In Crimea, Russia Backs Traditional Islam – Part II

Dear Readers:

After a quick summary of the complicated history of Russian-Tatar relations, it is time to delve into the related posts by sociologist Elena Ostryakova, from Moscow.  The four links are this, this, this, and this.

As I mentioned before, Ostryakova writes about the Crimean Tatars and whether or not they are re-integrating back into the Russian governmental authority, after 25 years living under Ukrainian authority.

Crimean residents overwhelmingly supported reunification with Russia

The current conflict, such as it exists, involves three major parties:  (1) The Crimean Tatars themselves, who, as a community, have their own culture, history, traditions and communal political leaders; (2) The government of the Russian Federation, which now holds jurisdiction over the Crimean peninsula; and (3) the Ukrainian government, currently in the hands of Nationalist/Banderite political parties.

This third element is politically hostile to Russia, considers Russia to be its main enemy and intends to use any other elements or groups, for example Tatars and/or Islamists, as weapons against Russia.  In one sense, the Ukrainian Nationalists are just a fringe group with a bizarre ideology; but in another sense they are geopolitically important, in that they have the full support of Western governments.  Western governments and media help to promulgate Ukrainian Nationalist propaganda, their version of history, and their version of reality.  In their version of reality, Crimean Tatars are chafing under the Russian “occupation” and yearn to return to Mother Ukraine.

Igor Barinov is in charge of Russian Nationalities policy

Crimean Tatars constitute 13% of the population of the Crimean peninsula, which makes their opinions and attitudes very important.  If they were all to go into opposition mode and take up arms against Russia, as the Ukrainians and Westies wish they would, then things could get very sour, very fast.

Fortunately for Russia, this is not happening.  Ostryakova quotes Igor Barinov who heads the Russian Federal Agency on Nationalities issues.  Barinov, on the results of his scientific survey:  “The data from our survey will upset the Ukrainian propagandists:  0% of Crimean Tatars wish to move to the Ukraine.  Only 2% of the Crimean Tatars nurture any kind of hopes regarding the Ukraine.”

Barinov goes on to cite, that 75% of Crimean Tatars are satisfied with their condition, and 61% have confidence in Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Tatars are a suspicious people and may have been wary at first:  In the Reunification Referendum, only 17-24% of the Tatars took part in the voting.  In essence, they boycotted the vote.  However, in recent elections to the Duma, Tatar percent of participation went up to 42%.  This shows, according to Barinov, that Tatars are starting to think of themselves, not just as passive residents of Crimea, but as active citizens as well.  Barinov reckons that around 70% of the Crimean Tatars have successfully adapted to life as Russian citizens.  On the question as to whether they experience problems associated with their ethnicity, 9% of the Crimean Tatars report experiencing problems; this compares to an overall average of 5% for national minorities within the Russian Federation as a whole.

The Issue Of Dual Identity

Next, Ostryakova quotes a man named Vladimir Zorin, who is the Deputy Director of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Russian Academy of Sciences.  Zorin’s bio shows that he was born in 1948 in Vinnitsa, then a city in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.  Zorin graduated from the Tashkent Economic Institute in 1970.  He taught Economics, History and Politics.  Zorin was a member of the Communist Party, and even a regional Secretary.  He lived and worked in Uzbekistan; when the Soviet Union split up he apparently became an Uzbek and even served as Uzbekistan’s Ambassador to the Russian Federation (1991-93).

Vladimir Zorin

Zorin’s career in the 1990’s shows the usual pattern of educated people scrambling to earn a living while everything is collapsing around them.  People who are used to a calm academic or institutional career are now expected to become overnight entrepreneurs and found their own companies, which Zorin attempted to do; but this kind of life is not for people like him.  Fortunately, in time, and given his talents, he was able to find gainful employment in his usual metiers, as an academic Professor, and also holding various political posts.  By the year 2000 Zorin seems to have worked his way back to Moscow and various posts within the Russian government.  During this same year he successfully defended his dissertation.  His specialty is the nationalities issue.  A man of many talents, Zorin is also a writer and landscape painter.  He is married and has three children.  His political affiliation is a patriotic faction called “Russia – Our Home“.

Ostryakova quotes Zorin delivering the results of his survey on Crimean identity issues.  Unfortunately, Ostryakova’s piece on Zorin’s study is rather sparse, and I could not find the original data of the survey.  Zorin is quoted as saying, “Compared to other Crimean regions…”, but the piece does not state which region Zorin surveyed.  From the context it is clear that he surveyed two cohorts, one of adults, and one of youth; but we are not given any information about the numbers or where these samples were taken from.  According to Zorin, of those he sampled, over 10% of Crimean adults and 23% of schoolchildren and college students, consider themselves to have a dual linguistic and ethnic identity.

