Siberian Republic

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       Siberian Federal District

       Geographic Russian Siberia

       Siberia according to widest definition and in historical use

Siberian Republic is the idea that Siberia should be an independent Republic.[1]

The argument for an independent republic is that Siberia makes up 77% of Russian territory (13.1 million square kilometers) and includes 40 million people. Western Siberia has rich oil and gas reserves, but the taxes go directly to Moscow. Getting extraction companies to pay taxes in the regions where they operate would benefit Siberia.[2]

The argument against self-determination is that Siberia is sparsely populated and needs the Russian Federation to keep it from falling to foreign invaders.

History[edit]

The idea came about in the mid-19th century and took shape with military activities of Aleksandr Kolchak and Viktor Pepelyayev during the Russian Civil War.

In 1918 two provisional governments were formed, one in Vladivostok and another in Omsk. Both governments merged by the end of the year into the Provisional All-Russian Government. In 1922 Siberia became part of the Soviet Union.

The idea of an independent Siberian Republic was considered in 1989, during the election of Congress of People's Deputies of the Soviet Union, but they reached a compromise with the Siberian Agreement, which gave more regional power to the local leaders.[3]

In 1992, during Perestroika[citation needed], Siberian autonomy was considered again, but the Siberian territories were consolidated under the Siberian Agreement and stated in its resolution that if the demands of Siberians were ignored, they would "accelerate the creation of the Siberian republic."[4]

Recent attempts[edit]

Main article: Siberian regionalism

After the Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in 2014, performance artist Artyom Loskutov, was attempting to organize a mock demonstration called Monstration to promote the idea of a Siberian Republic within the Russian Federation[5] on August 17, in Novosibirsk to promote Siberian Federalisation. Aleksei Navalny announced the event in his blog, but Kremlin launched a media blackout of the event.[2]

The protest was compared to Euromaidan that led to the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, and Nikolai Valuyev called it the "first attempt of global efforts to promote separatism in Russia."[6] Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor issued warnings to 14 media outlets that ran the story and threatened to close BBC Russian Service.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Authorities in Novosibirsk ban march to press for changing Siberia's status in Russia". The Siberian Times. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Luhn, Alec (5 August 2014). "Russia bans Siberia independence march". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  3. ^ Ginsburgs, George (1993). Russia and America: From Rivalry to Reconciliation. M E Sharpe Inc. p. 76. ISBN 1-56324-284-2. 
  4. ^ Kolsto, Pal (2004). Nation-Building and Common Values in Russia. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 163. ISBN 0-7425-2665-8. 
  5. ^ Maynes, Charles (5 August 2014). "As Snowden looks on, Russia cracks down on Internet freedom". PRI. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  6. ^ "Russia: Siberian autonomy web page shut down". BBC News. 4 August 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2014.