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Window on Eurasia: Putin Said Organizing ‘Separatist International’ Against Europe

Staunton, November 12 Vladimir Putin is organizing a “separatist international” against European countries, thus combining two of his more widely recognized policies: promoting separatism in the former Soviet republics around Russia’s periphery and reaching out to nationalist extremists in Europe.

According to the Severodonetsk portal, Russia is now attacking Europe using the old principle of “’divide and conquer.’” Its backing of separatist enclaves and ultra-right groups there is already bringing Putin dividends, but such actions could backfire.

Ever more European Union countries are confronted with separatist challenges from Spain to Finland and from Great Britain to Romania, and one must ask, the portal says, “whom does this separatist ‘international’ benefit?” The answer, it suggests, is obvious: Moscow and especially Putin. And it provides a map of “active separatist movements” on the continent.

Not long ago, the site of the self-proclaimed “Luhansk People’s Republic” featured greetings from the Venetian Republic, something that does currently exists only in the virtual world after it launched an attempt to seize Piazza San Marco in Venice “synchronously” with Moscow’s moves in eastern Ukraine.

The Italian police were able to round up without difficulty several dozen participants in this action, a group who planned to use weapons purchased from the Albanian mafia and an excavator converted into a tank. Now the group exists only as a “semi-legal” Internet project.

But it has proven useful to Moscow, Sevdon.net continues. Its leader has given interviews to the Russian media praising Putin’s actions in Ukraine and denouncing Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and US President Barack Obama as “war criminals” for opposing Putin’s operation.

And it like other separatist organizations in Europe, even though they represent “non-existing republics,” regularly send messages of support to the Moscow-backed insurgents in southeastern Ukraine and even send “observers” to the stage-managed elections …read more

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