian Arctic are breaking with Moscow over the Ukraine war. Rumblings of separatist sentiment are now heard from Yakutia (Sakha), Khabarovsk, Kalmykia, Kamchatka, Tatarstan, Tuva, the Altai Republic, and the entirety of Siberia. China, which controlled much of what is now the Russian Far East until the 1850s, has its own expansionist designs on the region. Frederick Engels called for the “destruction forever” of Russia during the Crimean War, but it may collapse due to its own internal contradictions rather than Western aggression.
Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.
Books discussed: The Soviet Myth of World War II: Patriotic Memory and the Russian Question in the USSR by Jonathan Brunstedt; The Coming War Between Russia and China by Harrison E. Salisbury; The Breakdown of Nations by Leopold Kohr
Production by Chris Rywalt
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Erratum re. Siberia history and geography
The Amur River was established as the Russo-Chinese border in the 1858 Treaty of Aigun, but its southern tributary the Issuri was only added to the border line, further increasing Russia’s territory, in the 1860 Treaty of Peking.
The Republic of Tuva borders Mongolia on the the northwest (not northeast).
Dissident journalist predicts ‘breakup of Russia’
In an interview on UnHerd, Russian-born journalist and political scientist Sergej Sumlenny predicts that, within three to five years, Russia will break up into a group of independent states. He argues that Russia’s many ethnic states are perfectly poised for secession, some with long histories of agitation and others with a newfound resentment of Moscow in light of the war.