Friday, September 15, 2023

Russian Education Ministry Drafting Law Many Fear will Force Not Just Migrants but All Non-Russians Who Don’t Know Russian Well to Go to Special Schools

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Sept. 1 – Valery Fadeyev, head of the Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights, says the Russian education ministry is currently drafting new laws that will allow the authorities to force the children of immigrants to go to special transition schools where they will be taught Russian on an intensive basis.

            But some non-Russians fear that the law will be written in such a way that children of non-Russian natives of the Russian Federation will be similarly compelled and that is part of a broader Kremlin plan to Russianize and Russify the remaining non-Russians who don’t know Russian well ( and

            Some of the experts with whom Azatliq spoke say it is too soon to draw any conclusions. The new law may not extend such arrangements beyond the immigrant community, but many suggest that such assumptions are misplaced because the law will create a cadre of officials who will check Russian language knowledge.

            If such a cadre is created, they suggest, Moscow will attempt to use it to continue its campaign to wipe out the use of non-Russian languages not only among immigrant workers whose knowledge of such languages is strong but also almost native peoples who have already in many cases lost the habit of using their own tongues.

            To the extent that even these people are correct, the draft legislation now being prepared represents what may be part of a much larger effort by the Putin regime to wipe out all languages other than Russians, succeeding in some places but outraging people in others who will resent such intervention by Moscow.


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