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Thread: Protests in Belarus over vote fraud turn violent as police fire at protesters and government shuts down internet

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    Settra's Avatar the Imperishable
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    Default Protests in Belarus over vote fraud turn violent as police fire at protesters and government shuts down internet

    Amnesty International’s delegates in the Belarusian capital Minsk witnessed appalling violence unleashed by riot police on peaceful protesters who took to the streets last night after official announcements on election results, which protesters view as rigged. The “official exit poll results” announced by the government pointed to a sweeping win by the incumbent Alyaksandr Lukashenka, contradicting unofficial polls and public sentiment.
    “Post-electoral violence by police has become a regular feature of politics in Belarus, where all forms of peaceful dissent are brutally suppressed. Last night Amnesty International delegates witnessed first-hand the viciousness of the police response, which included indiscriminate use of force, including stun grenades, against a peaceful crowd, and arbitrary arrests of individuals who were far from any protest,” said Marie Struthers, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
    “One horrifying video shows a police van running over a protester at full speed on a wide road. This footage captures the blood-chilling ruthlessness of the Belarusian police’s actions last night, and shows why so many in Belarus are desperate for change.”
    Source

    Quick summary of what has been going on over the past two months:

    - There was a presidential election in Belarus. For the first time ever Lukash had a good opponent and actually risked losing power. Most people support opposition candidate.

    - Fearing his opponent Lukash had plain clothes police and military harass citizens and any gatherings that supported his opponent. Peaceful gatherings turn violent, people on the street accepting pamphlets or saying they support he opposition are assaulted and get concussions or broken bones.

    - Putin releases statement that further cooperation with the Bielorussian government will be achieved in the future, with the goal of eventual integration of Belarus as a federal republic within Russia. Lukash is known to be completely against this, rumors and speculation about opposition being a russian puppet start to arise.

    - Voting day, massive electoral fraud occurs, Lukash wins with 80% of votes, even though less than 50% claim to have voted for him.

    - People start protesting in the streets. Protesters claim police have started using the Belorussian roulette on the people (shotguns loaded at random with a mix of non-lethal and lethal rounds). Officially police fires rubber bullets, bean bags and tear gas at protestors.

    - Government cuts internet and phone coverage in the entire country. Phones with cameras are confiscated by police. Foreign press is harassed.

    - Opposition candidate goes missing and cannot be found. Later discovered to have fled to Lithuania after receiving tip to look out for the safety of her children.

    - Lukash claims to have arrested 33 Russian "green men" - mer4cenaries used to cause chaos and topple the government, same tactic used in Crimea.


    Right now the protests are still going strong. There have been cases of people being crushed by BMPs and army trucks. Officially there is only one person dead. Either way things do not look too good for Lukash.
    Last edited by Settra; August 11, 2020 at 04:04 PM.
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    Default Re: Protests in Belarus over vote fraud turn violent as police fire at protesters and government shuts down internet

    AT had an interesting perspective on the situation:

    https://www.americanthinker.com/blog...election_.html

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    Default Re: Protests in Belarus over vote fraud turn violent as police fire at protesters and government shuts down internet

    100000 people currently protesting in Minsk. That's 1% of the country's population.
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    Default NATO vs Belarus / or what Lukashenko is smoking

    Im not one to post topics in the politics section, as i generally dislike the idea of politics altogether.

    Anyways, some of the last days developments in Belarus are so amusing to me, that i have decided to share the stories with others.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53877953 :


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Belarus: Nato denies foreign troops are on border


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    • 23 August 2020







    Image copyrightEPAImage captionPresident Alexander Lukashenko told his officials to prepare forces on the border with PolandAllegations by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko that "foreign powers" are organising a build-up of troops on the country's border are baseless, says Nato.
    Dressed in military fatigues, the president said he had placed his armed forces on "high alert".
    He is facing growing calls within Belarus for his resignation following a disputed election two weeks ago.
    Thousands of protesters again marched on the capital Minsk on Sunday.
    Long lines of people of all ages - from the elderly to those with small children - flowed into Independence Square from all directions, watched by hundreds of riot police, reporters at the scene said. Many of the marchers were carrying red and white flags or white flowers, and chanting anti-government slogans.
    Earlier, Mr Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus for 26 years, accused Nato of trying to split up Belarus and install a new president in Minsk.
    He said troops in Poland and Lithuania were readying themselves, and that he was moving his armed forces to the country's western border.








