Former Ukrainian FM says Russia’s protest potential hinges on economic developments

16 October 2022, 06:04 PM
Rally in Moscow (Photo:REUTERS/REUTERS PHOTOGRAPHER)

Rally in Moscow (Photo:REUTERS/REUTERS PHOTOGRAPHER)

Protests in Russia would become significant once provinces start demanding economic autonomy from Moscow, former Ukrainian Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko told NV Radio on Oct. 16.

“Protests in Russia could have impact only after (Russian) regions start to feel that Moscow is losing its grip,” said Ohryzko.

“The Russian people is a servile one, with no conception of liberty, autonomy, or initiative. But they are keenly aware when their Tsars turn out to be false and ineffective, quickly turning towards looking for a new one.”

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According to Ohryzko, regions like the Urals or Siberia demanding economic freedoms for themselves could lead to the unraveling of the Russian Federation.

“(Russian) regions will find their strength once they see nothing but internal squabbles in Moscow and a total lack of domestic or international respect for (Russian dictator Vladimir) Putin,” he added, suggesting this would prompt regional elites to strive for greater independence from the Kremlin.

Ohryzko said this process could become a cascading one, just like the way in which the Soviet Union unraveled – with one “republic” after another declaring independence.

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