Nation-Building and Language Rights in Post-Soviet Russia
by Ildus G. Ilishev

Table of Contents:                                
Introduction                                    - 2
I. Problems of a Language Policy in a Multiethnic State         - 8
II. The Official Language Problem in a Multiethnic State         - 10
III. Individual and Group Language Rights                - 12
IV. Are Ethnolinguistic and Civic Loyalties Compatible?         - 17
V. Language Rights and the Principle of Self-Determination     - 22
VI. Language Rights in International Law                 - 27
VII. Strains of Post-Soviet-Modernization in Russia            - 37
VIII. A Brief History of Soviet Language Policy             - 48    
IX. Political and Ethnolinguistic Processes in Russia             - 55
X. The Ethno-linguistic Situation in Bashkortostan:
    A Source for Political Instability?                     - 60
XI. Conclusion: Implications for Federalism in Russia         - 67

Russia, as well as other former Soviet republics, has long been associated with linguistic diversity and ethnic conflict which proved to be less amenable to accommodation than class or ideological conflicts. Six full-scale wars have occurred in the former Soviet Union, including conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia, Trans-Dniester, South Ossetia (Georgia), Tajikistan, and Chechnya.  Furthermore, approximately 20 short-term armed clashes have taken place, including the pogrom-type conflicts in Uzbekistan (against Meskhetian Turks), Azerbaijan (against Armenians in Baku and Sumgait), Kyrgystan (between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks), Russia (against Ingush), and several other former Soviet republics. In addition, more than 100 non-violent interstate, interethnic, interreligious, and interclan confrontations occurred mostly in Central Asia, the Transcaucasus, and the North Caucasus [1].   Strained ethnic relations (mostly between the Russian-speaking population and titular groups) which may yet turn violent exist in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and the Baltic states [2].   In Russia much tension and instability remains in Chechnya, Daghestan, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachaevo-Cherkessia, Ingushetia, and North Ossetia which was the first Russian region to burst into warfare in 1992 [3].   Potential for ethnic conflicts also exists in other Russian republics such as Bashkortostan [4],  Buryatia [5],  Sakha-Yakutia [6],   Tyva [7].  
With increased economic and ideological freedom many of Russia’s ethnic republics adopted legal acts to terminate the discrimination of indigenous languages and protect the respective cultures.  Such policies unavoidably led to confrontation  with ethnic Russians and other sizeable ethnic groups, which interpreted these measures as a discriminatory step encroaching on their linguistic rights.  According to Prof. Mart Rannut:
"Due to the political changes, economic disaster, and the consequent redivision of the status of languages, there will continue to be tensions and conflicts in the territories of the former USSR.[8]."   
This study evaluates the ethnolinguistic situation in ethnic republics of the Russian Federation with a focus on the autonomous Republic of Bashkortostan which represents a special case of potential radicalization. In discussing the situation in Bashkortostan I will pay special attention to linguistic issues, which, along with debates over political status of the republic  played an important role in shaping the current state of inter-ethnic relations in Bashkortostan. As this study has taken shape, I have been moving back and forth between the academic world and government employment in the administration of the President of Bashkortostan. In each realm, language conflict has been a persistent feature of every issue I have had to study or resolve. Recently, the topic of linguistic rights was politicized again, due to either the inconsistencies between the ethnic republics’ laws on language and federal legislation or the bitter controversy among ethnic groups seeking to redress the perceived or actual linguistic discrimination within the republics themselves.
Language issues can be divisive, causing interethnic strife and leading to mutual estrangement not only of grassroots politicians but even of Russia’s political leaders. For instance, the presidents of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan, Murtaza Rakhimov and Mintimer Shaimiyev,  two long-time friends and close political allies, had a dramatic falling out when Bashkortostan Parliament’s lower chamber drafted a language law, that envisaged granting state status to the Bashkir and Russian languages, while the Tatar language, despite heavy pressures from Kazan, was not made official [9].  The following question arises: does the Tatar population of Bashkortostan have legal, historical or any other rights to a state (official) language beyond Tatarstan,  its "own" historical territory? What linguistic claims can be considered just and legitimate? Should the rights of the titular Bashkir collectivity take precedence over the rights of Tatar individuals? Can universally recognized and objective norms be developed for all ethnic groups to abide by?
