Thursday, September 16, 2021

Most Russian Parties Devote Little or No Attention to Ethnic Issues in Their Programs, Nazaccent Finds

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Sept. 15 – Since the end of Soviet times, officials have regularly expressed concern that elections will exacerbate ethnic tensions in the Russian Federation with candidates playing one group against another. But this time around, few parties have said much about ethnic issues; and many have said nothing at all, according to the Nazaccent portal.

            The Civic Platform calls for forming “a new image of Russia as a united polycultural and multi-confessional space.” United Russia says it wants to develop tourism in the national regions and digitalize information about the country’s various peoples so that all can know about them (

            The Greens oppose cutting forests and support taking steps to defend Lake Baikal. The Communists of Russia say they will work to keep the church and state distant from one another as well as to fight anti-Sovietism, Russophobia, chauvinism and separatism. The KPRF wants to promote the Russian language.

            The LDPR also wants to promote Russian, limit immigration, disband non-Russian republics, and repeal Article 282 of the criminal code which it says works against the interests of ethnic Russians.  Rodina’s position is similar to that of the LDPR. Just Russia-For Truth wants to develop all national cultures and defend the Russian language.

            And Yabloko wants to focus on migration questions and ensure that the treatment of migrants is fully regulated by law. It also wants to promote “moderate versions of Islam which propagandize modernized values and fits Muslims into contemporary society” rather than versions that keep them separate.

            But the Pensioners Party, the Party of Growth, the RPSS, the Great Alternative and the New People Party say nothing about inter-ethnic issues in their published programs. Given how important ethnic issues have been in Russia in recent decades, it is striking just how successful the Kremlin has been in keeping such questions out of public discussion. 

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