Russia, an empire of racism

Putin is cleansing non-Slavic populations in Russia through mobilization, writes Krzysztof Karnkowski

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: Krzysztof Karnowski
In this image taken from a video, Russian draftees gather inside an indoor stadium turned into collection center for the draftees, who will be sent to the military units of the Eastern Military District, in Yakutsk, Russia, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo)

Vladimir Putin is cleansing the non-Slavic populations of Russia, as mobilization among its non-Slavic populations emounts to a much bigger percentage than among ethnic Russians.

This side aspect of this war, concerning Russia itself more than Ukraine, is often missed by the West. It is curious, as it is the West that likes to play the role of the guardian of equality, is usually so sensitive to all kinds of racism, and so often tries to find it everywhere.

But racism in Russia is not seen by the left — even by the part that opposes Putin not to mention the other side that is still blindly in love with Russia. Systemic racism is doing very well in Russia. It is nothing new, but when new recruits for cannon fodder need to be sent to the front lines, it gains a new meaning.

Racism created modern Russia — not just in the times of internal conflicts but also when there was peace. The popularity of the country’s neo-Nazi groups could be seen by the entire world when YouTube was launched. These videos featured perky, young Russians who presented their fellow citizens from the Caucasus region as vermin – in line with classic, Nazi ideology.

In rental ads for apartments, Slavic looks have always been a requirement. People from the Caucasus earn less at home than anywhere less, so they are forced to seek happiness in wealthier cities, where they are treated as sub-human, called “blacks,” and oppressed physically and economically.

Now, these groups are the main source of manpower for military conscription. Mobilization among non-Slavic populations amounts to a much bigger percentage than among white, Slavic Russians. Sometimes entire villages are conscripted. The holes left in those communities will not just go away, which is why there is loud resistance on an unprecedented scale in the Russian Federation in remote provinces such as Dagestan.

Under the pretext of war or the special operation (in this context, terminology has little importance), Putin is conducting ethnic cleansing against vast territories of the country; in this aspect, his tenure is becoming similar to Joseph Stalin. War losses of non-Slavic Russians are several times higher than of Slavs.

The Soviet Union was sometimes called a prison of nations. A Russia that is sending its own citizens to get massacred takes it a step further: it is the executioner of nations. A Russian passport for many is now a death sentence.

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