Thursday, September 22, 2016

Tishkov Says Crimean Anschluss and Sanctions have Pushed Ethnic Relations in Russia a ‘Positive’ Direction

Paul Goble

            Staunton, September 22 – “For the last three years, the situation in the sphere of inter-ethnic relations has had a positive dynamic,” Valery Tishkov says, with ever less xenophobia and radical nationalism, the direct result of the Sochi Olympiad, the annexation of Crimea, the Donbass fighting and sanctions “which have called for solidarity and all-Russian patriotism.”

            Tishkov, the longtime director of the Moscow Institute of Ethnology and current vice chairman of the Presidential Council on Inter-Ethnic Relations, made that declaration in Kazan at a UNESCO forum on “the humanitarian security of humanity” (

                The ethnographer added that another factor that has contributed to this positive trend has been the adoption of measures by the state, especially with regard to “radical extremist elements.  All this,” he said, has given a positive result, despite the fact that economic trends are far from the best.”

            He also said that he had been concerned that the Duma elections might have exacerbated ethnic relations in Russia. “Typically, in the period of an election campaign, attempts are made to use the ethnic card in the political struggle. But there have not been any open manipulations in the name of this or that people.”

            As far as negative attitudes toward migrants, Tishkov concluded, there have been some “at times sharp words.”   But this is “a world-wide problem,” he said, his usual way of distracting attention from any problem in Russia by suggesting that other countries suffer from it as well.

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