Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Chuvashia Follows Tatarstan and Sakha in Denouncing Moscow’s Russian Language Policies

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 20 – In another indication of how upset non-Russian republics are a bout Moscow’s new concept paper on Russian language instruction and of how powerful a lead Tatarstan provides on such issues, the State Council of Chuvashia has become the third republic to condemn the tilt toward Russian and against non-Russian languages in that document.

            In December, the State Council of Tatarstan adopted an appeal to Duma speaker Sergey Naryshkin saying that the concept paper “does not provide for the defense of the educational and cultural rights of the peoples of the Russian Federation” and its call for Russian to become the only language of instruction violates the Russian and republic constitutions (

            Specifically, Kazan declared that the concept paper’s call for Russian to be the only language of instruction inflicts “irretrievable harm on the system of national education.”

            The Tatarstan authorities sent this letter to other regions and republics seeking support.  The State Assembly of Sakha has already spoken out against the Moscow concept paper saying that it “violates the federal basis of the state.”  Now Chuvashia has done the same ( and

            What makes this trend so important is that it recapitulates what happened in the late 1980s and early 1990s in the various republics of the Russian Federation and suggests that Kazan continues to have enormous influence in the capitals of these states and that more non-Russian republics have concluded that they can and should speak out now that the Tatars have.

            Chuvashia is an especially important case because as the titular nationality is both Turkic and Orthodox Christian, that Middle Volga republic is likely to be a bridge between Turkic republics like Tatarstan and Sakha and Christian republics elsewhere.

No comments:

Post a Comment