Thursday, April 4, 2019

‘No Language has Disappeared as Quickly as Russian’ over Last 25 Years, Duma Deputy Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 4 – Vladimir Putin has made the survival and growth of the use of Russian a key element of his promotion of “the Russian world,” but Leonid Kalashnikov, chairman of the Duma committee which focuses on compatriots abroad, says that over the last 25 years, “no language in the world has disappeared as quickly as Russian.”

            He told a hearing that 80 million fewer people speak Russian now than did in 1991 and that only 12 million out of the 30 million Russian speakers abroad are able to get educations in the language, the result of discriminatory policies by other countries and the failure of Moscow to support Russian speakers abroad adequately (

            Kalashnikov called for the elaboration and implementation of as strategy that would support Russian speakers more adequately against the governments of the countries in which they live, possibly by extending Russian citizenship to Russian speakers on a simplified and expedited basis. 

            It is far from clear that Kalashnikov’s ideas have much support in the Russian government, Konstantin Zatulin, a United Russia deputy, said at the hearing that representatives from various government agencies and ministries had been invited but few of them had even bothered to attend. The Duma must take the lead in changing that, he said.

            One expert who did take part, Aleksandr Brod of the Presidential Council on Human Rights said that his body had sent the government a memorandum calling for the provision of free legal assistance to Russian speakers abroad who are suffering from discrimination. But all the senior officials said is that there is no money for such a program.

No comments:

Post a Comment