Indeed a whole set of international human rights standards have emerged that can be used for assessing linguistic rights of ethnic groups. However, numerous linguistic disputes in the former Soviet republics have revealed insufficient political culture, legal nihilism, subjectivity, and, ultimately, unwillingness to utilize the linguistic experiences of long-established democracies codified in international law. In such circumstances, the most important task is to formulate standard rules of the game that will be accepted both by Moscow and by all ethnic groups of the Russian Federation. Ethnic peace and stability will be difficult to attain if there is a failure to abide by such rules or if the game is run by ad hoc principles.
No less important is the analysis of the principle of self-determination and its relationship to the linguistic human rights, since the denial of that principle is one of the main reasons for violence in post-Soviet transitional societies, such as the conflicts in Chechnya, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh [10].   Moreover, serious concerns emerged about the political and territorial integrity of Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia.  Accordingly, the most challenging problem for political and ethnic elites in the center, as well as the regions is to find a viable form of federation that would enable ethnic minorities to pursue their goal of self-determination within the framework of a single multinational state.
I believe that avoidance of either unitary-centrist or extreme separatist solutions is a necessary condition for stability and democratic consolidation in Russia. In order to create a viable federative structure, it is necessary to decentralize state power through ethno-territorial federalism. The system of asymmetrical federalism that de-facto exists in Russia can serve as the basis for Russia’s future political organization. This specific political structure will help to incorporate various ethnic groups into a single state by granting them broad autonomy and guaranteeing their full participation in decision-making on the local and federative levels through the adoption of legislation affirming their group rights. According to the  former Russian Minister of Nationalities Prof. Valerii Tishkov,
"An important step towards a renewed formula of the post-Soviet federalism would be to grant special status to ethno-territorial autonomies (republics) among other ‘non-ethnic’ members of federation.  This kind of asymmetric federalism assigns higher state symbolism, economic and political authority to the republics.  At this moment in history, the problem of asymmetry and even of a special (associated) status features on the agenda of Rossia [sic] and, perhaps, of Georgia.  In the future, it may prove relevant for Ukraine, where the western and eastern parts of the country may initiate federalization, and for the existing Crimean autonomy, which may come to demand such status. Being territorial units, republics and other possible forms of ethno-territorial autonomy cannot be treated solely as administrative provinces.  They need to retain their ethno-linguistic and specific cultural profiles, as partly reflected in territorial configurations and in state and public institutions"[11].
Although some politicians still believe that the actions of regional sovereignty movements in ethnic republics will facilitate instability, and violence ultimately leading to Russia’s disintegration, in reality as Patricia Carley rightly observes: "Peoples who are denied basic cultural, linguistic, and political rights by their rulers are more likely to resort to violence than those who have been given a large measure of local autonomy" [12].   Rejecting demands for autonomy in the name of ill-defined common citizenship will simply promote alienation and secessionist movements.
Under these circumstances, it is in the strategic interests of the world community to support the autonomy of Russia's ethnic republics, since autonomy is the only way to reconcile the two conflicting tendencies, centripetal and centrifugal, thereby preserving Russia’s unity. This fits neatly with West's ultimate goal of  safeguarding the federal government's control over the nuclear arsenals, and reducing the chances of extreme nationalists coming to power in Russia.
Furthermore, through an examination of the character and scope of linguistic rights of ethnic groups (above all titular peoples) in the context of international law, some fairly objective criteria for choosing state (official) languages in a multinational state can be developed. Another important aspect of a democratic language policy is establishing special ethnolinguistic group rights (especially for indigenous peoples) that cannot be observed within the limits of regular individual rights.
There are no easy answers to the problems raised in this study. But I sincerely hope that it will lead to a further discussion of language policies, or facilitate the awareness regarding the issue of language rights.
Part I demonstrates that the implementation of language laws invariably leads to acrimonious political conflicts in multiethnic societies.
