Inter-ethnic relations and their state in contemporary Russia. Part 1

Uploaded by VestnikKavkaza on 16.04.2012

Round table: "Inter-ethnic relations and their state in contemporary Russia"
Alexander Novikov, editor-in-chief of the journal "Nasha Vlast'" ["Our Authorities. Deeds and Figures"]
We have decided to hold a round table, the first round table, it is in a way a pilot round table:
"Inter-ethnic relations and their state in contemporary Russia."
Why has this subject been chosen for the round table?
I will allow myself, as a moderator, to say a few words.
I would like to say that in my opinion inter-ethnic relations are the most acute,
serious and problematic topic, regardless of their neglect as a serious problem.
This is very topical for us and concerns each of us to a certain extent.
It is directly related to the authorities, since the state authorities are responsible for ethnic policy,
it is related to all the peoples who inhabit our multi-national country.
When we look at what is going on,
and I am not talking about what is happening in the mass consciousness
but the decisions of the authorities,
because the journal is close to government agenciesů
One would think: a meeting of the State Council on inter-ethnic relations has taken place in Ufa.
What has happened since?
Have there been any active steps undertaken, any processes launched?
In my opinion and we will all share our opinions only very insignificant ones.
So we decided to hold this round table with Mamma Mammayev,
because this topic concerns each of us and because it is very disturbing.
The number of people who believe that Russians ought to have more rights
than others because they are the native and state-forming people, has increased.
If in 2009 there were only 26 % who thought so, in 2011 it was already 39 %.
These are official figures.
Secondly, the number of people who believe that Russia is a common home
where everyone ought to have equal rights has decreased.
In 2009 there were 61 % who thought so, in 2011 46 %.
We can observe the expansion of the problematic field.
Mamma Mammayev, head of the government of the Republic of Dagestan
I believe that the issue of inter-ethnic relations concerns everyone in contemporary Russia.
People who think that it will never concern them are deeply mistaken.
How do I, as a citizen of Russia, exist today?
In the morning I switch on the TV and watch the "Vremya" broadcast to see
what is happening in Dagestan and in the evening I am on tenterhooks waiting
for my children to come back from school safe.
Regardless of finding new diplomatic covers for the problem, it is not being solved.
For your information, today there are from 30 to 35, up to 40 ethnic murders every month
of citizens of Tajikistan, the Caucasus and other regions of Russia.
Herein all of us have witnessed when an ordinary everyday tragedy,
when a person died as a result of a fight.
All of us are very compassionate, especially myself, as it directly affected me:
I also lost my twenty-year old son.
Everyone witnessed how society became divided into two armies
who were almost ready to kill each other.
All of us have been witnesses to this situation not so long ago.
Now we have conducted a certain examination, with the help of highly intelligent people.
It took us almost a month and a half.
We were asking: "How do you feel about the issue of inter-ethnic relations in Russia,
about the problem of inter-ethnic relations?" What do you think was the answer of the people who are dealing with this problem professionally?
They define it as a problem of Russians and non-Russians.
Can you imagine such an erroneous understanding
among specialists who are dealing with this problem and who are interested in it?
One very interesting question arises: are the Russians disadvantaged?
Yes, they are. But an issue of a parallel question arises: are other nations to be blamed for it?
I think, no. They are no less disadvantaged, if no more disadvantaged.
In the course of its post-Soviet, Soviet and imperial history, Russia had its positive and negative sides.
But the center of unification and the core of statehood was always the Russian people.
As a person from the Caucasus I am simply grateful to the Russian people
and I expect the Russian people to be most actively participating in building its own state
and we are all ready to support it.
We have conducted some research also in the Caucasus.
Yes, there are some negative opinions, there are negative peoples, but they are everywhere.
Another issue comes to light: is there a Caucasian problem also in Moscow? Yes, there is.
People are misbehaving, but on the other hand I do not want to be held responsible for degenerates
who are misbehaving here the aggression must not be directed at a whole people.
Coming back to the drain of Russian people:
I am ready to argue with anyone, even with the specialists.
The drain of the Russian people is taking place side by side to the drain of the local native population.
What is it connected with?
The first drain was caused by the Chechen war as the main reason.
Parallel to this reason, there was the following situation:
when the process of privatization of plants, factories and production spaces began,
local leaders started to appoint their people to offices.
We should not conceal anything, neither side,
because a certain aspect of this question arises regardless of us.
The Russian people in the Caucasus worked mainly as leading engineers,
directors of plants and specialists.
After they lost their jobs, the drain gradually began.
Without studying the roots of the issue, in Moscow at a high level the question of disadvantages
of the Russian people is being discussed. Being a Dagestani,
I see no derogation of the Russian population in Dagestan.
