Before the vote, Yushaa Gazgireyev, a United Russia deputy from Ingushetia, said that “the adoption of the bill in the form offered creates a threat to the multi-national nature of the Russian Federatio” and Zaur Gekkiyev, a United Russia deputy from Kabardino-Balkaria, asked that it be pulled and replaced. But neither voted against.
It is true that one of the three deputies who voted against was a former Daghestani official, Rizvan Kurbanov, who is a member of the KPRF. But at present, he doesn’t represent the republic. Instead, he is part of regional group which represents occupied Crimea, occupied Sevastopol, and Kaliningrad.
Nine deputies from Daghestan voted for the measure, while three each from Kabardino-Balkaria and North Ossetia did so, and one each from Karachayevo-Cherkessia and Ingushetia. But not one of the deputies from Chechnya voted for the measure. However, they didn’t vote against but rather did not participate in the voting.
For their failure to vote note, one blogger denounced them for “cowardice,” while another said that “not voting was equivalent to voting yes.” Further, yet a third said, “not voting ‘against’ is anything but courageous.” Bloggers attacked all those who voted in favor for undermining the future of their national languages.
There are as yet no indications that anyone in the North Caucasus hopes to initiate recall movements as is already the case in Tatarstan ( ), but people in the North Caucasus are clearly just as angry as are non-Russians in the Middle Volga who are now translating their anger into actions.
In Bashkortostan, the government decided that every school in the republic must from now on fly the republic flag ( ).
If this pattern spreads, those who warned that Putin’s language policies could cause far more problems for Moscow than he could ever imagine.