Moscow Moves Quickly to Ensure Even Greater Dominance of Russian Language in Non-Russian Schools
August 2 – Less than a week after the Duma approved the law making the study of
non-Russian languages voluntary while keeping the study of Russian mandatory,
Russian education officials have taken steps that show that all the fears of
the non-Russian opponents of this Putin program are rapidly proving to be true.
Daghestan, a North Caucasus republic in which fewer than one in 25 people is an
ethnic Russian and in which there are no ethnic Russians at all in many of the
regions outside the cities, the republic education ministry this past week
forwarded to local school administrators a Moscow-approved plan for a textbook
on Russian as a native language.
doing so, the authorities made no reference to the much-ballyhooed promises in
the law passed on July 25 for the creation of special foundations to support
non-Russian language instruction. In short, Moscow was ready to promote Russian
well in advance; but it isn’t ready to help the non-Russians (idelreal.org/a/29407053.html).
Local activists are
furious. They feel they’ve been betrayed not only by their own officials who failed
to stand up to Moscow but also by that government which has made promises to be
more supportive of non-Russian languages. Those promises, designed to quiet
dissent, have now been shown to be as worthless as many others the Kremlin has