Staunton, January 18 – The “Narody Rossii” Facebook page which keeps track of developments in the non-Russian peoples of the Russian Federation has named the Circassian portal, aheku.net/, as the best site among those which seek to provide comprehensive coverage and discussions about its particular people.
In that category, it beat out sites that cover the Chuvash, the Buryats, the Sakha, and also sites which are devoted almost exclusively to forums in which members of these nationalities and those who are interested in them can discuss and debate current issues and future plans (facebook.com/NarodyRossii/posts/1405775259716274).
In addition to the best overall portal, Narody Rossii identified the following news sites or blogs as especially good – the Mari Uver facebook page, the Chuvash site irekle.org/, the Circassian natpress.ru/, and the newly launched Udmurt project http://vanmondyr.ru.
A third category in which Narody Rossii listed what it said were the best sites are those which combine a community portal with blogs. The top three are http://7x7-journal.ru/ which keeps track of relations among non-Russian groups, uralistica.com/profiles/blog/list which features comments by specialists on the Middle Volga, and asiarussia.ru/ which covers developments among the Buryats, the Tuvins, and the Kalmyks.
Narody Rossii’s fourth category of websites includes those who focus on a particular problem or situation in non-Russian areas. The best of these, it says, is the Bashkir anti-corruption site, maidanrb.blogspot.com/. The fifth category includes those of a social or political movement. The best this year is the Komi Permyak site permikomi.com/.
The sixth Narody Rossii category includes publicistic and analytic articles. The best this year, it says, are the Chuvash Right Force site syltam-havat.livejournal.com/, the European Tatarstan site aurupatatarstan.org/ and the Turkist site turkist.org/. These sites cover stories of interest to many non-Russian groups.
And the seventh category is called simply “library sites,” those which gather articles about the language and culture of this or that people. Among the best this year, Narody Rossii says is the Buryat site soyol.ru/.
Three things stand out about this list: First, there is now an enormous diversity of non-Russian sites in the Russian Federation in both the local language and Russian. Those listed as best are only the tip of the iceberg, and more are appearing all the time.
Second, most of these sites are currently hosted outside of Russia which means that they may be better able to survive any Russian government moves against them.
And third and perhaps most important, such sites are finding a growing number of readers and discussants not only among their own national communities but beyond them as well.