ANSWERS: RUSSIA WILL NOT BECOME NATIONALIST
AGAIN AND AGAIN RUSSIA HAS NOT GIVEN IN TO POWERFUL NATIONALIST INFLUENCES IN THE COUNTRY
Leon Aron, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, The Weekly Standard, April 20, 1998: Pg. 23, HEADLINE: THE REMARKABLE RISE OF DEMOCRATIC RUSSIA , acs-VT99
In Russia, too, the nationalist Left, known as the "national patriots," has continually urged pugnacity in foreign policy. Since 1995, the nationalists have enjoyed a plurality in the Duma, the lower house of parliament. Indeed, early in 1996, the Duma actually voted to annul the Belavezhskie agreements of 1991, which formalized the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Such actions elicit a deafening chorus of support from the flagships of the leftist- nationalist media -- Pravda, Sovetskaya Rossia, and Zavtra, with a combined daily press run of over half a million -- and from the nearly 300 pro-Communist local newspapers.
Yet even when President Boris Yeltsin has been handed opportunities to propitiate the nationalists and reap a political windfall, he has passed them up -- as he did in the case of NATO expansion. After much bluster, Yeltsin chose to sign the NATO- Russia Founding Act and to accommodate the United States and its partners, rather than reprise the Cold War even rhetorically. " More than once, the East and the West have missed opportunities to reconcile," Yeltsin said in February 1997 when the final negotiations with NATO got underway. "This chance must not be missed." Gennady Zyuganov, leader of the nationalist opposition and chairman of the Russian Communist party, meanwhile, was calling the Founding Act "unconditional surrender" and a "betrayal of Russia's interests."
RUSSIAN PUBLIC DOESNT CARE ABOUT THE THREAT FROM THE WEST, AND NO NATIONALIST POPULIST MOVEMENT WILL BE CREATED BECAUSE OF ANTI-USA SENTIMENT
MICHAEL R. GORDON, The New York Times, May 2, 1998, Section A; Page 6; HEADLINE: NATO Is Inching Closer, But Russians Don't Blink // acs-VT99
Much of the Russian public is too consumed with the daily economic grind to care. Like many Americans, Russians have turned inward since the end of the cold war. Russia's biggest challenges are the payment of back wages, tax reform and other social and economic concerns, not foreign policy. Public opinion surveys have shown that half of those polled are indifferent about NATO enlargement. Those that have a view, however, tend to be negative.
The temperate Russian response minimizes the risk that a populist could rise to power on a tidal wave of anti-American sentiment.
NATIONALISM CANT REALLY TAKE HOLD IN RUSSIA BECAUSE IT AUTOMATICALLY EXCLUDES TOO MUCH OF THE POPULATION
Holger Jensen, international editor of the Rocky Mountain News, The Fresno Bee, September 29, 1997, Pg. B7, HEADLINE: U.S still searching for Russian doctrine in post-Cold War era acs-VT99
Nationalism also wouldn't do, at least not the kind preached by xenophobic legislators and the Russian Orthodox Church, since it excludes a quarter of the population -- especially those living in 20 ethnic republics -- who are neither Slavic Russians nor Orthodox Christians.
RUSSIAN CITIZENS ARE DETERMINED TO REJECT COMMUNIST AUTHORITARIANISM OR HARD-LINE NATIONALISM
David Remnick, Pulitzer Prize winning author on Russia, 1997; RESURRECTION: The Struggle for a New Russia, p. 367 , acs-VT99
Not least in Russia's list of advantages is that its citizens show every indication of refusing a return to the maximalism of communism or the xenophobia of hard-line nationalism. The idea of Russia's "separate path" of development is increasingly a losing proposition for communists and nationalists alike. The highly vulgarized versions of a national idea -- Zyuganov's national bolshevism or the various anti-Semitic, anti-Western platforms of people like Aleksandr Prokhanov -- have repelled most Russian voters, no matter how disappointed the), are with Yeltsin. Anti-Semitism, for example, has no political attraction, as many feared it would; even Lebed, who has betrayed moments of nationalist resentment, has felt it necessary to apologize after making various racist comments. He will not win as an extremist. Rather his appeal is to the popular disgust with the corruption, violence, and general lack of integrity associated with the Yeltsin