Part II shows difficulties in choosing official languages in multiethnic societies
Part III shows that the language rights of ethnic groups (especially those of minorities and indigenous peoples) can not be fully observed within the framework of traditional individual rights.
Part IV examines the relationship between ethnic and common civic identification.
Part V explores a whole set of universally recognized norms constituting the self-determination principle and demonstrates their direct relevance to linguistic rights of peoples.
Part VI discusses major international legal documents pertaining to language issues.
Part VII examines the major issues critical to the preservation of Russia as a single, multiethnic state.
Part VIII discusses major stages of Language Policy in the Soviet Union
Part IX looks at the ongoing socio-political developments in Russia
Part X focuses on the etholinguistic situation in Bashkortostan which has steadily remained one of the most complex cases of nation-building in Russia
In the final section specific conclusions are drawn and practical recommendations are offered.
I.    Problems of  Language Policy in a Multiethnic State

Language is the strongest social instrument that unites people into ethnic groups. While territory, religion, culture and economic interests play their important role in the formation of national identity, it is precisely  the language that is vital for expressing the idea of collectivity and defining the features of psychological and spiritual likeness within the community of separate individuals. Language is the most important component of spiritual and ethnic identity of any people, a necessary prerequisite for its development and existence.  The pressures for national identity are most keenly felt in the domain of language. Thus, it is not surprising that a linguistic policy is a key element of the process of state-building in Russia.
In the last few years dramatic changes have occurred in many ethno-linguistic communities world-wide. But the most striking embodiment of these changes are the republics of the former Soviet Union, where numerous difficulties of post-Communist modernization complicate the processes  of democratic reform. Difficulties of state-building  may in some cases potentially lead to the revival  of old methods of social organization which makes the linguistic situation in these countries unique. Consequently, this may have serious implications for international peace and stability.  Not surprisingly, many scholars are especially interested in analyzing ethno-linguistic processes in the former Soviet Union. However, in my opinion complete understanding of the mechanisms and factors  that influence the  formation  of the linguistic policies in the post-Soviet states is possible only in the context of global socio-linguistic experience.  Therefore, it is imperative to analyze modern approaches to the problem of language in other regions of the world, where the dynamics of language policies is beginning to be determined more than ever by the universally recognized norms of international law that set new criteria for the  rights of individuals and peoples.  These norms create the basis for objective and civilized evaluation of the legitimacy of linguistic claims and responsibilities of individuals as well as of various ethnic groups. In my opinion, linguistic issues deserve a more detailed examination, since political scientists  do not usually discuss them as a separate subject, but rather view them within a broader theme of minority rights [13].  
Hence, the analysis of international legal documents that provide the criteria for common civic as well as linguistic rights of peoples acquires special importance. Furthermore, one should pay special attention to the international community’s (most importantly UN’s) interpretation of the self-determination principle,  since  it was that norm which served as a departing point in the development of new approaches in conducting a fair linguistic policy in many long established democracies, for instance, such as the United States and Canada. It is well known that ignoring linguistic rights of various peoples may cause conflicts in all countries, post-Soviet republics as well as long-standing democracies, like Canada (Francophones and English-speakers in Quebec) or Belgium (French-speaking Wallonia and Dutch-speaking Flanders). One graphic example, the Ukrainian government’s refusal to grant Russian the status of an official language contributed to the escalation of tensions in Russo-Ukrainian relations. Similarly, the lack of an official status for the Bashkir language in Bashkortostan has long been a major source of socio-political instability in the republic.
Naturally, relations between ethno-linguistic groups are a very delicate sphere of human life, which defy simple solutions. Accordingly, some inter-ethnic conflicts are extremely difficult to resolve , even if the parties involved possess a great deal of good will and tolerance to each other. Moreover, each dispute  has its own specific historical roots without considering which it is practically impossible to resolve a conflict situation [14].   
Therefore, it is a matter of great urgency to develop objective and fair criteria for evaluating linguistic rights of ethnic groups, especially of indigenous peoples, which the multinational state could utilize while conducting linguistic policies.   Thus far this issue has not become a focal point of political studies in Russia, even though the Russian Federation is one of  the largest multilingual states in the world, with all the problems inherent in such a state.