    Media captionWhat lies behind the Belarus protests?"They are rocking the situation inside our country, trying to topple the authorities," Mr Lukashenko said, adding that he had ordered his security chiefs to "take the toughest measures to defend the territorial integrity of our country".
    Nato said it posed "no threat to Belarus or any other country" and had "no military build-up in the region".
    "Our posture is strictly defensive," it said.
    "The regime is trying to divert attention from Belarus's internal problems at any cost with totally baseless statements about imaginary external threats," Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda told AFP news agency.
    A Polish presidency official called the suggestion that Poland planned any border destabilisation "regime propaganda" by the Belarusians, which was "sad and surprising".
    "Poland... has no such intention," the official added.
    Image copyrightREUTERSImage captionProtests against a brutal police crackdown continued in Minsk on SaturdayNato urged Belarus to respect the fundamental human rights of its citizens.
    Mr Lukashenko was re-elected president on 9 August but the vote was widely considered to be fraudulent. Protests disputing the result were met with a brutal crackdown that killed at least four people and demonstrators said they had been tortured in prisons and detention centres.
    Large numbers of demonstrators are expected to rally in Minsk again on Sunday.
    Belarus - the basic facts

    Where is Belarus? It has Russia - the former dominant power - to the east and Ukraine to the south. To the north and west lie EU and Nato members Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
    Why does it matter? Like Ukraine, this nation of 9.5 million is caught in rivalry between the West and Russia. President Lukashenko, an ally of Russia, has been nicknamed "Europe's last dictator". He has been in power for 26 years, keeping much of the economy in state hands, and using censorship and police crackdowns against opponents.
    What's going on there? Now there is a huge opposition movement, demanding new, democratic leadership and economic reform. They say Mr Lukashenko rigged the 9 August election - officially he won by a landslide. His supporters say his toughness has kept the country stable.



    The president has vowed to crush the unrest and has previously blamed the dissent on unnamed "foreign-backed revolutionaries".
    With protests and strike action continuing, including the walking out of state TV staff, Mr Lukashenko said he had flown in Russian broadcast journalists as cover to "stabilise" the situation, the Belarus state news agency Belta reports.
    "I've asked Russians to lend us two to three groups of reporters just in case. Six to nine people from the most advanced television company," he said.
    On Saturday, crowds of protestors waved bright lights from mobile phones and flew Belarusian flags in the streets of Minsk while chanting "freedom".
    Police tried to disperse more than 1,000 people gathered in the city's Independence Square, according to Interfax news agency.
    A "solidarity" chain of hundreds of people, many wearing white, formed earlier in the day at the busy Komarovka shopping market.


    It follows the country's biggest protest in modern history last weekend when hundreds of thousands filled the streets.
    Opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who was forced into exile the day after the election, vowed to "stand till the end" in the protests.








    Media captionSvetlana Tikhanovskaya said she doesn't think she's the next leader of BelarusShe told the BBC that if the movement stopped now, they would be "slaves". "We have no right to step back now," she said.
    Ms Tikhanovskaya told the BBC Belarusians had voted for her, not as a future president but as a "symbol of changes".
    "They were shouting for their future, for their wish to live in a free country, against violence, for their rights," she said.



    Whats gonna happen? Nato-Belarus war? Is Poland and Lithuania secretly plotting to dismantle the belorussian state? Will Russia help Lukashenko? Will he be deposed?

    -Similar threads merged. ~Abdülmecid I
    Last edited by Abdülmecid I; August 28, 2020 at 08:41 AM. Reason: Clarification added.

  5. #5
    Daruwind's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: NATO vs Belarus / or what Lukashenko is smoking

    Classical BS from any dictator....Lukashenko needs external threat, something to point fingers at...NATO is the easiest one. All just to have excuse to mobilise army, crack down country and say next election will he held once there is no threat...easy peasy.
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    Default Re: Protests in Belarus over vote fraud turn violent as police fire at protesters and government shuts down internet

    Lukashenko has a defensive alliance treaty with Russia, so it makes sense for him to flex on NATO, especially such "powers" as Lithuania.
    However I'm not entirely sure whether Russia likes him anymore, given his rather hostile recent behavior. Russians might as well just annex that place instead of dealing with that guy.

