Tag Archives: Russia

Discrimination of Mari ethnic minority in Perm krai (Russia)

The residents of the three Mari villages decided at the general meeting to attempt to preserve the Vasinsko primary school and to give it the status of a school with in-depth study of the native Mari language. In their letter titled «Cry of the Soul», they stated that they would not send their children to a school where people conversed only in Russian and where Mari was not taught. Continue reading



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Russia’s unorthodox worshippers

Alexandre Billette pays a visit to forest worshippers of the remote Mari El republic on the Volga, who have maintained their religious traditions despite pressure from the Tsars, the Soviet regime and the Orthodox church.

On a poor road across the Mari El Republic, the village of Mari-Turek is barely distinguishable from thousands of others in rural Russia that time has forgotten. With no industry, it dozes peacefully away from the main thoroughfares of the Volga federal district. Continue reading

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Tatar Children’s Book on Conquest of Kazan in 1552 Outrages Russian

Garif_tatarA Tatar author’s richly illustrated children’s book on Ivan the Terrible’s conquest of Kazan in 1552 that asserts Tatarstan’s “struggle for the restoration of independence continues in our day” has prompted a Russian activist to demand that Moscow intervene to ban the book for “falsifying history to the detriment of Russia.”

On the “Svobodnaya pressa” website at the end of last week, Yan Stashkevich says that “children’s literature in Tatarstan is teaching that the Russian state is a mob of marauders, thieves and usurpers” and that the Tatar’s “struggle for the restoration of independence” has never ended. Continue reading


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Russia’s Indigenous Minorities Organize to Resist Moscow’s Policies

Russia’s Indigenous Minorities Organize to Resist Moscow’s PoliciesRussia’s numerically small indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East are marking the International Day of Indigenous Peoples this weekend with expressions of concern about the ways in which Moscow’s policies threaten their survival and with efforts at creating organizations to resist those policies by attracting support from abroad. Continue reading

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Moscow will Destroy Russia by Copying Soviet Nationality Policy, Middle Volga Peoples Say

The World Congress of Tatars The draft program for Russia’s future nationality policy prepared by the Moscow Institute of Ethnology calls for “the systematic destruction of the federal and democratic foundations” of the Russian Federation and contains elements from Soviet practice that could lead to “the disintegration of the country,” Middle Volga activists say.
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Deadly Ethnic Clash in Closed City Adjoining Russian Missile Test Site

Deadly Ethnic Clash in Closed City Adjoining Russian Missile Test SiteA deadly clash between ethnic Chechens and ethnic Russians in a closed city near a missile test site in Astrakhan oblast on July 19th both has sparked fears among many Russians of a new wave of Kondopoga-type violence across that country and raised questions about security in some of Moscow’s most sensitive military facilities.

And these concerns have been intensified because Russian officials first tried to suppress media coverage, Continue reading

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Human Rights Groups in Kazan Targeted


Police and tax auditors raided the offices of two human rights organizations in Kazan, the capital city of the Russian Republic of Tatarstan, on 20 July 2009. The raids targeted the interregional human rights association AGORA and the Kazan Human Rights Center, disrupting their work.

The authorities confiscated the computer of AGORA’s chief accountant and more than 2,000 documents. Continue reading

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