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By Marina Dierks --  Warrior Maven Guest Contributor and expert Russian Linguist and Russia Analyst.

The word “Russian” has two completely different words in the Russian language. One means citizenship (“Russianin”), and another means ethnicity (“Russki”). To truly comprehend how different these words are one would have to compare the words “American” and “Cherokee”.

Russki Ethnicity

There are over 190 ethnic groups in Russia, and only one of them – Russki ethnicity - took dominance and possession over the whole land and enforced their language onto others. This ethnic group became so powerful that faking your ethnicity as “Russki” has become a norm. Historically it would bring more respect and a better career. What makes the melting pot of ethnic groups in Russia different from the US is that most of them have a historic claim on land there. A true Pandora's box.

Mikhail Gorbachev

Gorbachev at the White House Library in Washington, D.C., 1987

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The propaganda of interethnic unity successfully held up under Soviet oppression. The utopia of all nations living as a brotherhood under the guidance of their big Russian (Russki) brother started falling apart together with the Soviet Union, when the Azeri genocide against Armenians shocked the Communists. Gorbachev, unprepared, went out of his way to keep it a secret. And by now even the infamous Slavic brotherhood fable is exposed with both Russians and Ukrainians killing each other. But the truth is Ukrainians never “loved” their domineering and oppressive brothers “Moskali”. Just like the other “little brothers” across the former USSR, they felt dominated, abused, and patronized. These nations walking away has a domino effect and Russia will fall apart like a house of cards, if it doesn’t enforce "ethnic unity". The rest of the Caucuses, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan and even Siberia will want out.

Russian land expands to over 6 million sq. miles. Centralized in Moscow its leaders subjugated the indigenous tribes and nations across the land through force and propaganda. The country is so dispersed yet so ethnically and religiously diverse that the only way to keep the country together is through totalitarianism. Democracy would never work there as it fails to control anarchy and ethnic rebellion. The Russian Rulers have always known it. Russia is four times bigger than the EU and has four times more the number of ethnic groups with historic land claims.

The fact is, Russia is a forced union of a multitude of tribes. Scaring Russia with sanctions is an old and rather unifying game they are used to playing. But throw an ethnically ignited match and you will see fires, division, and bloodshed like you’ve never seen before.

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives in Moscow on March 18 to deliver a speech at a concert marking the eighth anniversary of Crimea’s reunification with Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives in Moscow on March 18 to deliver a speech at a concert marking the eighth anniversary of Crimea’s reunification with Russia.

First were the former Soviet republics breaking the spell of the “brotherhood” dogma, then the ethnic regions, then there will be nothing left of mother Russia other than Moscow. The ethnic division is fatal, because with each ethnic group splitting off; there goes the land and Putin knows it. Hence Russia will viciously fight against anyone trying to leave the “tribe”, from Chechnya to Ukraine, and to the next one.

Marina Dierks is an expert Russian Linguist and Russia Analyst. She has written analysis on Russian affairs, Russia’s ethnic and religious issues, history and culture. As a linguist and analyst, Marina has also supported the US Coast Guard Auxiliary as a Flotilla Staff Officer. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia and a Masters degree in Software Management and Development from the Rochester Institute of Technology