The Finno-Ugric cause and Muscovite aggression against Ukraine
History does not know and does not tolerate the subjunctive mood, which is why, like veritata magistra vitae, it forces descendants to correct the mistakes of their ancestors. Not infrequently, and sometimes, even often, the process of correction is a rather bloody lesson for an entire generation that has just risen to its feet in the big world. The Finno-Ugric world, when viewed as a separate closed linguistic and cultural super-community (in a broader sense, a kind of civilization), is one of those that, moreover, is still little explored in Ukraine.
The large-scale Muscovite military aggression carried out against the dignity of Slavic Ukraine, starting from February 24, 2022, opened a real window of opportunity for the hitherto oppressed small ethnic groups of the large Ural family: Moksha, Erzya, Mari, Udmurts, Karelians, Khanty, Izhorians, Veps, Selkups, Nganasans. After all, from the moment of its appearance among the Meryan swamps in the 12th century the all-powerful Kremlin has chosen for itself a policy (from which it has never retreated a single step!) the conquest of neighbouring lands, including because of the destruction of the autochthonous population. Since then and to this day, countless Finno-Ugric peoples who managed to survive and preserve their own identity in the millstones of the terrible Muscovite despotism have been and remain in the status of a low-grade population, internal aliens, if not worse – talis exhibitio ad experimentum.
An unprovoked attack from the East (but not the Orient), where the sunlight, as we know, usually comes every morning, once again shrouded in darkness, burning ash and rivers of blood flooded the Ukrainian lands. Into the biggest hell in the 21st century war, the Chekist regime abandoned those who are not sorry, and who pose a danger to the ubiquitous centralized vertical of the Kremlin’s authorities. So they do not need any ethnic/national minorities (i.e. “non-Russian”/“non-Muscovite” indigenous peoples) inside such a super-artificial entity as the Russian Federation, nor quite understandably independent national states in the neighbourhood of the evil empire that was not finished in 1991, therefore, that prevent the restoration of long-dead greatness.
At the basement of a new awakening of the Finno-Ugria
We are witnessing a turning point in history, when the seemingly insidious war against Ukraine provides an opportunity not only for the peaceful national and cultural awakening of the Finno-Ugrians nowadays in Muscovy, gaining true self-awareness, but also for their independence – the final acquisition of their own state sovereignty, promised yet President Boris Yeltsin 30 years ago. At the same time, one should recognize and reject the fact that the previous forms and organizations of sociopolitical activity have exhausted themselves: most of the unions of the indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation (the Association of Finno-Ugric peoples, the Union of the Karelian people, the Komi voityr association, the Mari Ushem movement, the Udmurt Kenesh association and some others) are directly or indirectly controlled by special services (FSB), making it impossible for development and any cooperation with fellow tribesmen in Finland, Estonia, and Hungary. The Finno-Ugric problem is the second after the Ukrainian (more broadly Slavic) question, which the Kremlin seeks to neutralize and resolve through complete denial, i.e. extermination and/or total assimilation – i.e. where yesterday there had been Mokshas, but in a strange way appeared as “Russians”/“Muscovites”.
Fictional by red-brown pseudo-ideologists at the turn of the epochs, the “Russian world” requires the blurring of clear ethnic and national boundaries, the creation of a totalitarian dystopia, the multiplication of the offspring of homo sovieticus – “Russians” – without a definite, even partial, own identity. We must understand that when in Ukraine (on the immediate front) the executors of the will of the Kremlin are engaged in an outright genocide of its indigenous people, then within the limits of the Finno-Ugric peoples (in the hostile rear), an equally heinous crime continues to be committed – ethnocide and forced remelting of the previously listed minorities (from Moksha and Erzya to Karelians and Nenets) into an integral part of the substance under the name “Russian people”. They are deprived of their mother tongue from childhood (in schools, the study of non-Russian language is reduced to an elective 1-2 hours a week!), they take away the feeling of belonging to their ethnic group, introducing them to an artificially constructed supranational surrogate, and in addition, worst of all, they are sent to the army (in fact, the occupation-terrorist contingent) as “cannon fodder” to carry out the tasks determined by the gang of Vladimir Putin.
