Novorossija: ladies and gentlemen a brand spanking new nation-state

They call it the New Russia, but his idea goes back to the time of the czars, when Ukraine was called "Little Russia" and a large part of its territory belonged to Moscow. Novorossija was founded on May 23 at a hotel in Donetsk – proclaimed its capital – with the aim of creating a traditionalist and orthodox state, and one day reunite with the great Mother Russia.

 

The delegates of the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine gathered in a conference hall at Shakhtar Plaza hotel in Donetsk. While the rest of the country was preparing to elect a new president, representatives of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, together with other regions of Southeast delegates, merged into new state called Novorossija. The plenary meeting took place behind doors guarded by armed men in camouflage fatigues, but journalists from the Russian government TV RT were allowed to shoot the event. The statement released at the end of the session lists the aims of the new state. It is a true ideological manifesto: land collectivization, nationalization of industries, and cultural unity with the Russian world. The ultimate goal of Novorossija would be joining the Eurasian Union (strongly wanted by Moscow) and merge one day in the great putative Russian homeland. As I wrote at the beginning of the Euromaidan revolution, Putin needs Ukraine for his Eurasian project, and in one way or another is trying to take it.

New Russia, old story

The name has not been chosen by chance. Novorossija was a large swath of today's Ukrainian territory conquered in the 18th century by the Czarist Russia to the Ottomans, covering the regions of the south-east of today's Ukraine, including Crimea. Mixing historical events here and there, adding a dose of revanchism and peppering everything with Pan-Slavic ideology, the founders of Novorossija wanted to refer clearly to the eurasist movement that is influencing the policy of the Kremlin in recent years. Reviving the idea of a Great Russian empire stretching in two continents Europe and Asia, the project Novorossija is the means by which to achieve a variety of goals. First, give unity to the self-proclaimed separatist republics of Eastern Ukraine, involving even those regions – always with a strong component of Russians and Russian-speaking – who have not yet taken the step of the referendum. Second, continue to add destabilizing elements in the country during the long-disputed presidential election. And finally, but most importantly, create a puppet state to control and then bind or annex. If Putin's Eurasian Union cannot have Ukraine, will have Novorossija..

The caliphate of Donetsk

But who are the founders of Novorossija? In addition to self-proclaimed governor of Donetskaja Respublika, Pavel Gubarev, and other self-appointed local leaders, a series of strange Russians individuals took part in the first congress of Novorossija. Alexander Dugin , founder (together with Edvard Limonov) of the Russian National Bolshevik Party, admirer of Nazism and longtime supporter of the occupation of Crimea; Alexander Prokhanov, writer famous for his anti-Semitic and Stalinist stance; Valery Korovin, member of Eurasia, the Russian far-right political party that strives to strengthen the strategic and geopolitical unity of Russia and Eurasian federalism. No coincidence that the last three characters are members of Izborsky club, a Moscow based think-tank (with a certain influence on the Kremlin), which supports “the idea of an Eurasian empire which united peoples, ethnos and cultures of Great Russia into a single strategic space”.

According to the manifesto of Novorossija, the new state will not immediately became part of the Russian Federation, but will be an independent member of the Eurasian Union; Donetsk will be its capital, Russian its language and the Orthodox its religion, with a special status. When the constituent phase is finished, Novorossija will expand into the rest of Ukraine, called "Little Russia.

With a mix of autocracy, orthodoxy and nationalism, Novorossija takes a direction that will probably lead it far from Kyiv. Welcome to the caliphate of Donetsk.

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