Friday, January 7, 2022

Tishkov Attacks Ufa Backers of Bashkirization of Tatars and Moscow’s Unintended Support of Them

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 18 – Valery Tishkov, former Russian nationalities minister and doyenne of that country’s ethnographers, has lashed out at those Bashkirs who seek to force ethnic Tatars to call themselves Bashkirs and at officials in Moscow who have encouraged them by girving these radical ideologues positions in key institutions.

            The ethnographer said on Facebook what many have been saying in private because he fears the Bashkirization policy is potentially explosive and that any actions by Russian institutions that appears to sanction such as appointing its advocates to public councils is dangerous ( and


            Tishkov was especially exercised by the fact that the Federal Agency for Nationality Affairs has four Bashkirs and no Tatars in its public council and that the four all have the reputation as enthusiastic backers of the Bashkirization of Tatars and of the theory that those in northwestern Bashkortostan who think they are Tatars are in reality Bashkirs.


            This issue has long been a point of contention between Tatars and Bashkirs and has grown in intensity in the run-up to the census given Bashkir fears that their numbers may decline and Tatar concerns that Tatars could lose their status as the second largest nationality in the Russian Federation.


            (On this controversy, see,, and


            Until now, Tatars have complained mightily about what the Bashkirs are doing, but the Russian government has largely ignored the controversy. By speaking out now, Tishkov has raised the salience of this issue and warned officials in the Russian capital that ignoring such things or doing anything which appears to support policies like Bashkirization must be fought.



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