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    Default Re: Protests in Belarus over vote fraud turn violent as police fire at protesters and government shuts down internet

    Putin has more or less admitted that he wants to annex Belarus and several dozen "green men" were caught on election day.
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    Default Re: Protests in Belarus over vote fraud turn violent as police fire at protesters and government shuts down internet

    Question is how large part of population wants to be "russia".... We have such nice saying in Czech rep....From mud into puzzle. And basically what will be better under Putin? Nothing. At least Crymea and East part of Ukraine were heavily pro-russian. Like in current state Belarus would be another money sink hole for russian money plus another international hit for what reason? East europe would become more and more anti-russian as this would be yet another step of Putin to reconquer old states of CCCP. And I doubt Baltic states and Poland would like to be the next. Nope...
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    Default Re: Protests in Belarus over vote fraud turn violent as police fire at protesters and government shuts down internet

    In the same case as Ukraine, both states were created by Bolsheviks with little care for population's opinion on whether they want to remain as Russia or be annexed to a newly-created states, aimed at diving Russia nation to weaken possible resistance to communism. For example, the "red" parts were added in 1924, without consent of the local population:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    As usual, neither Lukashenko nor "liberal pro-Western opposition" care about what population actually wants.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Protests in Belarus over vote fraud turn violent as police fire at protesters and government shuts down internet

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruwind View Post
    Question is how large part of population wants to be "russia".... We have such nice saying in Czech rep....From mud into puzzle. And basically what will be better under Putin? Nothing. At least Crymea and East part of Ukraine were heavily pro-russian. Like in current state Belarus would be another money sink hole for russian money plus another international hit for what reason? East europe would become more and more anti-russian as this would be yet another step of Putin to reconquer old states of CCCP. And I doubt Baltic states and Poland would like to be the next. Nope...
    It's not about the money. It's about how the map looks. Russia is similar to Israel in that regard, political and economic considerations are secondary to national security. I doubt this'll become annexation, but I'm interested to know what innovation Putin will reveal. Russia has outmaneuvered their Western counterparts consistently for the last decade. Russia may want to get something done before the election, or before Biden's transition is complete.

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    Default Re: Protests in Belarus over vote fraud turn violent as police fire at protesters and government shuts down internet

    I dont think anyone in the west really cares about whether Belarus will become part of Russia or not. On the surface the western politicians will support the democratic choices of the people of Belarus and so on, but there will be nothing more than words. Maybe sanctions, but nobody cares in my opinion. Nobody cared about Belarus and Lukashenko for the last decades, nothing will change now.

    Im only wondering, why is Putin even hesitating. Probably waiting for the right moment, when Lukashanko will be desparate for help.

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    Default Re: Protests in Belarus over vote fraud turn violent as police fire at protesters and government shuts down internet

    Problem for Putin is not in very west but right next to Belarus. Georgia, Ukraine/Crimea now possibly Belarus. Let´s ask single question, what will Poland/Baltic states do. Because I´m pretty sure they don´t want to be next. In my eyes with each such operation, the next one is harder and harder and sooner or later those small states around might get irritated enough to fight back. To prepare and that could easily mean more expanses for Russia...

    At the same time look carefully what Putin did. Took Abkhazia, South Ossetia while leaving the rest of Georgia compromised. The very same with Ukraine. Took Crimea, Donets/Luhansk Oblast while leaving rest of Ukraine in somewhat frozen conflict. All those region have very similar profile. Large pro-russian part of population. Lot of russians due to history....which means quite easy control. Imagine occupation of Poland, that would be probably Vietnam 2.0 in comparison. So Putin is carfully taking just parts which he can hold with ease while leaving the rest of countries in state that they cannot easily join EU/NATO.

