Vyacheslav Mikhailov: "Vladimir Putin reanimated recovery processes of friendship of peoples"
Vestnik Kavkaza spoke with the head of the Department of National and Federative Relations of RANEPA, doctor of historical science Vyacheslav Mikhailov about the changes that have occurred in the area of interethnic relations in Russia and the North Caucasus in particular over the past years.
- Vyacheslav Alexandrovich, in your opinion, what changes in the area of relations between nations have occurred in Russia over the past 10 years?
- I don't want to jinx it. Nevertheless, I want to say that the situation in the area of national relations has improved considerably both in the Caucasus and in Moscow, and in Russia as a whole. It's an amazing thing, because no one can explain exactly why, what is the reason. Why the situation is like that?
To a certain extent, Vladimir Putin has reanimated certain activities in the humanitarian area, in the area of interethnic relations, which existed in the Imperial Russia and in the Soviet Union. Right now I can't remember the author's name, but newspaper had a small article called "I want return to prison in homeland", it was about how after the Caucasian War, royal government began to carry out a surprisingly logical and very effective national policy. In terms of religious pluralism and in other forms. In the end, there was a friendship between the Cossacks, local population and others.
Today we are trying to discredit the friendship of peoples, that there was no friendship, but it really existed. There was a certain policy associated with movies, literature, art. Everything was aimed at forming united society - Soviet nation. And our president reanimated some of these things, but most importantly, he actually led our country and our society to the restoration of link of times. After all, in 1917 we abruptly cut off, casted away a huge empire. Then, little by little, before the war, the position of reanimation of these things that we call patriotism and internationalism has started.
Putin grasped this position, that the economy is very important, but we are a multinational country, and, of course, recurrence of the collapse of the Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union had great prospects unless we change policy in this regard. People felt it - areturn to traditional values.
- If we talk about the North Caucasus, how the situation in the area of interethnic relations has changed in this region?
- The historical achievement of Vladimir Putin, of course, was associated with the end of the Chechen war, which became aggressive and already turned into terrorism. It was not Daesh yet, but almost Daesh. Those were terrible things. But thank God two talented man of our era have met - Akhmad Kadyrov and Vladimir Putin. You know that Akhmad Kadyrov was basically an ideologist of Dudayev's movement. But Dudayev's movement did not begin as terrorism. Dudayev's movement was a fight for a different form of organization of the Chechen state. But when this fight actually began to turn into terrorism, Salafism, Wahhabism, Akhmad Kadyrov realized that it threatens his Chechen nation, above all. He was a patriot of his country, his nation. And thank God they understood each other.
Yes, this problem was not completely resolved, there is a certain phase. But in general, there is a trend of stabilization and integration. It doesn't matter if we want to admit it or not, but Dudayev's movement was very popular in the Caucasus. And Dudayev himself was an extraordinary man. There is no doubt that this stabilization in the center of the Caucasus had a positive impact.
- What about Russia's two new regions - Crimea and Sevastopol?
- For me, of course, there are no dilemmas regarding Crimea. It is obvious that Crimea and Russia are an inseparable whole, it is the spirit of people, it is Sevastopol, that's all we understand. And a tragedy. For quarter of a century I have worked in the western regions and in the eastern regions of Ukraine. I always tell my friends: you, Ukraine, you had this gem, Crimea and Sevastopol, why were you unable to hold on to it? You treated this region and these people as stepsons. But people rose up. And the reunification with Russia became a very powerful stabilizer, including stabilization in terms of strengthening unity within the Russian state.