Staunton, Nov. 15 – The just-completed census in Russia tells only part of the story Russians need to know. They need a census of all Russians living beyond the current borders of Russia in order to establish “the true size of the people” and the conditions under which it is living, Aleksandr Shchipkov says.
The vice president of the World Russian Popular Assembly says that “the Russians ae the largest divided people in the world, and we do not know precisely how many Russian living beyond the borders of Russia.” That matters, he continues. because “in essence, all of us, both citizens of Russian and those Russians who live abroad form a single whole” (interfax-religion.ru/?act=dujour&div=370).
It is our right, Shchipkov says, “to find out how many of us there are in the world. To learn the conditions of life of Russians outside of Russia, where they are, in which territories, under what conditions, what their age is, what levels of education they have and what professions they practice.”
Such an enterprise could be realized via the Internet and it would be “a purely humanitarian action” because “this is the right of the people for knowledge about itself.” But if he and his Moscow associates think that, many others are certain to view such a project in a very negative way.
Many in other countries will view this as yet another form of Russian interference in their domestic affairs; and the entire action could backfire, by exacerbating anti-Russian feelings in places where they have not been that widespread up to now.