    But at the same time Russia has to pay for those regions, invest (that big really expansive bridge for Crimea..), retirement fees.... And getting whole Belarus... https://countryeconomy.com/countries...russia/belarus Look for yourself, Belarus won´t bring a large amount of money...While by act of becoming russia proper, Belarus will lost some access to internation trade market which is already denied to Russia. Basically Belarus now can circumvent some trade blocking for Russia, resell stuff, buy stuff.

    Basically the most important part for Putin is prevent surrounding states from peaceful life and slow westernization. Look at Varsaw pact states. Nobody would now return to any CCCP state. The worst fear of him must be realization of common people, that real democracy could be possible, that people could live better....
    Last edited by Daruwind; August 31, 2020 at 07:46 AM.
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    Default Re: Protests in Belarus over vote fraud turn violent as police fire at protesters and government shuts down internet

    I doubt Belarus would be less of an expense for Russia. To put into perspective, its Northern Caucasus regions are a much more difficult territory to control, given the last few decades, so integration of Belarus and Novorussia with its pretty much de-facto Russian population would be quite easy and huge boost for government's popularity. In fact, a real smart move would be to move in to depose Lukashenko for his crackdown as Russia, without a doubt putting Lukashenko and pro-Western marginal minority into the same alliance, which would make even more people flock towards joining Russia. But I understand that Putin's goal is to "freeze" such conflicts until such integration can be accomplished with minimal use of force, i.e. Crimea where all Russians had to do is to prevent Kiev's forces from attacking the population while referendum was taking place.
    Of course, "real democracy" is mainly an illusion - West doesn't tend to establish high living standards, bur rather pro-Western authoritarian countries which are considered to be "democracies" for... being pro-Western. Just look at Ukraine, where government cracksdown on opposition there despite being praised by the Western "unbiased" propaganda as beacon for democracy.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Protests in Belarus over vote fraud turn violent as police fire at protesters and government shuts down internet

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruwind View Post
    Problem for Putin is not in very west but right next to Belarus. Georgia, Ukraine/Crimea now possibly Belarus. Let´s ask single question, what will Poland/Baltic states do. Because I´m pretty sure they don´t want to be next. In my eyes with each such operation, the next one is harder and harder and sooner or later those small states around might get irritated enough to fight back. To prepare and that could easily mean more expanses for Russia...
    Who cares? The Baltics are impotent. If you hadn't noticed, Baltics, Poland, and Nordics, always make noise about Russia. Yeah, people pay attention, but things rarely happen. Poland has been petitioning for expanded U.S. presence for years. The result? A thousand troops. A thousand. Putting a rake in front of a Russian invasion would probably be a bigger annoyance.

    At the same time look carefully what Putin did. Took Abkhazia, South Ossetia while leaving the rest of Georgia compromised. The very same with Ukraine. Took Crimea, Donets/Luhansk Oblast while leaving rest of Ukraine in somewhat frozen conflict. All those region have very similar profile. Large pro-russian part of population. Lot of russians due to history....which means quite easy control. Imagine occupation of Poland, that would be probably Vietnam 2.0 in comparison. So Putin is carfully taking just parts which he can hold with ease while leaving the rest of countries in state that they cannot easily join EU/NATO.
    That's the whole point, it's a pretty elegant way of preventing a country from joining NATO.

    But at the same time Russia has to pay for those regions, invest (that big really expansive bridge for Crimea..), retirement fees.... And getting whole Belarus... https://countryeconomy.com/countries...russia/belarus Look for yourself, Belarus won´t bring a large amount of money...While by act of becoming russia proper, Belarus will lost some access to internation trade market which is already denied to Russia. Basically Belarus now can circumvent some trade blocking for Russia, resell stuff, buy stuff.

    Basically the most important part for Putin is prevent surrounding states from peaceful life and slow westernization. Look at Varsaw pact states. Nobody would now return to any CCCP state. The worst fear of him must be realization of common people, that real democracy could be possible, that people could live better....
    The most important part of Russian grand strategy is maintaining a buffer zone between its core and any invasion. They will pre-emptively attack if necessary. You can read about it here, probably the best text on Russian military you will find.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    "and even in a form of limited use of force, as a radical measure of coercion aimed at de-escalating hostilities."