Karaim people: Beautiful costumes and gorgeous women

Zorin on linguistic identity:  “Among Russians, 21% consider Ukrainian to be their second native language.  Among Ukrainians,  38% consider Russian to be their second native language.  One often encounters these categories [of people defining themselves]:  Russian-Crimean Tatar; Russian-Belorussian; Russian-Armenian; Russian-Azerbaijani.  Crimean young people [when surveyed] named as their second language over 30 different languages, including some rare ones such as Karaim.”

Switching to “civic” identity issues:  Zorin conducted his survey during the peak of the “blackout“, in other words this was back in November, 2015 when all of the Crimean peninsula was deprived of electricity due to malicious sabotage.  Ukrainian Nationalists and pro-Ukrainian Tatar groups on the other side of the border specifically targeted the infrastructure of the civilian population of the peninsula, intended as an act of political blackmail.  The blackmail failed in its intended result, and only hardened pro-Russian attitudes on the Crimean peninsula.

“As for civic identity, my survey, conducted during the peak of the blackout, showed this:  75.3% of adults and 71.1% of schoolchildren and college students wish to be accepted as Russian citizens.”

When questioned what they consider to be the main problems facing Crimea, 81% believe that inter-ethnic relations are calm right now.  A quarter of the Russians, 12% of the Ukrainians, and 6% of the Tatars believe that relations have improved.  None of the ethnic groups showed any inclination to secede from Russia, Zorin concluded.

If these surveys are accurate, then it seems that the Russian Federation authorities currently enjoy enough hope and good will on the part of the Crimean population as to work on solving any remaining ethnic problems in a calm and constructive manner.  But will they be allowed to do so, given the realities of the new Cold War and the geopolitical predicament in which Russia currently finds itself?

Which brings us to the thorny issue of Islam….

[to be continued]

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45 Responses to In Crimea, Russia Backs Traditional Islam – Part II

  1. sara says:

    This is a very interesting story, I have been wondering about some of the things you spoke about

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      Thanks, Sara.
      In tomorrow’s installment I plan to finish off with a look at the religious angle, and how Russian officials plan to counter-act the efforts of radical Islam.

      Like

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      Dear Sara from Texas! I find it mighty suspicious that you post only vague, ambivalent “fit-it-all” kinds of comments and already demanding from our host – yalensis – to share with you private information in order to communicate.

      Your “blog” where you reblogged yalensis latest article is just a few days old and made rather clumsy and haphazardly. Your blog’s name is even “Site Title”.

      I might be wrong and unduly paranoid, but you, Sara from Texas, sound like ad-bot of sort, not like a human being who is trally interested in the content of the articles here and not in the way of how yo use the personal data of other people for some of your purposes.

      Maybe it’s time to prove me wrong and allay some of my suspicions?

      Like

      • yalensis says:

        Hm… You think Sara is a bot?
        I didn’t check her site, maybe I should do that….
        Tis a sad state of affairs when anonymous bloggers can’t even trust one another…

        Like

      • sara says:

        I think you’re overly paranoid, wouldn’t even know what a fit it all comment is. And didn’t know where to respond to comments and same for the site title mistake. I was new to the site, and I’m trying to figure it out

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          Hey, Sara, how come you suddenly showed up again 8 months later, and in conjuction with Matt? What a coincidence!

          Like

          • sara says:

            hahaa, oh my gosh

            Like

            • yalensis says:

              Yep, I’m pretty sure you’re a bot! Even Siri has better vocabulary, my gosh.

              Okay, sara, here is a test to figure out if you are human: Describe the gist of the pythagorean theorum.

              Liked by 1 person

              • sara says:

                numbers a squared x b squared = c squared and anyway , i dont care if you believe me or not, if not just dont comment back, because i already unfollowed you, beyond that theres nothing more to do.

                Like

              • sara says:

                just a ps though, i dont use curse words on my page or on other peoples, especially when speaking about politics or history becuase they are important and it degrades the conversation into nothingness to go that low. just a personal preference

                Like

          • Matt says:

            “Yep, I’m pretty sure you’re a bot! Even Siri has better vocabulary, my gosh.”

