Monthly Archives: June 2009

Internet a Last Line of Defense for Non-Russian Rights, Tatar Activist Says

Rafis KashapovA Tatar activist recently given an 18-month suspended sentence for articles protesting Moscow’s Russification policies, says that the Internet activists may have kept him out of jail and, given the government’s increasing pressure on other media, they are often a last line of defense for the rights of ethnic and religious minorities in that country. Continue reading

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Moscow’s New Dam Plan Triggers Tensions in Middle Volga

Cheboksary Hydroelectric StationPresident Dmitry Medvedev’s order at the end of May for the Russian government to draw up plans for a new hydroelectric dam on the Volga is already drawing fire from ecologists and church leaders and generating anger among members of various ethnic groups, parts of whose historical homelands will be flooded if the dam is built. Continue reading

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Moscow’s Plans to ‘Save’ Mordvins Could Destroy that Finno-Ugric Nation

Moscow-backed plans to combine the two literary languages of Mordvinia into one, have speakers of both declare themselves “Mordvins” in the census, and celebrate the millennium of their “union” with the peoples of Russia could kill off that Finno-Ugric nation, one already subject to a very high rate of assimilation in the Russian Federation. Continue reading

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