Putin’s new historical interest: Russians and Ukrainians

  • The law caused a storm of indignation in Russia. The country’s delegation lodged a protest with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), human rights ombudsman Tatiana Moskalkova said the law violated the rights of Russian speakers and called on the United Nations and the Council of Europe to intervene. The Russian Orthodox Church also got involved, saying it was “nonsense” that Russians had been excluded
  • Putin himself has repeatedly attacked the legislation. In his article, he said the law was “passed under the guise of large-scale NATO exercises in Ukraine” and that it forces Russians to “renounce their roots”.
  • While observing this, it’s interesting to remember that Russia has a 1999 law guaranteeing the rights of indigenous peoples that closely resembles the Ukrainian law. Russia’s law defines indigenous peoples as those “living in territories traditionally settled by their ancestors” (there are about fifty such groups, mostly in the Arctic and the Far East). However, Putin did not draw this parallel in his article — settling instead on a comparison between Ukraine and the Third Reich.


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