            I think I understand now why you so easily believe conspiracy theories. You simply ignore simple answers. In this case, ask yourself: why would someone talk like Sara? Using abreviations, and informal language? Think carefully.

            She’s on her phone. Duh!

            And I know she’s on her phone because I asked her to install a browser extension for Reddit, which she then said she couldn’t install because she was on her phone. I have proof for all of this.

            I feel embarassed just saying all this. You have fallen so far.

            Like

  2. sara says:

    You should definitely check the site and the story on stuxnet because it posted about the Cia story on Kaspersky way before you

    Like

  3. sara says:

    D M means to direct message, again I didn’t have everything fugured out

    Like

  4. sara says:

    Also my site lists my own blood relatives, not very bot like bur with a name like lyttenburgh we can guess why

    Like

    • sara says:

      hey Matt , i cant find you , but im Kosha82

      Like

    • yalensis says:

      Sara, could you link your site, please? The one that lists your “blood relatives” (odd expression to use, by the way)…?
      That might help me decide if you are a real person, or just a mechanical doll, like Coppelia!

      Like

      • Matt says:

        You sure are delusional. Even after I supplied evidence, you pretend to be “confused”. Here’s her blog:

        http://www.roughdiplomacy.com/?page_id=3314

        Like

      • sara says:

        blood relatives denote that you have known them since birth and carry same traits as opposed to relative by marriage, referred to as in laws, if you’re going to translate into English, it would serve you well to know the subtleties.

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          Dear Sara,
          Okay, I checked out your blog and I believe you now, that you are a real person with a real blog. Please forgive me for my previous paranoia, in thinking that you were a robot.

          In my own defense: Russophile (pro-Russia) blogs are constantly under attack from spambots and the like. Especially now in the Trump era, when certain people would like to still our voices.
          And the way you came over back then, initially, with very brief and generic phrases, you actually sounded like a bot! For example, my spam filter gets inundated every day with spambots spouting such meaningless phrases as “This is really interesting 2 me, i want to know more…” etc.

          Occasionally I ask a new commenter to “prove” that they are human, by solving a simple math problem, or something like that.

          You also spiked my paranoia when you requested to contact me directly (DM = “Direct Message”). That seemed a bit forward for a first-commenter. Even without Lyttenburgh’s intervention I would have balked at that. To be clear about our relationship: Lyt and I collaborate a lot on my blog, we are both paranoid Russians, we quarrel sometimes, but always make up afterwards and we try to have each others backs. Don’t be afraid of Lyt, by the way. His bark is worse than his bite!

          Anyhow, then you disappeared for 8 months, so it seemed like Lyt and I had “nailed you” as a bot. And then, suddenly you show up again, 8 months later, and in conjunction with our arch-enemy Matt! This is where the plot really thickened.

          Matt says he only met you yesterday. I hope you can see him for what he is, he is a manipulator and trickster, with many identities. That’s all I shall say for now.

          Sara, you are free to comment on my blog if you wish, and I won’t challenge you any more, but I am also not quite ready to share any personal or biographical information with you. Which, by the way, you should ask Matt who he actually is, I think you would be surprised to know!

          Sincerely yours,
          yalensis

          Like

          • Lyttenburgh says:

            I took some time to read through Sara’s alleged blog and I’m less optimistic. This blog of her began in November 2016. On its pages there is no (NO) original content. None whatsoever. It is not a proper blog, but a persona-less aggregator of other people’s works or just re-posting of the content already accessible to the public (e.g. – from Wikipedia). Or, what – you gonna tell us now, that you composed all of these articles by yourself, yet you seem have difficulty communicating via comments with anyone else in a forum, which would preclude others from thinking you are a bot? You know, Sara, just because you did not provided the source-link at the end/beginning of each article does not make them therefore “yours”.

            Take for example “your” article Power Move (published 3 March 2017). To no one’s surprise – it’s a word-for-word copy-pasta of the “Business Insider” article How Vladimir Putin rose to power. Only I don’t see you acknowledging it. Surely, prominent papers allow re-posing of their content (sometimes…) if you attribute the authorship to the original. What are you doing here, Sara? Are you stealing other people’s content? Tsk! Shame on you.

            What’s your game, Sara? What you are really up to?

            Like

            • yalensis says:

              OMG, is Sara a plagiarist ?
              Good work, Detective Lyttenburgh!

