Staunton,November 8 – Thanks to the efforts of the Ukrainians and the Crimean Tatars,the entire world has been kept up to date about the ways in which Moscow hasmilitarized and repressed that occupied Ukrainian peninsula under the cloak ofthe war hysteria that the Kremlin has been promoting.
Butfar less attention has been given to the fact that Moscow is doing exactly thesame things and for exactly the same reasons in other border regions of theRussian Federation and the exclave of Kaliningrad in particular, Kseniya Kirillovasays, noting that these are “twin links” in a single imperial chain (afterempire.info/2018/11/08/kenig-repression/).
Moscow has made this clear, theUS-based Russian journalist says, in articles like that of Boris Dzhereliyevskyin the influential Voyennoye obozreniye wherehe stresses that the military threat from NATO means that the Russianauthorities must suppress any “regionalist” dissent (topwar.ru/149143-osada-snaruzhi-predateli-vnutri-nato-nacelilas-na-kaliningrad.html).
The Moscow military commentator saysthat “in this sense one can really compare Kaliningrad Oblast with Crimea: bothsubjects of the Federation fulfill the functions of a forward military base,providing security to the country in the distant approaches to it.” There canbe no doubt that the US and NATO would like to take both of these away fromRussia.
In support of that argument,Kirillova says, Dzhereliyevsky invokes “the traditional Russian argument abouta threat from NATO, openly recognizing that in reality there are neither NATOrockets or anti-missile systems.” But he insists that if the US leaves the intermediaterange missile accord, the US will put such weapons there in the immediate future.
Already, hecontinues, “the Russian oblast is literally surrounded by arms” and within it,there is “the subversive activity of a fifth column under the leadership of Westernstrategists.”Among those he lists aspart of this “’fifth column’” are The Baltic Republic Party, the Baltic AdvanceGuard of the Russian resistance, and the Committee for Social Self-Defense.”
They are assisted in their NATO-assigned task by “a multitudeof completely respectable groups which ostensibly are involved with issues oflocal studies and investigations of the cultural heritage of East Prussia.” Butthese are covers for the projection of German “’soft force’” onto Russianterritory.
Dzereliyevskyargues, Kirillova continues, that what these outside groups are doing now inKaliningrad is exactly what they were doing in Ukraine 20 years ago. And he callsfor the suppression of all such activities in order to promote public order andnational security against NATO efforts to undermine both.
Accordingto the Moscow military analyst, “the anti-Russian hysteria which has seized theBaltics, the unending reports about the supposed violation by the Russian militaryof the air and sea spaces of those republics can be considered as a form ofpreparation for the blockade of Kaliningrad, full or partial.”
“Oneof the Kaliningrad separatists, Semyon Bessonov,” Dzhereliyevsky writes, “hastalked about an algorithm for separating the oblast from Russia. In hisopinion, disorders will begin after which NATO will close the air space toRussian planes. Then the oblast authorities … will support the participants ofmeetings calling for independence from Russia.”
“The‘creeping annexation’ of the kray to the European Union will thus begin,”Bessonov says.Dzhereliyevsky does say that“the chances for the fulfillment of this plan are happily not great.”
“Despiteall the efforts of this ‘fifth column,’” he says, “the absolute majority ofKaliningraders are patriots of their country and do not want to know anythingabout some ‘Baltic identity.’ The oblast in recent years has been transformedinto a genuine fortress which no one will be able to take with bare hands.”
To make sure that remains true, however,Dzhereliyevsky continues, requires that any “more or less resonantmanifestations of separatism” be nipped in the bud – a virtual call to arms fora new wave of repression in Kaliningrad like the one that has long been goingon in Russian-occupied Crimea.
“It is obvious,” Kirillovaconcludes, “that the military hysterial of the Kremlin and the repression ofregionalist civil communities are mutually interconnected links of one and the sameimperial policy.”