Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Rights Advocates Urge Excluding Race from All Russian Laws and Any Official Use of Term

Paul Goble

            Staunton, November 9 – In a move that some will see as unexpectedly necessary, others as political correctness, and still others as falling in line behind Western countries, the Association of Russian Lawyers for Human Rights has called for excluding the term “race” from all Russian legal acts and refusing to use it at the international level.

            A few months ago, German Justice Minister Kristin Lambrecht urged that all countries take this step. The Russian group agrees and says it is required to prevent any possibility of racial discrimination ( and

            “The term ‘race’ is anti-scientific,” Mariya Arkhipova, head of the Association says. “At some point in the past there were various humanoid races in the Earth, the Denisovites, the Neanderthals, and man. Man is the only humanoid race now and to divide humanity into races … creates the basis for splits in society, political speculation, and populism.” 

            In the Russian Federation now, she continues, “the term ‘race’ is used by populists and frauds to promote international tensions, divisions of citizens inside the country.” She suggest those who engage in such exploitation of this unscientific term should be “behind bars” especially in a multinational country like Russia where the term can be “explosive.” 

            In reality, there are relatively few cases in which the term is employed in Russian law. Soviet laws rarely made reference to this category, and Russian laws have generally followed course. Consequently, the biggest change such a ban would involve would be in the discourse of Russian officials who all too often make reference to races, something radicals pick up on.



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