              Like

            • yalensis says:

              P.S. – here is more some plagiarism I found, Sara’s latest blogpost, the topic is the Celtic Queen Boudicea. Compare:
              Sara:
              http://www.roughdiplomacy.com/?p=2622
              vs. History.net:
              http://www.historynet.com/boudica-celtic-war-queen-who-challenged-rome.htm

              Some passages literally word for word.
              I mean, sheesh!
              C’mon, Sara, what would your Huguenot ancestors think of such dishonesty?

              Like

              • sara says:

                my stories are all cited with the sources – and my huguenot relatives since you have a pictuee od Buzz Lightyear on your “ future “ article because that character was designed by my cousin Warren Trezevant- and my ancestors were massacred by the thousands by catholics- learn history. you know massacres right , Stalin is said to have killed more people than anyone but Genghis Kahn why do you think anyone would read your stuff after you constantly attack them. youre like the Rush Limbaugh of Russia

                Like

              • yalensis says:

                Okay, okay, Sara.

                Just for the record, that wasn’t Lyttenburgh who “stole” the image of Buzz Lightyear, it was me. Lyt wrote the content of that piece “Futurism” piece, and I (yalensis), as his editor, formatted the content and added most of the images.

                I run a free blog, I pay nothing for it, and I receive nothing for it, it’s just amateurism all the way. When I need images to add to the text, I just go onto google and look for images that are readily available and downloadable. And then I paste them into my blogpost. Nobody seems to have any of this stuff copyrighted, maybe that’s not right, but it is what it is.

                Try it yourself: go onto google and type “images of Buzz Lightyear”, you’ll see tons of stuff that you can download for free.
                Again, this is probably not right. In a perfect world your cousin should probably be getting royalties for every picture download, just like people do with music and books, etc. We do not live in a well-regulated society in which artists are paid what they deserve.

                As for your other points, well, for starters, I don’t think Genghis Khan was such a bad guy as he is portrayed in “popular history”.
                Also, when you start getting into body counts of famous historical figures, and “So-and-so killed more people than…”, well, then you are entering into the world of Grand Polemics.
                This is an arena where you can’t fall back on popular memes and ingrained assumptions.

                Therefore , you better have all your ducks in a row, because there are bound to be people who challenge your numbers and have a different set of numbers. Just sayin’

                Like

              • Lyttenburgh says:

                “my stories are all cited with the sources”

                No they don’t. Do you even know what it is “cite the source”? Why you didn’t provide the link to the original article which you only re-posted on your “blog”?

                “…and my ancestors were massacred by the thousands by catholics”

                You had “thousands” of “massacred” ancestors? Gee, where did they have time for procreation!

                “Stalin is said to have killed more people than anyone but Genghis Kahn”

                People who “say” that, are either ignorant of the history or are willfully lying. I’m not surprised that you might believe in something like that.

                “why do you think anyone would read your stuff”

                Because, Sara, I can put two (actually – more than two) words together in a meaningful way in order to create an original content, which other people might be interested in. You, OTOH, can’t even write a coherent comment, let alone an entire blogpost. So you steal, Sara. You steal.

                Like

              • yalensis says:

                A brief demographic note: Some physical (DNA) anthropologists believe that Genghis Khan is the ancestor of most human beings who are alive today.
                In which case, it could be said that good old Temüjin generated many many more people than he killed.
                Thanks, Temüjin!

                Like

            • Matt says:

              “What are you doing here, Sara? Are you stealing other people’s content? Tsk! Shame on you. What’s your game, Sara? What you are really up to?”

              Stop harassing the poor woman with your trolling. It’s only plagiarism if she passed this as her own work. Yet, she does not state explicitly that the articles on her blog are 100% original.

              So what. She re-posted some articles without explicitly attributing the source. Yawn. Many other random, low-traffic blogs do that. It’s not a big deal.

              Nice try though. Instead of apoligizing, you found a way to “concern troll” Sara by pointing out this meaningless information.

              Like

            • Lyttenburgh says:

              “C’mon, Sara, what would your Huguenot ancestors think of such dishonesty?”

              Something-something-something-“predestination”-something-something-death to Catholics?

              Like

          • sara says:

            ok, thank you, i didnt see it as personal, but i understand. i appreciate this message very much

            Like

  5. Matt says:

    Proof for yalensis that Sara is NOT a “bot”:

    Please apologize to Sara, yalensis.

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      Okay, here goes:

      Sara, you seem like a very nice bot girl, and I am deeply, deeply sorry that I doubted you. You are obviously very fluent with your phone and texting, also I can tell from your avatar that you are really cute, will you go out on a date with me, please? But don’t tell Matt, I don’t want him to get jealous of our relationship.

      Like

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