A 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
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.
A 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
Three very different actions by the Kazan Tatars, a major Muslim Spiritual Directorate, and the shamans of the Russian Federation both reflect the unintended consequences of Moscow’s approach to ethnic and religious issues and present new challenges to the Russian government that it may find difficult to dismiss out of hand. Continue reading