Staunton, February 1 – Soviet officials maintained control not by bringing criminal charges against those engaged in actions officials didn’t like but rather by having them expelled from school or fired from their jobs. Such practices were supposed to have ended along with communism, but Stavropol head Valery Zerenkov is actively reviving them.
In an article on the BigCaucasus.com portal yesterday, Svetlana Bolotnikova explicitly links Zerenkov’s actions now to his experience in Soviet times. People who were “unsuitable to the authorities” then were expelled from the party or their institute,” and that is the system that Zerenkov learned (www.bigcaucasus.com/events/topday/31-01-2013/82274-stavropolie_vuz-0/
Obviously, expulsions or even the threat of them in the absence of a legal finding violates the Russian Constitution and Russian law, but so far, Bolotnikova reports, people in Stavropol are less concerned about that than about the fact that Zerenkov is equating the actions of North Caucasians engaged in “hooligan-type” actions with those of ethnic Russians seeking to protest.
And Bolotnikova adds, they are especially upset because from their point of view, Russians who protest against the failure of officials to enforce the law against North Caucasians are only opening the way for more North Caucasians to come, a group who they believe acts on arrival as if its members have annexed the kray to their republics.