The Missing

Somehow this post at Intersection Project manages to comment on Russia’s “Kosovo fixation”:

Russia’s policy is increasingly perceived by the Balkan states on their way to the EU and NATO as an approach to “disrupt NATO, divide Europe”. The region’s role might expand against the backdrop of the confrontation between the Kremlin and the West. Yet the problem is, peace-keeping missions in the region are far from being fully successful. Support for anti-Western conservative forces and propaganda which enhances interethnic intolerance, increases levels of distrust between stakeholders involved in post-war reconstruction and reforms are regarded as destabilizing efforts by Moscow’s opponents.

manages to devote 1,600 words to the topic without using the words “Slav” or “Orthodox” once, a remarkable feat, is conspicuous for what is missing rather than what it reveals.

For the last 150 years positioning itself as the leader of Slavs and Orthodoxy has been a key Russian interest. After the collapse of the Soviet Union that interest has raised its head again. It remains very popular in Russia. Expect the Russians to continue to pursue that interest. That’s the way the incentives point for Russia’s politicians.

As a test of that hypothesis are the Russians fomenting separatist movements everywhere in Europe? Or are they just supporting Slavs and the Orthodox in the former Yugoslavia (and Ukraine)? I don’t believe that the Catalan voted for independence due to Russian agitation but I’m always willing to learn.

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