Russians persecuting ethnic Ukrainians and other ethnic groups, leading rights groups say

Russian FSB secret police and paramilitaries suppress any open dissent in Crimea and actively search for any hidden resistance to the occupation. Beside using the judicial system to enforce the Russian occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula, they employ secret abductions and extrajudicial killings of Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian activists. (Image: GordonUA.com)

Russian FSB secret police and paramilitaries suppress any open dissent in Crimea and actively search for any hidden resistance to the occupation. Beside using the judicial system to enforce the Russian occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula, they employ secret abductions and extrajudicial killings of Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian activists. (Image: GordonUA.com) 

Analysis & Opinion, Russia

Russia’s leading human rights groups say that ethnic Russians are now actively discriminating against ethnic Ukrainians even though Vladimir Putin invariably insists that Russians and Ukrainians are one people and also persecuting Crimean Tatars, Roma, North Caucasians and numerically small peoples of the North.

Earlier this month, Yekaterina Trifonova of Nezavisimaya gazeta writes today, the Russian government gave an upbeat report about the state of ethnic and racial discrimination in Russia to a United Nations commission examining the state of ethnic relations and human rights in Russia in the wake of the Ukrainian events.

Now, a group of leading Russian human rights groups, including Memorial, Crimea SOS, the SOVA Center, and the Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) has presented an alternative report which says the official report “minimizes” the number of violations of human rights in the Russian Federation and in the occupied territories.

In a joint statement, the rights groups pointed to “forced disappearances, illegal deprivation of freedom … limits on the use and study of native languages and on religious and cultural practices,” as well as “the application of torture even to children.” And they noted Russian officials have repeatedly failed to keep promises to the groups and to international bodies like the UN.

Among the most persecuted groups are the Roma, people from the North Caucasus and Central Asia. Even when they have Russian citizenship, such people can’t rent apartments, get decent work, gain access to education and health care, or serve in the ranks of the Russian army on the basis of ethnicity alone.

The independent report also noted that “often NGOs which defend the rights of the indigenous peoples of the North and the Far East suffer as well: Many of them have been declared ‘foreign agents’ or ‘extremist organizations.’” Moreover, Moscow’s struggle against extremism has become a cover for suppression of all dissent.

Perhaps most ominously of all, the authors of the report say, is that “quite often officials allow themselves to make public calls for racial discrimination.” They called for the Russian government to make such calls illegal and impose criminal penalties on anyone who violates such laws.

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Edited by: A. N.

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  • Scradje

    Putler’s RuSSia is a race supremacist society. Just as it always has been. It loves creating fake separatist movements on other people’s land, yet its fascist police state ensures that genuine separatists within its own borders are crushed, whilst persecuting innocent non-ethnic Russians on the grounds that they might be subversives.

    • veth
    • Ihor Dawydiak

      As the former imprisoned Ukrainian dissident Valentyn Moroz wryly noted in his “Report From The Beria Reserve”, “Truth has long arms”. In the same manner, Putin’s Russia may try to suppress the truth of Kremlin atrocities committed against non-Russian ethnic and religious minorities from some of their local population but they can never hide the truth from the global community regardless of the amount of vitriol and absurdities spewed by their propaganda machine. The world wide web of information via the internet and a multitude of other sources cannot be silenced in this day and age of advanced technology.

  • veth

    The next year’s state budget of Russia foresees cutting down the defense expenditures. Russian president Vladimir Putin said this during the working meeting with leader of United Russia’s parliamentary faction in the State Duma.

    ‘We plan a considerable economy of costs in the next year’s state budget – due to cutting down the defense expenditures. This has nothing to do with correcting our plans on modernizing and re-arming of our Armed Forces and the Navy. We’re going to complete the state defense procurement, and we will develop a new program in this sector,’ he said as quoted by RIA NOVOSTI.

  • veth
  • zorbatheturk

    ” We did not find the region attractive. Squalidness, dejection, and hopelessness were everywhere. The houses were dirty hovels, thatched with black twigs, and in front was generally a sickening pool of slime in which grunting hogs wallowed. The people were sullen, as though they knew their lot was misery and semi-starvation, and recognized the futility of attempting to put things right.” – description of South West RuSSia in late 19th century.

    From ” Round the World on a Wheel, being a narrative of a bicycle ride of 19,237 miles through 17 countries and across three continents,” by John Foster Fraser, published 1899.

    Not much changes in the RuSSia. Repression and squalor rule.

  • Oknemfrod

    What’s new … The Ukrainians aren’t a people, Ukraine isn’t a state, Ukrainian isn’t a language … blah-blah-blah. Pay no attention to the Russian filth other than turn it into fertilizer when they materialize where they don’t belong. Other than that – on to the West, do your thing, and let them rot if they find it pleasurable.

  • Quartermaster

    Discrimination against Ukrainians was common in the Soviet Union. The man who became the first Defense Minster of Ukraine noted this fact when he was in the Soviet Air Force. He avoided it because it had been thought his father had been Russian.