Tuesday, May 3, 2022

As Long as War in Ukraine Goes On, Non-Russians Must Not Engage in Business as Usual, URALIC Leader Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 22 – Many non-Russians are quite prepared to continue to take part in cultural activities even as Moscow wages war in Ukraine, but they fail to recognize that such actions help the Kremlin maintain the fiction both at home and abroad that everything is just fine in Putin’s Russia, Oliver Loode says.

            The Finno-Ugric activist who heads the URALIC Center for the Development of Indigenous Peoples in Tallinn says that instead, they should refuse to take part in such activities because they are by so doing helping those guilty of violating international law and also creating conditions for additional repression against themselves (region.expert/war-dances/).

            Loode says he does not expect his appeal to be popular as many non-Russians living within the current borders of the Russian Federation see such cultural activities as the only means they have of promoting the survival of their nations. But avoiding becoming complicit even in this way with Putin’s war in Ukraine is something they must do to preserve their honor.

            “From a moral point of view,” the URALIC leader says, “silence sounds much larger than business as usual.”

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