The problem exists on the micro-level.
Talking about the micro-level,
I would like to dwell for a couple of minutes on the problems of Dagestan in particular:
the Avars and the Kumyks, the Kumyks with the Lak people, the Lak people with the Chechens,
the Chechen people with the Dagestani people and one can further elaborate it.
In relation to the Russians, I see no problem.
This problem has not become acute accidentally.
And it is not being accidentally provoked.
The foundation of national security of each state lies in internal policy,
while civil society serves as the foundation of internal policy.
Without the absence of civil society, and all of us are witnesses to it and we only wish Russia the best,
one cannot build a state.
I have a feeling that our authorities are independent of its people.
Anyone who understands this problem and calls names
and I am talking in particular about my republic, although I live in Moscow...
Here is my situation: people who do not know me perceive me as someone from Caucasus,
but when I go to my home country people consider me almost a traitor,
I mean, the administration of the republic.
It gives rise to the following question: at the moment the draft has been put on hold in the Caucasus.
The only region in Russia with a population increase nowadays is the Caucasus.
Concerning Dagestan, until recently I have served as deputy head
of the Defense Committee of Russia and a member of the National Security Committee and Secret Unit.
We have been researching the issue of Moscow, with a population of 12 million,
providing fewer conscripts than Dagestan.
The population increase in Dagestan is from 39 to 41 every year to the number of the population.
And at the same time there are 50 % boys.
It means that every year there are 20,000 people who have no place to go.
There are no jobs; the budget is spent the way it is usually spent.
We are shouting, writing, informing, knocking and no one hears.
The question arises: where should these kids go?
They come to Moscow in search of work. "No Caucasians," "No work for Caucasiansů"
We should be clearer: to everyone,
every day and every hour the country's authorities proclaim war against corruption.
Everyone says that we should fight corruption.
But the only question to be asked is:
who is supposed to fight corruption? Who?
Every day or almost every second day there dozens of laws adopted.
In any country, if a law is not enforced, no matter how rigorous it becomes, it would not work.
This problem is a vicious circle: the people and the authorities exist separately.
I have a feelingů an address to the peopleů there is an interesting statement by my friend:
the authorities want the people to do what they dictate but not what they do.
When people see what is happeningů
Yesterday they were reporting about a governor who travelled on a plane to celebrate his birthday.
Why are they showing it to the people?
Study the situation, establish an order so that they would not travel.
I gave a similar speech yesterday to Dagestani TV.
I asked a question of the director general of the TV station:
"Is there a Russian mafia in Makhachkala?"
And he immediately told me.
Look at what is happening: as soon as I said "Russian mafia", an intelligent,
well-educated person answers me: "It is too soundly put."
He immediately realized what I was hinting at. I told him:
"OK, let us define it as 'groups'.
Are there Russian groups in Makhachkala?"
He answered, No. "And why should there be in Moscow?"
There is no answer. What is our proposal?
When we are talking about problems here and there, the camp becomes divided into two fronts.
We have decided to conduct our work under the banner of the "Multinational Russia" project.
The Dagestani Cultural Center and Dagestani Representative Office formulate the problem themselves,
name the surnames, compose and send letters to the settlements.
We have decided to launch an informative website on all the negative things that is happening.
In this situation a certain mutual understanding is necessary.
In the present day environment of provocation,
and I know already very well what is the purpose of provocation (I have two minutes still).
Provocations take place during electoral campaigns for the president and parliament.
A very interesting situation is defined: the problem is established on the lower level
let them fight between each other and we will accomplish our tasks here, on the high level.
This is the first part of the problem.
The second part of the problem:
indeed we have seen the deputies of the State Duma going to the American Embassy
during problems with the street rallies.
I repeat once again: deputies of the State Duma of Russia.
It does not matter what party they are members of, no measures are being introduced.
The faction has no importance. It is the State Duma of Russia.
We received a certain lesson with Georgia.
Who could have thought that Georgia would attempt to fire at Russian peacekeepers?
They themselves invited them there I know, I have been present at negotiating processes.
For your information, we have not yet reported all the information,
I was not allowed to talk about it in order not to worsen relations between Russia and Georgia
102 peacekeepers died in helping to maintain peace between the Georgians, Ossetians and the Abkhaz.
But the Russian government concealed this fact in order not to aggravate relations.
At the moment businessmen and funding from Israel,
London and America are introduced to finance projects in the Caucasus.
We know very well what the purpose of this is.
Until we can establish domestic order without the participation of any outside forces,
as long as we do not understand that Russia is a common body
with the Russians being its main brain and driving force,
our present day problems will seem minor when compared to what we might happen in the future"