[Ed. – SMOD can’t get here soon enough.]
[O]ver the past 15 months there has been a sudden, bizarro uptick of Russian interest in and around the American Southwest, most notably Texas, where secessionist sentiment never seems to entirely die out (TNM’s predecessor group, the “Republic of Texas,” disbanded after secessionist militants took hostages in 1997). In a rehash of the Soviet Union’s fate, numerous Russian voices have taken to envisioning an American break-up, E Pluribus Unum in inverse—out of one, many.
Nor is Texas the lone region for which Russia has cast secessionist support since the Crimean seizure. Venice, Scotland, Catalonia—the Russian media have voiced fervent support for secession in all these Western allies. (Of course, Moscow’s mantra—secession for thee, but not for me—means you’d be hard-pressed to find any Russian official offering support for Siberian, Tatar, or Chechen independence.) “Since the destabilization of the West is on Russia’s agenda, they may try to reach out to the U.S. separatists,” Anton Shekhovtsov, a researcher on Moscow’s links to far-right movements in Europe, told me. Russia wants a “deepening of social divisions in the American society, destabilizing the internal political life.” And certain Texans, rather than running from the taint of an authoritarian backing, have reciprocated. …
Just a few months ago, a cousin of the Zimmermann Telegram was delivered by a Russian government official, directed squarely at an American government once more waffling about military intervention in the European theater. The speaker of Chechnya’s parliament, Dukuvakha Abdurakhmanov, warned that should the U.S. increase its supply of arms to Kyiv, “we will begin delivery of new weapons to Mexico” and “resume debate on the legal status of the territories annexed by the United States, which are now the U.S. states of California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming.” As to the putative destination for the weapons, Abdurakhmanov cited unspecified “guerrillas.” (Sealing his screed, Abdurakhmanov inexplicably cited Joe Biden as the creator of the current Ukrainian government.)