Staunton, Nov. 3 – Three years after Vladimir Putin created the Foundation for the Preservation and Study of Native Languages in the wake of his decision to make classes in them entirely voluntary, that body has been shut down with those involved saying its brief life was marked by “the imitation of stormy activity,” increasing secrecy and massive corruption.
As a result, Elena Kolebakina-Usmanova of Kazan’s Business Gazeta says, it did not live up to the Kremlin’s promises to help non-Russian languages survive but only provided yet another channel for public moneys to flow into the hands of those with close ties to the powers that be (business-gazeta.ru/article/528102).
The journalist details the way in which the actions it claimed to have taken did not match the actual ones, how officials with no expertise in the field were installed and then engaged in corruption, and the ways that the organization and its parental bodies, the ministry for enlightenment and the Federal Agency for Nationality Affairs worked to hide all this.
Her dogged investigation of all this likely is only a subset of what is true throughout the Putin regime; but it is worth noting because Putin and his media representatives have continued to point to the foundation as evidence that the Kremlin is helping the non-Russians keep their languages alive when in fact it has been doing exactly the opposite.
By closing down the foundation and transferring its functions to the enlightenment ministry and FADN, the Putin regime has simultaneously protected those involved in corruption and the destruction of non-Russian languages and made it more rather than less likely that the corruption of the past three years will continue or even expand.