Sunday, June 16, 2024

Putin Working to Reduce Nations within Russia to Status of Ethnic Groups, Sidorov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 15 – Since coming to power in 2000, Vladimir Putin has consistently worked to reduce the peoples within the current borders of the Russian Federation from self-standing nations, as proclaimed in the 1993 Russian constitution to mere Russian-speaking ethnic groups, Kharun (Vadim) Sidorov says.

            This change in terms, one long promoted by neo-Eurasianist Aleksandr Dugin ( and former nationalities minister Valery Tishkov (, is no small thing, the Prague-based specialist on ethnic issues says (

            Instead, it is fateful because once the peoples of the Russian Federation are reduced from the status of nations to that of ethnic groups, they are put on the road to losing their republics and their languages and becoming component parts of the only remaining nation in the country, the ethnic Russians.

            While many in Western countries may have no problem with this change, viewing it as nothing more than bringing Russia into line with what their countries have gone through in the past and now enshrine as completely acceptable, two aspects of Russian policy show why this is a mistake, Sidorov continues.

            On the one hand, Moscow is reducing nationality to ethnicity by suggesting that festivals are the best manifestation of the latter and working to eliminate distinctions between nations within the Russian Federation and ethnic groups with roots in other countries where those groups are defended as nations.

            And on the other, Moscow’s approach stops when it comes to the ethnic Russians not only within the country but especially beyond its borders where the Russian government demands that other states protect Russians as a nation and opposes all efforts to reduce them to the status of an ethnic group speaking the language of the state in which it exists.

            Sidorov’s important reflections on this point have been prompted by events in Mordvinia, a place where there are two nations submerged by Soviet and Russian policy to an artificial Mordvin identity and where these are equated with registered Cossack and diaspora groups and where all concerned are being compelled to speak Russian and ultimately to reidentify as such.   


No comments:

Post a Comment