“When walking, do not lift your head high, but look under your feet: firstly, they will think that you are modest; secondly, you can find something; and thirdly, you will never stumble!”
A wounded outraged beast can do terrible things and cause great harm to both enemies and friends. His attacks should be predicted and calculated, and then one should use the moment – manage to escape from the grasping paws of the aggressive creature at the moment of its greatest weakness. If we do not do this, if we do not realize the long-awaited chance for national sovereignty, then history can not forgive us for this and can not provide the second such gift.
Russia is currently weakening due to objective reasons: war, sanctions, oppressed demography, technological gap, international isolation. It also includes geopolitics that does not favor prosperity. One great power (USA) is a clear enemy, the other (China) is a cunning fellow traveler using you as a resource base. There are almost no friends. Friends, as a poet wrote, “various not those” – outcast countries, like Iran… There is no particular diversity in the prospects for today’s Russia. It is unlikely to succeed in destroying Ukraine and imposing on the whole world their understanding of the order of things, when the strong man is right and everyone must come to accept it. World civilization will not agree with this! The beast will have to hide in a den and growl from there to the whole world.
Many Tatars and Bashkorts today are lulled by undemanding Russian comfort and try not to look far ahead. And they hide all sorts of thoughts about possible cataclysms and hardships of the transitional period much deeper, fearing to lose even the little that they have. Is this correct? I doubt! The wave of political repressions that has swept across Russia in recent months especially clearly indicates the signs of the approaching “1937” – reprisals against dissenters, draconian prison sentences, electronic summons for “military slavery with the prospect of fast death”, a non-alternative ideological agenda… For his own safety, the beast in the den will devour its own cubs without any hesitation. We are going towards Cuba, Nicaragua with Venezuela or North Korea with Iran. It is well known that these countries are not distinguished with financial and political stability, the life of ordinary citizens there is difficult, scarce, and simply dangerous.
I would like to speak about the second scenario for the evolution of the events for our country in the near future (for three to five years). If the Russian Federation succeeds in stabilizing the front with Ukraine, intimidating democratic countries with tactical nuclear weapons, prolonging the time of its dying due to support from the same “frostbitten” allies, then the human rights situation in the country will still be truly terrifying, and the living standards of citizens will be permanently declining. Attachment to the current comfort will backfire both ethnic Russians and indigenous peoples!
In short, you need to be ready to save yourself, break with the empire and defend your rights in the struggle. This is the most correct decision at this stage. But prepare for the fact that the struggle will continue after the hypothetical gaining sovereignty. I would like to upset the visitors of forums on Telegram channels: first of all, it will be necessary to think not in the historical and ethnographic paradigm, not about the return of “historical ancestral lands”, not about what existed before – a Tatar egg or a Bashkort chicken. We will have to deal with a difficult and thankless job – state building, focusing on survival in the new difficult economic and political conditions.
Get ready to see: enterprises are closing – as it turned out, a significant part of them were closed to the military and industrial complex of the Russian Federation. At the moment how many enterprises work for the defense industry in the Republic of Tatarstan and Republic of Bashkortostan? Who will maintain these giant state factories? It is likely that most of them will die. The rest of the enterprises stop due to the break in production links: you are not supplied with raw materials for the production of your products, and you, in turn, cannot ship the ordered and manufactured product to your subcontractors. Simply put, one day EVERYTHING is closed – all plants and factories remain without raw materials, without orders, without working capital! The state has no money to pay salaries, pensions, benefits. Everything should be established again. To eliminate entire sectors of the economy that turned out to be uncompetitive and unnecessary in the new state. To develop a bankruptcy procedure. To organize a system of temporary employment for the unemployed. In such conditions, everyone begins to survive as best he can. Someone is engaged in suitcase trade, someone builds his “monkey – business” on the market, someone sells on the sidelines on a stool, someone breeds chickens on the balcony or keeps a goat in the apartment, regardless of the indignant cries of neighbors… Someone will become a bandit and will rob his fellow countrymen, regardless of nothing and no one… We will also have to organize a fight against this: to reform the police, the court, the prosecutor’s office, etc.
Hope for new markets for manufactured goods and “subsoil treasures” mined for sale, does not always come true. More often, the opposite happens – you lose your previous trade relations and cannot establish new ones, strong business players drive you away as undesirable competitors.
After the collapse of the USSR, at the dawn of their independence Estonians gave full citizenship to the directors of large enterprises, although they were Russians, and even former communists. It was a question of the survival of the entire nation and the revived young democratic state. They were realists, they were able to take dramatic and unpopular steps and therefore survived. Estonia joined the EU and the NATO defense alliance and today is reaping the fruits of its political courage, pragmatic wisdom and efforts to find its place on the world market.
And we should already now let go of the dreams of “aristocratic Bashkortostan for the Bashkorts” and “Tatar Kuwait.” Arab sheikhs have been going to their current wealth for decades. And in many ways they were just lucky, the trends for the request for oil and its offer coincided. If we get lucky similarly, that will be great, but be realistic, take a sober look at your economy. Evaluate your resources: financial, human, industrial, agricultural, educational, political (here again you can think about the Idel-Ural project – it is easier to survive together). Think about the prospects of keeping the social sphere afloat, protecting the poorest segments of the population and socially unadapted people, the functioning of the healthcare system and education. In the event of gaining independence, the task will be not to take away land from neighbors, but to organize a normal life on the existing one. Our revolutionary dreamers should be brought back a little to pragmatism, forced to look under their feet. Otherwise, the pensioners of the “crystal castles” will not understand and will not endure for a long time without pensions – they will smear the dreamer proposing unrealizable projects with tar, roll him in feathers and drive him away … This will be done by Russian pensioners, and Tatar ones, and even Bashkort ones. They will forget about the contradictions, about socialism, about the Great Turan, about Geyrop, about the Volga Switzerland … And it is hard to blame them, they will really want to eat. And the question of physical survival exacerbates emotions!
I advise a simple Tatar or Bashkort in a village, in a mono-town, even in the capital to understand: troubled times are inevitable for Russia. Get ready for them, and choose as leaders people who offer concrete steps and difficult solutions, there are no easy answers to difficult questions! In this case, the author focuses on sober-minded realist politicians: R. Kashapov and A. Abdrakhmanova – representatives of the Independent Government of Tatarstan, R. Gabbasov – the leader of the Bashkortostan national-democratic movement. The author is also a supporter of the concept of the Free Idel-Ural Federation of People.
And yet, dear countrymen, do not cling to the Russian “reliable ration”, it will shrink and be squeezed. If you just wait for the return of the old times, then you can die of hunger. In the better position will be those who will be able to make a difficult decision faster than others and stop clinging to the obsolete.