Magadan Considering Equalizing Benefits of Numerically Small Peoples and Longtime Russian Residents
December 16 – Moscow’s subsidies for the numerically small indigenous peoples
of the Far North has always been an irritant to ethnic Russians and others they
live among. The latter don’t understand why the others should get more benefits
than they, and now, as economic conditions deteriorate, Russian officials are
moving to meet Russian demands.
reason that this program exists is that the number of people included in the
numerically small indigenous peoples of the North is small and so any subsidies
granted to them amount to only a small part of the budget. If these same
subsidies were extended to other larger groups, the entire program might become
too expensive to sustain.
any more to give non-indigenous nationalities such subsidies is almost certain
to be opposed by the indigenous peoples who have a reasonable fear that
extending benefits to the others could be the straw that breaks the camel’s
back on which they depend to survive.
is thus a measure of how difficult times are in the North that Russian
officials in Magadan are now considering measures that would extend the same
benefits numerically small peoples there receive to all those members of other
nationalities who have been living in that region for at least 15 years.
says that non-indigenous people have been raising this issue for some time, and
the government wants to meet their needs. But to do so, Brodkin adds, it is
necessary to define with more precision who is a member of a numerically small
indigenous nation and who is not, even though such a definition does exist in
comment alone suggests that the Magadan authorities are ready to extend aid to
others who have lived in the oblast for more than 15 years even though they do
not practice the kinds of traditional ways of life as the federal law
requires.And that in turn means that
there is certain to be a conflict between the indigenous peoples and the
that happens, it could create a situation in which even more of the
non-indigenous people would feel compelled to leave the area tilting its ethnic
makeup and thus Moscow’s control away from the ethnic Russians who dominate the
area now to the non-Russian indigenous peoples who have lived there from time