Randy McDonald, who has a blog well-worth following. In it, I discovered a post from Windows on Eurasia claiming that Russian nationalists will be upset by all the concessions that the Russian Federation has made to the Tatar minority in Crimea.
I have no doubt that President Putin intends Crimea to remain part of the Russian Federation until the fourth millenium. His concessions to the Tatars are almost certainly made in good faith, at least in the limited sense that he wants the absorption of the peninsula to go smoothly and easily.
What are the Russian nationalists so excised about? Well, Tatars appear to have received the lion’s share of the plum patronage appointments, in addition to cultural autonomy.
I am reminded of the Constantine Plan, which was the Fifth French Republic’s attempt to win over Algerian public opinion. Except it also appears to have been part of De Gaulle’s plan to convince the population of the Hexagon that the price of victory was too much. The plan committed France to spend huge amounts to develop Algeria. It also in effect put the kibosh on further European integration by employing trade restrictions to help develop Algeria. And ...
... it imposed a 10 percent requirement that all new public positions in France go to Muslim citizens. You heard that right. Not in just the three Algerian departments. In all of France.
The historical questions are obvious. There are two big ones. The one which is irrelevant to this post but more important to, uh, everything else is the following: what happened to the Algerians hired under the affirmative action programs?
The one which is less important but relevant to this post is: how did the metropolitan French-speaking population react ? I cannot help but think that De Gaulle intended the policy as a way to bring around the Hexagon to the need to decolonize. “Look, people,” he seemed to be saying, “keeping Algeria as part of a democratic France without violence means integrating Muslims into every part of your life. Here is what that means. I doubt you want that. So back me in letting this place go.”
I am sure that Putin is not thinking along those lines. He intends Crimea to be part of Russia until the human race is replaced. But since he seems to be a rational man, he may reduce enthusiasm for Russian imperialism nonetheless by extending to the Tatars the minimum needed to keep them a peaceful part of a greater Russian Federation.