). But perhaps the most important was on display this week in the Russian Duma when it voted on Putin’s language law that Tatars and other non-Russians oppose.
Given the Kremlin’s complete control over the parliament, it is not surprising that this noxious plan to undermine instruction in the non-Russian languages was approved on first reading by a vote of 373 to three (
But what was surprising is this: Eleven of the 16 Duma deputies from Tatarstan voted for the Kremlin’s language law. Only one abstained and four did not take part in the voting. But the important statistic is that not a single one of them voted no, despite the overwhelming opposition of their own constituents (
Those who voted for the measure, of course, sought to explain that they were doing so tactically and hope that there will be major changes in the legislation before the second and third rounds of voting, despite the fact that the powers that be in Moscow have shown themselves unwilling to make any fundamental concessions (