Decolonizing Russia: A Closer Look (Part 2)

Decolonizing Russia: A Closer Look (Part 2)

Adel Bashqawi

July 08, 2024

Sydney Starkey / Tower

A distinguished friend sent me a BBC media “documentary podcast,” addressing “Europe’s colonialism” and specifically “Decolonising Russia.” In an introductory presentation, various sarcastic, denouncing, and metaphorical questions are put forward, leading to a longing for the freedom of peoples and nations. The prevailing truth indicates that they are waiting for the appropriate and decisive moment.

Due to the length of the article, its been decided to post it in two parts.

2. Part 2: Soviet and Contemporary Russian Colonialism

•Soviet Era from 1917 — 1991

•The Contemporary Russian State from 1991

•Future Prospects


Part 2:

Soviet Era from 1917 — 1991

Racism, Genocide, and Intentional Famine:

•The Bolshevik Revolution led to the Soviet Union inheriting the countries that the Russian Empire had occupied, specifically the Central Asian republics. Everyone who submitted to these rogue empires must have tasted the bitterness of submission to these colonialists who practiced abhorrent racism in its worst senses.

Kazakhstan Famine Early 1930’s:

•“Human flesh was literally eaten, ‘40% of all Kazakhs, who starved to death in the early 1930s in a famine caused by Stalin’s forcible collectivization of agriculture. Simply because their cattle were taken away for factory workers in Moscow and St. Petersburg … Little children, many were eaten. So parents actually sold their children … It gets to minus 50 in winter. There is nothing to eat. There are no trees. And people really go mad when they are very, very hungry.’” 1

•“The Kazakhstan Famine of 1930 – 1933 claimed the lives of 1.5 million people, approximately 1.3 million of whom were ethnic Kazakhs, yet the causes of this disaster remain largely unexamined.” 2

Ukrainian Famine (Holodomor) 1932–1933:

•“The Ukrainian famine—known as the Holodomor, a combination of the Ukrainian words for ‘starvation’ and ‘to inflict death’—by one estimate claimed the lives of 3.9 million people, about 13 percent of the population.” 3

The Contemporary Russian State from 1991

Ending Russian Colonialism and Resource Exploitation:

•Following Russia’s expansionist war on Ukraine, it confirmed an open colonial policy that would affect all countries and regions falling within the scope of limitless Russian ambitions.

•Ukraine chose to decolonize Russia when there became a contradiction between Ukrainian national interest and Russian colonial ambitions.

Discontent in Russian Regions:

•“Hundreds of demonstrators in Bashkortostan, Central Russia, clashed with police as they demanded the release of a jailed activist. He had campaigned to preserve the indigenous language Bashkir and opposed environmentally harmful mining operations.” 4

•“Non-ethnic Russian regions have been forced to provide a disproportionately high number of soldiers to fight and die in Ukraine. People of Yakutia complain: ‘Billions go to Moscow and in return we get very little money. There is a lot of corruption, not enough schools, not enough hospitals, not enough comfortable housing, no railway.’ Many activists, who are now exiled from national republics, want decolonization and self-determination.” 5

The Need for Decolonization:

•“The great risk is that because we are living through this great confrontation, history is then simplified into this narrative of Russia versus everyone else, when actually there’s a much more complicated story there. So, should we be talking about decolonization at all? Have we pushed a parallel too far?” 6

Future Prospects

What is required is to restore human rights, take concrete measures to end violations, and thus end Russian colonialism. Dozens of peoples and nations deserve freedom, the right to self-determination, and independence.

Resolution by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE):

In this regard, it is appropriate to mention a development of a “Draft Resolution” declared by the OSCE at its meetings in Bucharest held between June 29 and July 3, 2024, titled “SECURITY AND GEOPOLITICAL CHALLENGES IN THE OSCE REGION: TEN YEARS OF ARMED AGGRESSION BY THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION AGAINST UKRAINE.” 7

The draft resolution supports the principles of freedom, the right to self-determination, and independence for all peoples and nations that have been attacked, occupied, and then forcibly annexed to the Russian state.

Articles 32 and 47 of the Draft Resolution:

•Article 32: “Strongly condemning the oppression and gross violations of the rights of numerous indigenous peoples within the Russian Federation. These colonized peoples are forcibly Russified, subjected to repression and discrimination, and deprived of their internationally recognized human, cultural, linguistic, and economic rights and are also being massively conscripted to participate in Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine, suffering disproportionately high military losses.” 8

•Article 47: “Considering the systemic policy of violations of human and peoples’ rights in the Russian Federation to the detriment of its indigenous peoples, recognizes this policy as colonialist and violating the basic UN declarations and, to reinforce the European Parliament Resolution of 29 February 2024 (2024/2579) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Resolution of 17 April 2024 (2540/2024), recognizes that decolonization of the Russian Federation is a necessary condition for sustainable peace.”


There is a vast difference between a transient colonial state that comes and goes under different names and titles, and another permanent one that practices invasion, destruction, occupation, murder, and extermination without deterrence or limits. Above all, the result is a decision of permanent annexation to the colonial state without the consent of the indigenous population.

“We understand that this dictatorship can’t last forever. And history shows that everything can happen any day, very quickly.” 9

They look forward to gaining inevitable freedom, decolonization for eventual independence and sovereignty. Dozens of peoples and nations whose homelands were occupied by force of arms and by committing crimes of murder, extermination, ethnic cleansing, forced displacement, and illegal annexation. This aligns with Human Rights principles, the United Nations Charter, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide issued by the United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the United Nations General Assembly Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. 10


   01. The Documentary Podcast

  02. Wilson Center / Kazakh Famine

03.History / Ukrainian Famine

04.The Documentary Podcast

05.The Documentary Podcast

06.The Documentary Podcast

07.OSCE Parliamentary Assembly


09.The Documentary Podcast

10.Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples

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