Not sure who the “King of Hawaii” is who called into the conference, but an interesting little tidbit here from ABC News regarding a separatist conference in Moscow:
Nate Smith, executive director of the Texas Nationalist Movement, looked uncertain as a man identifying himself as an east Ukrainian resistance fighter pledged solidarity to Smith’s struggle for an independent Texas. Standing in a conference room in the Ritz Hotel in central Moscow on Sunday, Smith nodded noncommittally and handed over his business card.
It wasn’t the only incongruous encounter taking place at the Ritz at what has been dubbed Moscow’s international conference of separatists, an eclectic Kremlin-funded gathering of organizations and sometimes wacky individuals pressing for self-rule for often unlikely territories.
Amidst the heavy glitz of the hotel, Catalonian separatists and dissident Irish republicans listened politely to presentations from east Ukrainian rebels, Azerbaijani minorities and the thoughts of the self-proclaimed “King of Hawaii,” who called in via video link.
And among the few dozen activists comparing ideas for how to achieve self-determination, were two Americans campaigning for Texan and Californian secession from the United States.
The conference, now in its second year, is funded largely by the Kremlin and organized by the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia, a group that closely follows government positions. The movement says it is unconnected to the Kremlin, but the hotel conference was almost entirely paid for by a charitable fund founded by President Vladimir Putin, which provided close to $546,000 for the project, according to public records. The attendees, including the Texan delegate, had been offered free flights and accommodation.
The conference’s organizers present it as a platform for marginalized groups, but its agenda overlaps with Kremlin efforts to promote Russia as an alternative guardian for global order, at the head of democratic movement opposed to alleged American imperialism.