The absence of their own long national-state history and the withering (in fact, mimicry and adaptation to new conditions) of folk traditional culture contributed to the fact that the Finno-Ugric peoples almost completely assimilated someone else’s. As a result, due to such acculturation, which the Kremlin is systematically engaged in, and other forced integration processes, they acquired the character of hard assimilation with the help of Russification: first in the urban environment, and now we are already seeing it in the rural environment. Do not forget about another black method of the empire – the encouragement of interethnic marriages, in which it may turn out that a son or daughter personally chooses a third or different affiliation, separate from their parents (Udmurt father + Komi mother = Russian child), despite the blood connection with the ancestors on both lines.
Therefore, representatives of the multi-million Finno-Ugric tribe settled in the triangle between the Ladoga lake, the Taimyr peninsula and the lower reaches of the Volga river are gradually losing their own identity, and each subsequent generation is assimilated by the efforts of the current adherents and propagandists of the “Russian world”. Although not all indigenous peoples have a critical situation, as it seems at first glance. For example, today only the Mari, Erzya, Udmurts and Komi have seen a revival of national consciousness, which from year to year is supported by independent (non-governmental) organizations designed to become the basis of future state structures in the event of disintegration and fragmentation of the Russian Federation, and therefore further independent (sovereign) the existence of the Finno-Ugric peoples, whose reference point is Finland, Estonia and Hungary, whose citizens are partly involved mainly as observers and advisers, but in fact they have long needed specific professional and comprehensive assistance in order to free their fellow tribesmen from the predatory clutches of Muscovy.
The despotic principle of Muscovy: coniunge et impera
It is clear that the military aggression against Ukraine is the final nail in the coffin of the empire, which until now has stood like a Colossus on feet of clay. The reason why the Finno-Ugrians of the resource federation did not rise from their knees and did not even begin to demand even peacefully gaining their own sovereignty is also obvious: the mass demoralization of indigenous peoples from the great mythical Kalev’s tribe scattered by endless spaces, and therefore the national amorphousness and forgetfulness of their ethnic “Ego” (i.e., the lack of awareness of separation from the general Russian population). Elias Simojoki, a leading ideologist of Finnish nationalism, a Lutheran pastor and a veteran of several wars against the Soviet Russia, wrote about this shameful phenomenon of the withering away and extinction of the autochthonous people of the Volga region or Idel-Ural 100 years ago.
His eloquent testimony should be cited, reflecting the shameful reality already in the 21st century: «[…] the shattered Finnic tribe united one day, with borders that correspond to our tribal area. The Proto-Finnic people were shattered centuries ago, although at one time they spread from the Altay Mountains across all central and northern Russia, and the southern border of their territory stretched from the Bay of Riga to the south of where Moscow is now, to the great Samara bend. Many of our lost and shattered brethren people already have vanished into the endless steppes of Russia, but remaining shards by the banks of the Volga, Oka, Kama, Ob, Pechora, Vychhegda, Irtysh, and Danube, in the areas of Kazan, Tver, Novgorod, and St. Petersburg tell of the monumental battles our people have had to endure during our millennia of wandering the desert. They have their own names, the Mordovian, the Vogul, the Vote, the Magyar; they all have their roots in the great Finnic tribe».
The current situation of the Finno-Ugrians within the Russian Federation is illusory and vague, if (or rather, when!) Their national movements do not find the strength to come out with a frank protest against the colonial policy of exploitation, assimilation and further humility. The aggression of Muscovy against Ukraine rejects the previous focus solely on the preservation of folklore, language, customs and traditions, because the concept of the rights of indigenous peoples, who are already deprived of such de facto (in the near future, more likely de jure) is much broader than supporting the creativity of even the best national amateur groups and festive events, like the Erzya Rasken Ozks. Dear Finno-Ugric neighbors, now is the time to gain your freedom with weapons in your hands, and not to waste the remnants of originality by singing and dancing!
Those who have forgotten, did not know or do not remember their own history will be forced to study someone else’s or its propaganda ersatz counterpart, since the holy place will not be empty if the demon takes the priest. Recall that the gradual awakening of the Finno-Ugric tribe was facilitated by the vigorous activity of the nationally conscious intelligentsia in the 19th-20th centuries – scientists and writers (Komi Ivan Kuratov, Erzya Anatoliy Riabov, Moksha Iosif Cherapkin, Udmurt Kuźebai Gerd etc.) have accumulated knowledge about the deep roots of their peoples, the identity of their cultures and the originality of languages. At the same time, already in the 21th century popular awakeners or the “Father of the Nation” must rely on the preserved heritage and begin to work non ab initio, but a limine.
