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The Livonian Institute is Established

Livonian_InstituteAugust 21, 2018, the documents establishing the University of Latvia Livonian Institute have been signed at the University of Latvia. The Institute has been established within the University of Latvia Innovation Centre and the ceremony marking its establishment will take place on September 21, 2018 at 3 pm in the Great Hall (Lielā aula) at the University of Latvia. Continue reading

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Now ‘a National Republic in Name Only’

Shows Where Putin is Heading, Theater Director Says

Vasili_PektejevMany people assume that the situation with non-Russian languages in the non-Russian republics was just fine before Vladimir Putin began his campaign to make the study of non-Russian languages there voluntary while insisting that the study of Russian be compulsory. Continue reading

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Putin Names Merkushkin to New Post to Counter Foreign Influence among Russia’s Finno-Ugric Nations

Putin_MerkushkinVladimir Putin has named Nikolay Merkushkin, the man he just replaced as Samara governor to be his special representative to the upcoming World Congress of Finno-Ugric Peoples, an assignment many will see as a consolation prize but that reflects growing concern about the Finno-Ugric peoples within the Russian Federation. Continue reading

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Mari El Most Russian-Occupied Non-Russian Republic

Statistics Show

Mari_El_russiansDespite Vladimir Putin’s much-ballyhooed power vertical, Moscow has not imposed an identical approach to running the various non-Russian republics of the Russian Federation, as new statistics about ethnic representation in government positions in three Middle Volga republics, Mari El, Tatarstan and Chuvashia, show. Continue reading

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Will the Sixth Finno-Ugric Festival in Udmurtia Be the Last?

Officials Tighten the Screws

palezyanAn official action in Izhevsk this week has some dangerous implications not only for the more than 2.3 million members of Finno-Ugric peoples now living within the borders of the Russian Federation but also and more ominously for the cultural life of all non-Russians in that country. Continue reading

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The Resilient Pagans of Russia

Mari5-690Wen the Bolsheviks went about counting and cataloguing the ethnicities they had inherited from the Russian Empire, they identified not one but two Mari nations: the Mountain Mari, numbering about fifty thousand, and the Meadow Mari, a hundred and fifty thousand strong. Both were related to the Finns, spoke Finno-Ugric languages, and had received a modified Cyrillic written language from Russian missionaries in the nineteenth century. Continue reading

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Is there still multilingualism in the Middle Volga region today?

VolgaizmThe structural similarities of the Middle Volga languages, sometimes referred to as the Volga Sprachbund, would not have been possible without a significant amount of multilingualism. In contact zones, multilingualism was normal.

Moreover, following the conquest of Kazan in 1552, Tatar remained the lingua franca of the Middle Volga. For example, if a Mari met an Udmurt, they would have likely spoken Tatar to each other. Continue reading

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