Kremlin Now Focusing on Discrimination against Russians Rather than by Them
July 10 – Reflecting the shift from liberal values to populist ones in many countries,
the Kremlin is signaling that it will devote more attention to acts of
discrimination against the ethnic Russian majority by non-Russians than against
non-Russian minorities by the Russian majority as in the recent past.
analysts and human rights activists continue to argue that discrimination
against minorities by majorities is far more common than the reverse and that
the power of the state should be used to protect the minorities against
majority oppression, but populist leaders in many countries have won support by
insisting that it is the majority that needs protection.
the United States, for example, discrimination by whites against Blacks has
been countered by state power, which has been responsible for remarkable
progress by that minority and by a shift in the attitudes of the majority. But
now populist candidates have discovered that they can win support by complaining
Vladimir Putin, whose government has never gone as far in supporting minorities
as even the Soviet regime has, one whose first two decades at least US political
scientist Terry Martin has intriguingly described as The Affirmative Action Empire (Cornell, 2001), is opting for the
populist majoritarian position.
far, the Kremlin leader has not openly declared that is his intention. But it
is clear from the way in which he is applying power, moving against the
autonomy and language rights of the non-Russian peoples and promoting the
majority nation above all, that that is very much his plan.
there is another piece of evidence: Aleksandr Brod, a member of the
Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights, has declared that
Moscow must set up additional monitoring to measure and then to counter
discrimination against ethnic Russians in Tuva (rapsinews.ru/human_rights_protection_news/20180706/284248020.html).
response to complaints by the ethnic Russians in Tuva, Brod said that “it is
necessary to analyze the reaction of the procuracy and the practice of court decisions”
in order to ensure that officials in the republics do not discriminate against
ethnic Russians, the majority nation in the Russian Federation.
comments and proposals came in response to an open letter from Viktor Molin,
head of the Union of Russian Speaking Citizens of Tuva, to Putin and Tuvan
Senator Lyudmila Narusova in which he asserted that since the coming to power
of Sholban Kara-oola in that republic the Russian population has been subject