That is why now next to the book there must be a gun or, even better, a machine gun. Erzyan Inäzor Boläeń Syreś proved this imperative by his own example, but his fellow tribesmen are still silent for the most part. After all, the alienated, aggressive policy of the Russian Federation towards its neighbours (primarily Ukraine!), to which the Finno-Ugric peoples actually have no claims due to the lack of a common border, is the measure that determines the Hamletian essence of these oppressed peoples: «To be or not to be»?
Actually, the eternal obsession of the Muscovite interior is known – the complete degeneration of the outskirts and the erasure of the identity of autochthonous foreigners. First, they reign, then the communists, and now… now beings “without clan and tribe” – an uncomplaining crowd, led by the crimson Kremlin into the abyss of evil and death – are waging dirty terror and genocide. As in the case of the Ukrainians, so in the Finno-Ugric question, the ancient principle of the strategic creation of the state and the retention of power, turned inside out, is implemented: unite and rule (without abandoning any moral and ethical norms).
Perhaps the problem also lies in the fact that the Bolsheviks should have been treated harshly – as say, in the same Bolshevik way, while with their ideological heirs probably already tougher: in Ukrainian with Cossack enthusiasm. We have not yet observed such resistance among the Finno-Ugric peoples at all levels within the Russian Federation. Having fallen into the hardened and yet strong networks of Russification, some of them have lost a long connection with their own ancestors, because of which they do not feel ethnicity at all, becoming “Russians”/“Muscovites”, but not Karelians or Mokshans, whose native language is the language father and mother – deliberately exchanged for “generally understandable” and lost in the human sea of obedient, impersonal, disenfranchised executors of the will of the next regime.
Finno-Ugric youth of the Russian Federation is a “cannon fodder” of the empire
The war against Ukraine has become a meat grinder (utilization boiler) for the disenfranchised indigenous peoples of the resource federation, whose passionate core is encouraged by various tricks to join the ranks of the occupation-terrorist contingent. Now those Finno-Ugric peoples who like to be called “Russians” but are still not “Muscovites” are pestering the proposals voiced by the Kremlin propaganda: some because of unemployment, others wanting to make a military career and earn extra money, and there are still others who are the most dangerous, because ideological. Fortunately, there are few of the latter, but they are present in the army of the aggressor country, in particular, they have already been seen along with the funny foot soldiers of Ramzan Kadyrov in Ukrainian territories (in Mariupol and Siverskodonetsk destroyed by the invaders).
Starting from June 2022, so-called volunteer battalions are being created in all subjects of the resource federation, and especially the national republics, in order to participate in the war against Ukraine. Organizational assistance to them is provided, among other things, by the local authorities (regional Dumas and governors): they provide these obviously terrorist formations with the necessary equipment, outfit and special equipment; additional payments are also provided for those wishing to leave to “defend Donbass” from the mythical “Ukronazis”. Now, in addition to the Kadyrovites (corrupt traitors to the Chechen people), volunteers from Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Tyva and Chuvashia have already left for the front, next in line are the Finno-Ugric regions of Komi, Udmurtia, Mari El, Erzya-Moksha Mordovia, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug-Yugra.
Future suicide squads are formed simultaneously from conscripts (aged 18 to 25) and reserve officers (aged 26 to 55), preference is given to young people from ethnic minorities, “who have not forgotten how to hold weapons in their hands, and who wish to fulfil your duty” in a foreign land. In some regions of Muscovy (the Republic of Karelia, the Tver oblast and the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug), even women are invited to the ranks of the occupying contingent, without specifying further actions in Ukraine. Contributing to this militaristic frenzy are also some public organizations that pretend to be fighting for the Finno-Ugric cause, but in fact are engaged in discrediting it to please the Kremlin.
Among the most notable and active stand out the pro-government Association of Finno-Ugric Peoples (AFUN) and the frankly marginal Tver regional public organization “Novaya Karelia” These structures not only parasitize on the Finno-Ugric theme, but also agitate young people to volunteer for a strange and unnecessary slaughterhouse, propagating outright Ukrainophobia. The common denominator is also the accusation against the Ukrainians that we allegedly do not distinguish Muscovites from… Moksha (sic!), which in fact is only a misinterpretation due to the mistakes of individual domestic historians who unconsciously played along with the enemy from the East, promulgating in 2000-2010 conclusions adapted to their own hypotheses based on medieval written sources.
