Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Duma Urged to Give Most People in Northern and Eastern Russia Same Rights as the Indigenous Numerically Small Peoples, Thus Threatening the Survival of the Latter

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Apr. 8 – A group of Duma deputies is calling on their colleagues to approve a measure that would strip the already hard-pressed but numerically small non-Russian nationalities of the North, Siberia and the Far East of their special rights to conduct their traditional way of life and put the survival of these peoples at risk.

            Since Soviet times, Moscow has given members of these small nationalities the exclusive right to hunt and fish as they have done for time immemorial. Those of other nations who have moved in among them have often sought to be given the same rights as those enjoyed by the numerically small peoples even though these arrivals in do not have a traditional lifestyle.

            Now a group of Russian parliamentarians, led by LDPR deputy Leonid Slutsky, have proposed a new law that would grant to all those born in these regions regardless of nationality and all those who have lived there no less than 35 years again regardless of nationality to enjoy the rights that (

What Slutsky’s proposal would do is to overturn for the Russian Federation as a whole a system that has long been under attack at the regional and local level by ethnic Russians and others ( and

            But this idea may tragically be one whose time has come given that in the last few years and especially since Putin’s Anschluss of Crimea in 2014 and his expanded invasion of Ukraine since 2022, the position of the numerically small peoples has been challenged in a variety of ways ( and

            It is far from certain whether this proposal will be adopted, but the very fact that it is now being pushed highlights the growing willingness of Moscow politicians to pander to ethnic Russian and corporate interests and ignore the rights of non-Russian and especially small non-Russian nationalities even if Moscow up to now has recognized those rights at least on paper.

            But one thing is clear: if this draft legislation does gain support, that will radicalize the numerically small peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East and at the same time radicalize other larger non-Russian nations who are certain to view this move as yet another move by the central government to weaken their positions and threaten their future as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment