Saturday, April 27, 2024

Media Stories Promoting Ethnic Divisions in Russia have Grown by Orders of Magnitude Since Launch of Expanded War in Ukraine, FADN’s Bulatov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Apr. 24 – Since February 2022, the number of stories promoting ethnic divisions within Russian has increased by more than 15 times for the country as a whole and more than a thousand times in some republics, according to Abulgamid Bulatov, who monitors media for the Federal Agency for Nationality Affairs (FADN).

            He said that the number of such stories in 2023 exceeded the number in 2021 by 15 times and that this growth was far greater in the non-Russian republics. There the increase was by a factor of “500, 600 and in some cases more than a thousand times” what it had been before the war (

            The worst examples of this growth, Bulatov continued, were in Buryatia, Daghestan, Chechnya and Ingushetia. And he added that the focus of these articles typically was on questions of historical memory with authors questioning established versions of historical events and thus trying to set the non-Russians against the ethnic Russians.

            Bulatov did not provide more specifics or define the way in which his monitoring group decides which articles are guilty of the offenses he is concerned with. But his numbers are striking especially since Moscow has closed down many media outlets in the republics and elsewhere during this period and tightened controls over most of the others.

            It is possible that FADN is now counting stories which appear on Internet platforms that are based abroad. But even if that is the case, this trend highlights the way in which many non-Russians are responding to Putin’s continued insistence on a single stream of Russian history in which all its peoples now share a common view of the past.

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