In order not to be unfounded, one should cite eloquent quotes from the heads of these two pro-Kremlin “Finno-Ugric” organizations, who stand for the “unity and indivisibility” of the imperial state of the Russian Federation:
a) here is an excerpt from the public statement of AFUN (dated March 10, 2022): «We, representatives of the Finno-Ugric peoples of Russia, express our support to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, who made a decision to protect the rights and interests of the residents of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Luhansk People’s Republic”, forced and necessary measures to strengthen the security of our country. We believe that in modern society, the revival and spread of Nazi ideology, the manifestation of any form of discrimination based on language, nationality and religion is absolutely unacceptable. Our compatriots, relatives and friends live outside the Russian-Ukrainian border, who have become hostages of a policy aimed at inciting hatred and enmity in society. We express our solidarity with the residents of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Luhansk People’s Republic”, civilians of Ukraine and hope for the soonest establishment of peace and mutual understanding»;
b) and here is the official letter of appeal from “Novaya Karelia” addressed to the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu and the head of the National Guard of the Russian Federation Viktor Zolotov (dated July 12, 2022): «We are deeply convinced that those aggressive actions by the Ukrainian authorities and all sorts of Ukrainian activists, members of their paramilitary formations, which are being made in relation to the Hungarians of Transcarpathia – this is a direct challenge to the entire Finno-Ugric community and to us, the Tver Karelians, as an inseparable part of it. We hope that the Ministry of Defense and the National Guard will meet us and give the Tver Karelians and our youth the opportunity to form their own battalion or detachment to fight against Ukrainian neo-Nazis».
The general plan of Muscovy is obvious – the genocide of Ukrainians and the ethnocide of the Finno-Ugric peoples by the hands of both the former and the latter, but under the close control of the Kremlin and the timid contemplation of the independent Finno-Ugric states: Finland, Estonia and Hungary. Consequently, the following fateful question arises: will the Mari, Udmurts, Mokshans, Khanty, Komi, Mansi and others continue to pointlessly arrive in Ukraine to commit war crimes, or will they still rebel against the empire, realizing that Russian aggression bleeds their peoples, taking them to front passionary element – the so-called leadership of nations – future independent Finno-Ugric states from the White Sea to the lower reaches of the Volga and the Urals? (An important remark: the author of this text has Ukrainian and Moksha blood, and therefore calls on fellow tribesmen on the other side of the front to come to their senses and turn their bayonets in the opposite direction – against the tyranny of despotic Muscovy!).
Under the cover of Intermarium: Ukraine, Finno-Ugric peoples and the League of Free Nations
The large-scale Russian aggression showed how deep the crisis in general is in international collective security and European continental security in particular. A far-sighted and obvious response to these challenges is the formation of a new defense alliance (outside the structures of NATO and the EU) in the triangle between the Baltic, Adriatic and Black Seas (in the future, the Caspian Sea), where one of the leading roles will be played by Ukraine, whose army is now tempering his body and spirit in heavy battles with uninvited invaders. Foreigners are also fighting in the ranks of our army, among them are representatives of the Finno-Ugric peoples (Finns, Estonians, Hungarians, Erzyans, Karelians etc.), for whom resistance to dictatorship and craving for freedom is a vital imperative (if you want – credo), encouraging to fight to the bitter end, and hence, the disintegration and fragmentation of the resource federation of Muscovy.
These latter rallied in emigration in the League of Free Nations, designed to advance the dismantling of the Russian statehood, in its place, new non-artificial formations with real sovereignty, the right to self-determination (the principle of the presumption of subjectivity) will appear. The Ukrainians support their initiative, also because the indigenous peoples are no longer expendable, cannon fodder of the despotic regime, who die for nothing in the Donetsk and Tauride steppes. Just like the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Peoples, formed by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, and now the League of Free Nations does not require an appeal to anything to give them their own sovereignty, because their unification around the idea of a struggle for freedom and political subjectivity is already provoking a cumulative effect, which should be supported not only by Ukrainians, but also by those Finno-Ugric peoples who have their own statehood: Estonians, Finns and Hungarians.