    A pro-NATO Belarus revolution is a massive strategic defeat for Russia. Their opening moves rely on using Belarus as a launching pad to close the Suwalki Gap, which isolates the Baltics and the Nordics from easy NATO access. At which point, airspace and even the Baltic Sea, become either closed off, or heavily contested.

    Due to this inherent strategic defeat, in an instance of a Belarussian "color revolution", I have no doubt that Russia will pre-emptively attack across multiple domains, perhaps even military, to neutralize any possibility of Belarus joining NATO as a stable state. They will prefer a destroyed Belarus, to other alternatives, because other alternatives are always viewed as a worst-case scenario. These are military minds, they will always view any situation in terms of, "What is the worst-case scenario?" We, the United States, do so as well.

    EDIT: As a side-note, the entire point of Zapad 2017 (besides testing military hardware, battle readiness, and showing off) was to practice for a Belarus "color revolution" scenario.

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    Vladyvid's Avatar Wizard of Turmish
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    Default Re: Protests in Belarus over vote fraud turn violent as police fire at protesters and government shuts down internet

    Some good points here. I would only like to add, that despite the current protests and the Belarussian 'awakening' of nationalism, the Belarussian nation is really very fragile. If they get under Russian control, their national identity can be mostly lost within several generations. They had only really started to form their national identity in the 19th century, and still not all of those who live there consider themselves Belarussian. So for Russia, to take over Belarus completely is probably the best thing to do. There would be some uproar in the west for a while, but then things would get back to normal rather quickly i think. Then within some 2-3 generations they could assimilate most of the nation as their own.

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    Default Re: Protests in Belarus over vote fraud turn violent as police fire at protesters and government shuts down internet

    The "national identity" is BS to begin with. I can't even really hear the difference between Belarussian and Russian. There's very little difference there. Compare that to e.g. various German dialects that don't really understand each other at all, unless they're used to it.
    There's also zero likelihood that the RF's going to subjugate whatever the Belarussians have:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiki, since I'm lazy
    Russia is a multi-national state with over 185 ethnic groups designated as nationalities; the populations of these groups vary enormously, from millions (e.g., Russians, Tatars) to under 10,000 (e.g., Samis, Kets).
    While the EU has 87. Russia didn't magically create those ethnic groups out of nowhere. It's more that it did not do as much as was done throughout Europe to stamp out ethnic diversity.

    The EU has 24 official languages, vs 35 in the RF. That's all providing the very unlikely scenario comes to pass that the reunification actually happens, which it in the near future almost definitely won't.

    As for politics, Russia and Belarus made that union state agreement decades ago. The hope of Lukashenko, who was very much pushing for it then and quite popular across the former Russian speaking former Soviet Union, was that he'd become the president of it in its entirety. To this day Belarus is much more embracing its Soviet past than the RF is, e.g. in its state symbols or even in its intelligence service, which is still named KGB. Which it isn't in Russia. Putin then stabilising the country and gaining popularity destroyed Lukashenko's hopes somewhat, and he tried to do the same thing as Yanukovych had in Ukraine - playing both sides. His relationship to the RF and to Putin especially was very strained towards the end.

    Knowing fully well what the West likes to do especially to those trying to be its friends (#Yanukovych), Lukashenko still vowed that there wouldn't be a Maidan. The Western countries pushing for this colour revolution should've known their chances of success (~0) and made the president an offer to get him to switch sides. Instead they made him shut the door firmly. Own goal -> Kek.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
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    Settra's Avatar the Imperishable
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    Default Re: Protests in Belarus over vote fraud turn violent as police fire at protesters and government shuts down internet

    Actually Russsia did do a lot to stamp out ethnic diversity. Russification is one of the few examples of successful forced conversion of minority ethnicities. Russia has so many nationalities because it is one of the last colonial empires on earth. Most of those 185 are to be found in Siberia and a lot of ethnicities are under 10k specifically because Russian efforts to stamp them out, starting with Catherine the Great's deportations and resetlement of Russians in Bucovina, the Baltics and Poland to Alexander II's and Stalin's efforts to do exactly the same.

