“The attack on Tatarstan has begun, and Kashin is on its front flank”
Kashin and Zhirinovsky have criticized Tatarstan. Who declared an information war on Kazan?
An information attack has begun on Tatarstan, experts believe. In recent days, criticism of the republic from various speakers has become more frequent. Especially in this work, journalist Oleg Kashin and politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky have “distinguished themselves”. The correspondent of Realnoe Vremya investigated what is behind such “attacks” on the region.
“There are many carriers of Imperial sentiments in Russia”
Various speakers criticize Tatarstan from time to time in the information field: some are outraged by the rights that the republic has within the framework of federal relations, while others “notice” national and religious problems. Especially journalist Oleg Kashin and politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky have “distinguished themselves” in this activity.
Kashin called Tatarstan “an independent Albania” and approved the abolition of compulsory native language learning. He also expressed indignation that the government of the Republic of Tatarstan has a lot of Tatar surnames. He shared his thoughts on Komsomolskaya Pravda radio.
Realnoe Vremya experts noticed a certain trend in such information attacks on the republic and federalism, pointing to the work of certain Kremlin officials.
But, for example, political expert Abbas Gallyamov did not notice an increase in anti-Tatar rhetoric.
“Kashin — an imperialist, and Zhirinovsky — a secret marker of the government's policies”
Maksim Shevchenko, a journalist and politician, was the most categorical about Kashin and Zhirinovsky.
He explained his absence in Komsomolskaya Pravda as “a whole special operation of the presidential administration of the Russian Federation” to oust him from the air, and Kashin took his place, because now internationalists are not in the trend.
“The modern Russian government relies on chauvinism, primitive imperialism and on inciting animal xenophobic sentiments in the country," Shevchenko said. “They introduced into the Constitution the point about the only people who form the state. Naturally, they need to intimidate the Tatar people and destroy the principles of interethnic peace and harmony that exist in Tatarstan.
They are afraid that successful Tatarstan, where Tatars, Russians, Finno-Ugric and many other peoples live, which does not know the problems of interethnic relations by and large, is an example for other peoples of the Volga Region, who are more and more asking themselves the question: “Why are we so poor and ruined, when Tatarstan shows such successful development trends nearby?" Of course, there are internal complaints against Tatarstan, but in general, the difference is obvious.
So, naturally, the attack began. And old Nazi Kashin, who fully supports relations with Kiriyenko's employees and may be financed by them, is on the front flank of this attack. And Zhirinovsky is a political clown who can always be called to the Old square and assigned to do this or that. Everything is clear here: these are the voices that voice the policy that exist in the Kiriyenko apparatus.
“We need to give the same rights to all other regions”
Political expert and sociologist Boris Kagarlitsky believes that the criticism levelled at Kazan by various media figures is the inertia of the policy that was carried out in 2019, when “the Kremlin decided to eliminate the remnants of regional autonomy of the autonomous regions, the embodiment of which, as we know, was Tatarstan with its specific agreements between Kazan and the federal centre”.
“But the problem needs to be solved from the opposite side: we do not need to take away Tatarstan's autonomy, but we need to give the same rights to all other regions. We all now see how weak the Russian regions are.
The coronavirus has revealed how weak the regions were when they were told: “Fight the epidemic yourself”. And the regions found themselves unable to [fight the pandemic]. The real problem is not that Tatarstan has too many rights, but that the Russian regions have too few. This is a problem of the whole Russian life structure: it will be solved with the improvement of the state (which will happen quite soon).
Remembering the old
It should be noted that Oleg Kashin has previously spoken about the republic in a negative way. For example, he opposed naming Kazan Airport after poet Gabdulla Tukay, saying that Kazan is “more of a Russian city”. He also expressed his position on the situation with language teaching in Tatarstan. In particular, he stated that “if a person does not want to learn the Tatar language, he has the right not to learn it.”
Before that, Vladimir Zhirinovsky repeatedly made claims to the republic. A week earlier, the LDPR leader suggested that food collected in Tatarstan for those in need during the pandemic should be distributed to residents of neighbouring regions. Before that, the politician claimed that Kazan was allegedly “flooded with money”, instead of supporting the Russians.
The politician was also irritated by the fact that Tatarstan “takes all bonuses”" (stadiums, roads, infrastructure), which, in his opinion, should be distributed to other regions. Besides, he proposed to rename the republic the Kazan Province and opposed the extension of the agreement on the division of powers between Tatarstan and the federal centre. The ethnic regions, whose rights are enshrined in the Constitution, he called “the main vice of the country”.
In turn, the Kazan Kremlin and President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov did not ignore Zhirinovsky's words and gave their answers to such statements.