The Finno-Ugric awakening, fuelled by the nationwide resistance of Ukrainians in this undeclared war, is a threat that the Kremlin fears! This happened twice in history: in 1917 and 1991, which means now for the third time (perhaps the last) the fate fell to complete the collapse of the empire, inflicting a final blow on the great-power and neo-colonial revanchism of Muscovy, ignoring the ethnic problem, linguistic and cultural the difference between the artificial formation of the Russian Federation, which arose on the ruins of the USSR. It is no longer a secret to anyone that the revolutionary national explosion among the oppressed “Russians”/“Muscovites” indigenous peoples, including the Finno-Ugric peoples, is a time bomb for the entire state structure of the Chekist regime, foreshadowing its death.
The western neighbours of Ukraine (Poland, Finland, the Baltic countries, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia and Romania) agreed to invest to the maximum in our victory over the aggressor, building the foundation of the Intermarium Union. In this perspective, the Finno-Ugric peoples gain their own state independence, whose representatives have not only found refuge in Kyiv and Warsaw in recent years, but also formed the anti-colonialist League of Free Nations. Consequently, the Russian war under the fictitious pretext of “denazification”, “demilitarization” and “assistance to Donbass” is gradually but surely heading towards defeat, opening in the firmament the much-desired liberation of non-Russian and non-Muscovite peoples from under someone else’s yoke.
Now we are already witnessing the emergence of a powerful anti-Moscow axis Kyiv-Warsaw-London-Washington, which is joined from the north by Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn and Helsinki, and from the south by Bucharest, Zagreb and Ljubljana. It is quite obvious that Saransk, Kazan and Ufa should definitely supplement this construction in the east, since the interstate security project of the countries of the Intermarium region needs fresh forces, which will be provided by the newly formed Finno-Ugric republics. Let for many readers the described seem like a utopian dream, but we must strive to realize it, primarily on the battlefield from the Dnipro to the Volga.
After all, the complete defeat of the Russian Federation, which is possible under certain conditions and appropriate circumstances (i.e., the complete victory of Ukraine in the war through the mediation of Intermarium partners), will eliminate the danger for Europe in its most reactionary form. Separation from it as much as possible of non-Moscow subjects of the federation (national republics, these main economic foundations of the living dead of Russian imperialism). It is important to note that the defeat and destruction of the state giant Muscovy is equally in the interest of both Europe and the Finno-Ugric peoples, who until now for the most part have not understood, have not realized this fateful fact.
Ukraine, Intermarium partners and the whole of Europe cannot guarantee continental peace except through the means of national defense, which provide for the liberation of the Finno-Ugric peoples. Therefore, the best situation for all of us is not the weakest possible Russian Federation, but its absence as a state on the world map, because ceterum censeo Moscoviae delendam esse! Kyiv, with the support of Helsinki, Tallinn and, possibly, Warsaw, should contribute (with money, weapons etc.) to the deployment of anti-Russian resistance among the Finno-Ugric peoples, the wide success of which is unlikely without the involvement of external factors.
In fact, this war has already been inscribed in history with the bloody pages of Bucha, Mariupol, Kremenchuk, as a war of those who fought for their freedom and fought for the sake of maintaining their own comfortable slavery (for example, the Buryats). What do the Finno-Ugric peoples of Muscovy choose? Our path lies to the boundless will, to the East – to where the infernal forces focus their energy on destruction and death, where the descendants of Kudym-Osh, Tyushten, Aryn Patyr bowed their heads silently and dejectedly, waiting for the first rays of the morning sun, as it is already descending over horizon after darkness and night.
So, in the end, I would like to recall again the in vocative Elias Simojoki words, that thunder from a clear sky is forced to contemplate in the direction of the Volga, Kama, Pechora and Ob, expecting an uprising of the oppressed descendants of the legendary Kalev: «Again we hear the storm gathering in the East. The Finnish people, divided by our own disagreements and in a time of great financial difficulty, will face this storm, whether we wish to or not. […] But if we were to only awaken to the fear of God and a living sense of nationalism, we could face this storm with confidence. Then, the Finnish people and tribe will find their place in the sun».
The freedom of peoples, including the Finno-Ugrians, means the state sovereignty of each people, its independence from any imperialist center, in our time – Russian, because human freedom means linguistic and cultural, political and economic democracy in the bosom of each nation. That is why the people of the free world, together with Ukrainians, Karelians, Bashkirs and others, must unite in the fight against the Russian Federation, whose existence is coming to an end. In hoc vinces!
Author – Denis Kovaliov (Čovhanuń Donisi),
Candidate of historical sciences (PhD),
Director of the Anatoliy Riabov Center of the Finno-Ugric Studies,
Founder of the Finland Research Center