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The Romance of Caucasia

The opponents of Russia ascribe ulterior motives for Moscow’s determination to retain its share of Caucasia. However, the struggle in Russian eyes may be seen as a desperate attempt to retain its essential identity, ideology, and even its very reason for existence. Caucasia is an integral part of Russia, and its future destiny depends on retaining this integrity.

Russia, contrary to unstated impressions, is not entirely European. Turkey’s ambitions to be part of the European Union are not relevant for a land which stretched from the Black Sea to the North Pacific. The confluence of Asia and Europe gives Russia a special meaning which the whole world should be committed to protect.

Secularism and democracy are the foundation stones on which Russia has emerged from the crucible of its past. We may be relieved that the Soviet era is over, but we cannot revert to the entirely Christian nature of the pre-Bolshevik days either. The agnostic thinking of the Soviet days should evolve in to a separation between faith and State, which other countries can follow as an example.

The major motivation for some Caucasians to wrest free of Russia resides in faith, but this cannot be a reason for independence which the world should support. It is true that Russian Caucasia is critical for Russia’s oil reserves, but then so is Alaska for the U.S. This land has been symbolic of the entire human experience. Noah’s Ark was in Caucasia and Greek mythology refers to it as well. It is an ecological wonder, and has seen many changes of governance and affinity over the ages. There is plenty of room for the Northern parts of Caucasia to participate in the Russian nation building process. The linguistic and cultural diversity which Caucasia brings to Russia is invaluable. There is no reason why separatists cannot change their garb for peaceful but effective citizenship of Russia. Encouragement of secessionist thoughts will recreate the Slovakian tragedy, weaken the Russian State, and create pockets of Islamic fundamentalism in its place. The present divisions of Caucasia should therefore remain frozen for all time.


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