Udmurts and their Finno-Ugric language are threatened with extinction. Photo from invozho.su/
2021/06/10 – 09:40 •
Angered by the influence Estonia, Finland and Hungary have had on their fellow Finno-Ugric nations within the Russian Federation, Moscow has decided to prevent Finno-Ugric people from attending the world congress in Estonia later this month and to organize a competing meeting for the Finno-Ugrians of Russia alone.
This effort has been described by Prague-based commentator Vadim Sidorov as an effort to erect a new “Iron Curtain” between the three Finno-Ugric peoples who have an independent state and those living within the Russian Federation who do not. they do, at least not yet.
Moscow has behaved as in Soviet times, using regional rather than ethnic organizations, elevating officials over activists, and completely failing to consult with those on whose behalf it operated. But even consistent with Soviet times, many of the activists saw this ploy; some were angry; and some ignored Moscow’s attempt to isolate them.
Ramazan Alpaut of the Idel.Real portal, spoke with one of them, Dmitry Kharakka-Zaytsev, who attended the meeting orchestrated by Moscow but also plans to go to the congress in Estonia as he and his nation, the Izhors, they were not consulted by the established powers and that the meetings of the ethnic groups should be those and not the meetings of the officials.
Moscow can control regional officials and can dominate officially registered organizations, says Izhor’s representative; but it is foolish to think that such officials or structures can speak for the people in whose name they act. Finno-Ugric peoples want to talk to each other; and in today’s world they don’t need Moscow to decide if they can,
In Soviet times, the ruling powers had much more influence in controlling such contacts since there was no Internet; but now the ability of those in government to do the same has been reduced. And it is surprising and symbolic that the representative of one of the smaller nations now feels free to assert his right to speak to other nations without official approval.
Tags: Finno-Ugric languages, Russia