Staunton, Sept. 1 – The Putin regime wants homogenization in all things, including in school uniforms; and this school year, it has imposed a standard dress code for pupils across the country. But some non-Russian republics and predominantly Russian regions are adding an ethnic component to them, one that serves to distinguish them even more clearly.
It is an ancient observation that putting people in uniform makes any differences among them more prominent; and that is especially the case when groups are in a position to modify the standard in ways that highlight their distinctiveness. That is something Vladimir Putin and his regime appear not yet to have learned.
In federal subject after federal subject this year, officials, often supported by local businessmen, are providing slight modifications to the dress code for pupils the Kremlin has imposed, modifications that have the effect of highlighting differences among the regions and republics rather than minimizing them.
A survey of the situation by NazAccent suggests that for both the pupils who wear such modified uniforms and their parents, the modifications may be at least as important as the standard uniform and possibly even more (nazaccent.ru/content/41206-shkolnaya-forma-s-nacionalnym-koloritom.html).
If that is the case, then the Putin regime will either have to ban all such modifications, something that will only highlight the differences these modifications signal, or allow all regions and republics to introduce them, something that will vitiate much of what the Kremlin wants to see happen.