People’s Republics: Summating the Donbass Socio-Political and Economic Experience

Small Logo By: Eduard Popov – translated by Jafe Arnold

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The Center for Syncretic Studies is honored to present our Russian colleague, Dr. Eduard Popov’s recent article featured in the journal Post-Soviet States: 25 Years of Independent Development published under the editorship of the famous expert on the South Caucasus and Doctor of Historical Sciences, Alexander Krylov (Moscow) from the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences. We thank Dr. Krylov for generously allowing us the opportunity to translate and publish this article by Popov, supplemented and updated specifically for the Center for Syncretic Studies and Fort Russ. This article is based on the findings of expert and sociological surveys conducted by the author in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in 2015-2016 mainly among the military, political, and business elites of both republics, as well as among trade union members.

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Russian Spring: The Socio-Political Dynamics of the Donbass Independence Movement

old-english-calligraphy-alphabet-the rise of the protest movement in Donbass (and other regions of historical Novorossiya) which resulted in the proclamation of the People’s Republics, was a reaction to the coup d’etat in Kiev and aggressive Russophobic policies. It is no accident that the first legislative step of the new Ukrainian authorities was abolishing the language law, ratified in 2003 by the Verkhovna Rada in line with the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, which effectively pushed the Russian language out of the educational and cultural-information space of Ukraine. However, the popular movement in Donbass at the end of winter and spring 2014 also had deeper motives. The proclamation of the people’s republics of Donbass was a logical reaction to the dismantling of Ukrainian statehood as it had been formed in the framework of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. The new Ukrainian authorities violated the tacit social contract of loyalty to the existing state in exchange for a guaranteed minimum of cultural-linguistic rights for the regions of the “South-East” (historical Novorossiya). Continue reading

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CSS participates in conference: “History and Perspectives of Cooperation between Slavic Countries”

SealBy: Jafe Arnold – CSS liaison to Poland

CSS participates in conference: “History and Perspectives of Cooperation between Slavic Countries”

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Photo credit: Tomasz Trump

On December 10th in Wroclaw, Poland, the Association for Poland-East Cooperation hosted an interdisciplinary conference entitled “History and Perspectives of Cooperation between Slavic Countries.” Organized by the Grunwald Patriotic Workers Union, the conference brought together a diverse range of scholars, activists, and organizations to discuss the many facets of historical and contemporary ties between the Slavic states of Eurasia. The Center for Syncretic Studies was represented at the event by its Poland-based researcher and liaison Jafe Arnold.

The broad subject of the conference was matched by the equally broad spectrum of participating individuals and organizations. The organizing group, the Grunwald Patriotic Workers Union, is itself one of the handful of initiatives that have appeared on the Polish political scene over the past few years with the aim of bridging the gap between “right” and “left” in approaching the issues of national sovereignty and social justice in Poland. Grunwald’s representatives opened the conference specifically by referencing the need to approach the history and prospects of cooperation between Slavic peoples from a variety of perspectives. The end goal was declared to be the constructive affirmation of Poland’s past with an eye to collaborating on envisioning a sovereign future for the country currently subject to US-NATO occupation. Grunwald was joined in this endeavor by representatives of the political party Zmiana, the Center for Sustainable Development, the Association for Poland-East Cooperation, the Faithful to Sovereign Poland Association, Falanga, the Center for Syncretic Studies, the All Slavs Committee, and a number of guest professors from Polish universities.  Continue reading

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The Russian Spring in Donbass

War and Statecraft in the Donetsk People’s Republic 

flag-novorossiya2.jpg By: Dmitry Muza – translated by Jafe Arnold

Dmitry Evgenyevich Muza is a doctor of philosophical sciences, a correspondent-member of the Crimean Academy of Sciences, a professor at the Department of Sociology at Donetsk State University of Management, a professor at the Department of International Relations and Foreign Policy at Donetsk National University, and the co-chairman of the Izborsk Club of Novorossiya (Donetsk People’s Republic)

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Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 20.57.26y including the processes and event-related phenomenon “Russian Spring,” “war,” and “statecraft” in the title of this article, I am by no means implying any kind of intellectual provocation or attempting to realize a political order. On the contrary, the intended position here can be associated with the existence of millions of people who have in one way or another engaged (during wartime) in the creation of a completely distinct region, a will and fate of more than just one century tied to the fate of the Russian world.

Proposed below is a feasible analysis of three interrelated events: the “Russian Spring” in Donbass, the war [1], and attempts at state-building, each of which deserves separate reflection and evaluation from the position of both an “internal” and “external” observation.

All of these factors, I believe, are tied to an immanent logic which can be articulated as a centripetal process of reintegrating Donbass into the Russian civilizational, i.e., Russian-Eurasian, Orthodox space.[2]

In addition, a general exposition of what is happening in Donbass and with Donbass today requires some clarification of the region’s pre-crisis state. Such a clarification concerns both the recent and distant past directly associated with the region under consideration. By going through these layers of history, I intend to show the composition of Donbass in relation to the larger Russian civilizational space. 

First of all, it is necessary to recall that the now forgotten regional referendum of March 27th, 1995 in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions was intended to restore socio-economic ties with the Russian Federation and enshrine the Russian language as a regional one in functional norms. Of no small importance is that this referendum was consistent with the Ukrainian law “On all-Ukrainian and local referendums,” but was still ignored by Ukrainian authorities. Secondly, it was Russian Donbass that accounted for the electoral base of Presidents Kuchma and Yanukovych who flirted with the ideas of closer integration with Russia and the Russian language (granting it a special status). Thirdly, there were considerable expectations surrounding the post-Maidan congress in Northern Donetsk in November of 2004 which expressed the region’s collective will on establishing genuine federalization, including economic autonomy for the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Fourthly, it is important to emphasize that the significance of the recent “Euroregion Donbass” project which involved the Rostov, Belgorod, and Voronezh regions from Russia and the Donetsk and Lugansk provinces from Ukraine entailed tightening their cooperation, albeit with European investments and guidance. Continue reading

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An overview of Syncretism in Russia: Orthodoxy and Sovietism

socialist-clipart-K9cR4BbTeBy: Padraig McGrath

The Synthetic Public Ideology of Putin’s Russia

The reconstruction of the Cathedral of Saint Alexander Nevsky is a microcosm of a broad social reality

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OLDENGLIituated adjacent to the Crimean Parliament building in Simferopol, the newly rebuilt Cathedral of Saint Alexander Nevsky is a magnificent structure. Gilded onion-domes, Greco-Roman columns and pediments – it looks every bit as classy as a well financed Orthodox cathedral should be. On entering, a question occurs to me, however – why are the icons not completely flat? The depictions of the various saints seem almost crypto-Catholic, more three-dimensional than you’d expect, not like Byzantine iconography. Novgorod it ain’t.

My friend Nikita explains that the local bishop is a western Ukrainian, so this style of iconography just seems more natural to him. Locals refer to it as “Disney-style.” I smile at this answer – is there a residual attempt toward “Ukrainianization” at work? Nikita doesn’t think so – any Orthodox bishop in present-day Crimea pushing an agenda of “Ukrainianization” on any level whatsoever would very quickly find himself without an office – sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

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Contact Lines: An Interview with Manuel Ochsenreiter

NR_STARBy: James Porrazzo – US Political Advisor to CSS, Founder of New Resistance

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Open Revolt is always pleased to feature the work of revolutionary journalist Manuel Ochsenreiter.  Recently, our own James Porrazzo had the chance to talk about recent world news, events and related ideas with Manuel.  It’s eye opening to compare what Manuel has experienced directly with the lies and distortions from the mainstream media and their lackeys.

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