Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Putin has Been Quietly Appointing Deputy Heads in State Institutions to be Responsible for Promoting Patriotism

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Feb. 29 – A little over a year ago, on February 17, 2023, Vladimir Putin signed a decree calling for the establishment of the position of deputy head of each Russian government agency who would be responsible for promoting patriotism. The decree was not published but rather issued “for official use only.”

            The Important Stories portal reports that it has been able to track down the existence of such a decree because of the efforts some but far from all Russian government ministries and other agencies have made first to create such a position and then to have an official appointed to the position (istories.media/news/2024/02/29/zamestiteli-po-patriotizmu/).

            Given the centrality of patriotism in Putin’s statements and Russian propaganda, it is striking that such an innovation would be introduced and then carried out behind the scenes rather than presented as a necessary step to implement what the Kremlin wants and equally striking that far from all government institutions have carried out that decree’s provisions.

            Meanwhile, another government reform is working its way through the Duma. There, several deputies have proposed creating councils of national-cultural autonomies in regions, republics and cities (nazaccent.ru/content/41877-v-gosdume-predlozhili-sozdavat-sovety-nacionalno-kulturnyh.html).

            The draft bill is available at sozd.duma.gov.ru/bill/563487-8#bh_histras and would set up at the regional and city level councils that would organize existing national cultural bodies. At present, Russia has 22 such autonomies at the federal level, 297 at the regional and 959 at the local level, all responsible for promoting the needs of the nationalities they represent.

            What is worrisome is that the creation of such regional and local bodies bringing together such national autonomies may represent yet another attack on the continued existence of republics and autonomous districts.


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