    There are cases of entire nationalities being deported by force and spread around Khazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Siberia in general. The Crimean Tatars come to mind for example.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Protests in Belarus over vote fraud turn violent as police fire at protesters and government shuts down internet

    To be fair, USSR was pretty much based on oppressing ethnic Russians, while forcing derussification of whole areas. Russian regions that were populated ethnic Russians since Middle Ages were annexed to other nation's republics, where they were forced to either relocated or assimilate, like in case with Belarus (eastern half of the country), Kazakhstan (its northern regions were initially populated by Russians as part of Southern Siberia) and Ukraine (Novorussia and Crimea).
    The whole misconception of USSR being some kind of nationalist Russian state from a rather small period of history, when Stalin pretended to appeal to "Russian patriotism"during hayday of Barbarossa, when Germans were closing in on Moscow and millions of Soviet citizens rushed to join Germans against Stalin.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Protests in Belarus over vote fraud turn violent as police fire at protesters and government shuts down internet

    Quote Originally Posted by Settra View Post
    Actually Russsia did do a lot to stamp out ethnic diversity. Russification is one of the few examples of successful forced conversion of minority ethnicities. Russia has so many nationalities because it is one of the last colonial empires on earth. Most of those 185 are to be found in Siberia and a lot of ethnicities are under 10k specifically because Russian efforts to stamp them out, starting with Catherine the Great's deportations and resetlement of Russians in Bucovina, the Baltics and Poland to Alexander II's and Stalin's efforts to do exactly the same.

    There are cases of entire nationalities being deported by force and spread around Khazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Siberia in general. The Crimean Tatars come to mind for example.
    Crimean Tatars, Koreans, Japanese, Greeks, Poles, Chechens, and others. Millions of people transferred from one part of USSR to a distant one. Hundreds of thousands died en route, reminiscent of the Trail of Tears often mentioned in US History curricula. This is why I am from Uzbekistan for instance, despite being ethnically Korean.

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    Default Re: Protests in Belarus over vote fraud turn violent as police fire at protesters and government shuts down internet

    Quote Originally Posted by Settra View Post
    Actually Russsia did do a lot to stamp out ethnic diversity. Russification is one of the few examples of successful forced conversion of minority ethnicities. Russia has so many nationalities because it is one of the last colonial empires on earth. Most of those 185 are to be found in Siberia and a lot of ethnicities are under 10k specifically because Russian efforts to stamp them out, starting with Catherine the Great's deportations and resetlement of Russians in Bucovina, the Baltics and Poland to Alexander II's and Stalin's efforts to do exactly the same.

    There are cases of entire nationalities being deported by force and spread around Khazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Siberia in general. The Crimean Tatars come to mind for example.
    Tell me again how did Catherine the Great do that when the Bucovina wasn't part of the Russian empire save, if one's generous, the 1915-1917 wartime years at which point Catherine's corpse had been rotting for over a hundred years?

    There's a difference between the Soviets being (an understatement) in general and deportations, which in the Crimean Tartar case happened as the Soviets were fighting a war, and them trying to stamp a culture out, which again they did not. Otherwise they would without a shadow of a doubt have succeeded. Nothing stopped the Soviets from starting China style ethnic internment&reeducation camps,

    As I pointed out for France here, it's really not that hard nor does it take long to destroy the identity of minority, even if you're not as ruthless as the Soviets were. The languages in Russia that went extinct or died out did so as part of natural processes, such as their population spread being very small to begin with.
    Quote Originally Posted by Love Mountain View Post
    Crimean Tatars, Koreans, Japanese, Greeks, Poles, Chechens, and others. Millions of people transferred from one part of USSR to a distant one. Hundreds of thousands died en route, reminiscent of the Trail of Tears often mentioned in US History curricula. This is why I am from Uzbekistan for instance, despite being ethnically Korean.
    In the Soviet Union, whilst still inhumane, this happened during a war, and with a significantly lower percentual death toll than the American one. The people were later allowed to return. Now you tell me again how you think this comparison is appropriate, and how many of the Native American languages have an official status in the US today.
    Last edited by Cookiegod; September 19, 2020 at 12:56 AM. Reason: fixed :wub:

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    From Socrates over Jesus to me it has always been the lot of any true visionary to be rejected by the reactionary bourgeoisie
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