Tuesday, March 7, 2023

More than 90 Percent of Those with No Nationality Listed in 2021 Russian Census are in Cities, Gilmanov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Mar. 5 – With almost each passing day, new evidence is coming to light about how inaccurate and in fact distorted the results of the 2021 Russian census were. The latest contribution to this unmasking of official fraud comes from Nail Gilmanov, a Tatar historian in Moscow who notes that fraud was more common in cities than elsewhere.

            He has prepared a major study of the census, a small part of which has been published by the Milliard.Tatar portal (milliard.tatar/news/perepis-2021-v-kakix-regionax-poscitali-nacionalnosti-po-cestnomu-3002). Among his key findings which underscore increasing doubts about the reliability of the census are the following:

·       The total number of people recorded as not having a nationality was not 16.6 million as many have reported but 18.5 million because in addition to the nine million for whom there was no data and the seven million who refused to answer the question, there were 542,000 who declared they had no nationality, and 1,394,000 who gave answers that did not correspond to one of the list of national groups the authorities had established in advance.

·       The primary place of falsification was not with the census takers but with regional officials who decided how to report that the census takers had gathered. These varied widely from comparably honest results in Mordvinia to dishonest ones in Samara and especially dishonest ones in Moscow and St. Petersburg, all of which pointed in a single direction – the increase in the percentage of ethnic Russians and the decrease in the share of non-Russians.

·       In the Middle Volga, officials decided to list as Russians people with Russian names even if those bearing them were in fact members of Finno-Ugric or Turkic nations.

·       The worst case of manipulation to boost ethnic Russians and cut the number of non-Russians was in St. Petersburg. There, Russians were reported as having increased by 9.4 percent while non-Russians were said to have fallen 36.2 percent, implausible figures that local media have already called out.

·       Moscow also manipulated figures in much the same way. Between 1959 and 2002, the share of non-Russians in the capital was between 10 and 11 percent. In 2010, it fell to 7.86 percent; but in 2021, it fell to 3.98 percent, something completely implausible for those who live there and almost certainly the result of manipulation.


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