Staunton, August 6 – Moscow has adopted a variety of stratagems to reduce the number of Kazan Tatars, the second largest nation within the current borders of the Russian Federation. It has promoted Kryashen identity even though most Tatars and many “Kryashens” view the latter as Orthodox Christian Tatars.
More recently, Academician Valery Tishkov has called for allowing people to declare dual nationality, a pattern that would allow census enumerators to reduce the number of Tatars if members of the latter nation declared they were of mixed Tatar-Bashkir or Tatar-Russian by simply deciding to count the one but not the other.
At the same time, Moscow has been concerned about the rapid decline in the number of Crimean Tatars in Russian-occupied Crimea, the result of the flight of many of them from the Ukrainian peninsula as a result of Russian repression and an embarrassment the Russian authorities would like to hide.
Now, Russian officials have come up with a tactic that addresses both of these concerns at one go, further reducing the number of Kazan Tatars while boosting the number of Crimean Tatars. Ruslan Balbek, who represents Crimea in the Duma, says too many Crimean Tatars are identifying only as Tatars and that this must change (nazaccent.ru/content/30540-krymskih-tatar-prizvali-pravilno-ukazat-nacionalnost.html