January 6th Riot

Will the U.K. break up?

Roger Bara

Even though I was born in England, and am therefore English, if you analyse it, I actually belong to somewhere rather more complicated: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Yes, an unusual country, but sadly, also a dying one. It is an assembly of nations and territories, blending together England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Complex? You bet. I believe that the UK no longer knows what or who it is, or even where it wants to go. Ask any of us how we consider ourselves, and the cracks start to show. Some of us reckon we are British, others will say no, we’re not. Some are quite happy to be British and Scottish, or British and Welsh while in Northern Ireland you get one group of people saying they are only British, while others there will describe themselves as only Irish.

In the partisan world of sport, if a Scotsman (like tennis player Andy Murray) becomes an icon of true brilliance, the rest of us say he’s British. When he loses, he’s merely Scottish.

Boris Johnson

While I reckon things have been dismantling for some time, with Scotland having already had one referendum on independence, and another in the pipeline, (have as many as you need until you get the result you want..), it was the lack of sagacity of Brexit that has reopened wounds into never-healing lacerations. 

This seemed like a vote for the English, by the English, for the benefit of the English. (Cobblers, by the way; Brexit remains one of the most fundamental own-goals ever scored in British politics.)

The majority of the UK, just, voted for Brexit, but Scotland and Northern Ireland didn’t want that at all. The English carried the vote through.

The “United” Kingdom is ruled by the English, mostly by the English, from its base in London. Those rulers have long forgotten about the other parts that make up the union, less even care about them.

As Tom McTague wrote poetically in The Atlantic: “Those States who have forgotten who they are tend not to last long.” Think about it. The Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Austria-Hungary. We have been warned.   

Is Russia going to break up?

Our Rusuk Blog writer Sergey

Before we turn to Russia, let’s check out the other parts of RUSUK though it is not my part of the responsibility.

The US: no chance in a hundred years, no part of it will break away for many reasons I’m not going to discuss here as it is Dean’s business.

The UK: chances are pretty high because of Scotland’s case. I am not British but I can’t understand how you can hold an independence referendum, lose it, and then find some other reason to hold it one more time. Maybe Roger will explain it in his blog. Let’s wait and see.

Finally, Russia.

You will be surprised but I don’t see a chance for it to be dismantled anyhow. Even if Russia eventually loses the war in Ukraine, which is likely, and experiences a regime change, which is less likely but highly desirable to me.

The reason for Russia to feel on the safe side is that any potentially separatist region, like Chechya or Tatarstan, will not, in my opinion, have any economic or political benefits in gaining independence. I think that the current system of the Russian Federation is stable and there’s no threat of it to break apart. Even if tomorrow a new guy, with a completely new political agenda will have a seat in the Kremlin.

Vlad Putin

In case of a possible military debacle (which is not for sure at this stage), Russia will lose all the territories it invaded on February 24. There’s some possibility that even Crimea and the Donbas region will get back into the ‘gray’ zone to somehow be divided between Russia and Ukraine. But no pre-2014 Russian areas will be torn away. Even the Kaliningrad region. Simply because there’s a strong national identity to live within a united country.

It looks like for every administrative territory of Russia it is better to stay inside it. Yes, I guess the political system in the foreseeable future is going to be decentralized as it is necessary for more sustainable development. Now it is not a ‘federation’ like it is officially called, but rather a unitary state.

When Putin is gone, changes will come. But the current shape of Russia will stay untouched; the worst-case scenario could be a return to the 2014 boundaries, before the Crimea annexation. But to me, Crimea would, de facto, remain a part of Russia.  

Is The United States Going to Break Up?

Photograph of Dean Lewis

Most countries don’t last that long in the grand scheme of things. They grow, shrink, and sometimes they denigrate. All three of our countries have suffered civil wars. The British, of course, being the most civil of the bunch. Even their General was named Christian. Hint: he wasn’t.

The Russians enjoyed themselves so much they decided to go for a second helping. But the Americans, as always, had a “hold my beer” moment. There were more casualties in the US Civil War than in all other wars the Americans fought in combined. I understand that record may have fallen in just the last couple of years. Nevertheless, one in eight men were killed or wounded. Not one in eight solders, one in eight males.

I’ll argue that the likelihood of the US breaking-up depends in no small measure on The Donald. The Supreme Court is no longer an impartial arbiter of, well, anything. The Lower House on the Congress will likely flip conservative later this year and if Trump can get back in in 2024 the nation will not break up. The far right wing of the Republican Party will rule the country. The center and far left have no interest in divorce.

It’s highly unlikely Trump will ever be fairly elected President again. He never enjoyed the approval of the majority of Americans one single day during his entire tenure. Here is how Trump could cause the break-up of the United States:

  • He loses the election (again)
  • He claims he won but was cheated (again)
  • He’s within ten or fifteen million votes (again)
  • He uses State Legislatures to simply have himself appointed President
  • This legal coup is somehow overturned
Donald Trump
The Donald

Because this is The Donald; he absolutely will not stand by quietly and allow the process to work. He will do everything in his power to create maximum chaos and hate. 

Now, you have a recipe for the break-up of the US. It’s the MAGAs. 

Today, I don’t think this is likely to come to pass. There are too many sharks circling Trump. One of several likely to get him is Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis. He is a rising star in MAGA circles and unlike Trump, he’s smart and he’s not damaged goods.