Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Window on Eurasia: A Buryat’s Cri de Coeur about Those Who Want a Russia Only for the Russians

Paul Goble

            Staunton, August 13 – In a two minute 38 second video clip, Aleksandra Garmadzhapova, a journalist who works for Moscow’s “Novaya gazeta” issues an impassioned plea clearly direct from her heart about the “absurdity” of Russian attitudes toward and persecution of citizens of the Russian Federation who are members of other ethnic groups.

            Her words capture both the ways in which attacks on non-Russians are disturbing the members of these national communities and how such attacks are likely to produce exactly the opposite result that their ethnic Russian authors intend.  As such, they deserve to be marked and remembered (rosbalt.ru/video/2013/08/10/1162891.html).

Garmadzhapova, an ethnic Buryat, a Buddhist nation in the Trans-Baikal region of the Russian Federation, says that “racism in Russia is taking on absurd forms. All those involved in the persecution of migrants after the conflict in [Moscow’s] Matveyev market, were citizens of Russia,” both those attacking and those being attacked.

“And the very idea that the [ethnic] Russian nation should have priority over others which is supported by those participating in sociological polls creates perplexity. I, as a Buryat woman,” she says, “can then say -- let us all go to our own national apartments and destroy the empire.”

“Is that what you want?”

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