II. The Official Language Problem in a Multiethnic State
In a world with thousands of languages, it is quite natural that only some of them gain the status of official, working languages. When states or international organizations determine which languages will be used in official and public spheres, it is impossible to avoid a clash of interests of various countries and ethnic groups [15].  This is often explained by the primordial, symbolic, divisive, uncompromising character of the nature of linguistic conflicts [16];  inherent incompatibilities between linguistic communities [17] ; the reluctance of linguistic majorities to concede additional rights to minorities [18];  the important material and symbolic consequences of language policies in general; [19]  and the difficulty of predicting these consequences [20].  
Unfortunately, there are no blue-prints or formulas that would provide an optimal solution to this problem.
Most scholars believe that the choice of official languages involves two conflicting principles, that of efficiency  and fairness. And this leads to the assumption that a more effective and competent language policy officializes fewer than all languages  and is therefore unfair, while a fair policy officializes everyone’s language and is therefore inefficient and impractical [21].  
In any event, it seems clear that states are unable to stay neutral on the issue of linguistic policy as they do in case of church which, in most cases, is separated from the state. All states and governments use languages and, therefore, are forced to choose among various options.
Unfortunately, a large number of criteria, outlined by various scholars [22],  to facilitate the task of selecting a state language seem to achieve quite an opposite effect and further complicate the problem.  For instance, mutually exclusive normative principles are often acknowledged to define an official language:
_     authenticity (indigenous languages have priority) and modernization (favoring languages with developed lexicons and literature);
_     uniformity (favoring only one language) and diversity (favoring multiple languages);
_     distinctiveness (priority is given to languages that are unique to a particular society) and universality (favoring languages that are more widespread than others);
_     stability ( favoring existing language rights and status) and radicality (language policy is targeted at oppressed groups);  
_     definitiveness (avoiding linguistic options) and liberty (non-coercion);
_     populism (favoring mass over elite languages) and prestige (preference is given to already-high-status languages).
A few scholars have suggested that in a linguistic policy efficiency and fairness can be reconciled. Although intriguing, these views demand further elaboration  and analysis. For example, most scholars have discussed the principles of voluntarism [23]  compensation [24],  and democratization [25].   Furthermore, an effort has been made to mathematically model the problem of choosing an efficient and fair language policy for a pluri-lingual polity. This policy designates official languages and taxes the language groups to pay for translation among the official languages [26].  Sometimes among the proposed solutions are even linguicidal measures - the obliteration of all indigenous languages except a single official language [27].
However, the majority of scholars believe that the official language policy pre-supposes the incompatibility of efficiency and fairness.
III.  Individual and Group Language Rights
The denial of linguistic rights by a state, as part of a broader policy rejecting the essential elements of national-cultural autonomy, can lead, as evidenced  by the current developments in the former Soviet Union and many other countries worldwide, to acrimonious political conflicts and violent cataclysms. For example, in Yugoslavia or Nagorno-Karabakh, one significant element that facilitated the escalation of wars was the refusal of the central authorities in Belgrade and Baku to accept the cultural-linguistic demands of the Kosovo Albanian [28]  and Armenian [29]  minorities.
This section represents an effort to create conceptual clarity with respect to  the theory of  “linguistic rights of peoples” and define more coherently  the topic which has been so far underemphasized in international law. The need for clarification is urgent in view of the obvious importance of a language factor for ensuring a greater observance of human rights and for facilitating social justice. Certainly, the observance of these rights varies, as each state proceeds from its own assumptions regarding the importance of linguistic and cultural diversity for its factual or perceived well-being. However, the example of the so-called “developed democracies” like the USA, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand to name but a few,  will suggest that currently the common denominator of their linguistic policies is the recognition of the right of peoples to self-determination.
Western scholars made some attempts to elaborate the concept of  linguistic human rights [30],  but while being extremely important for individuals, this concept often fails to consider the specific problems facing ethnic groups. Observance of individual linguistic rights refers to, primarily,  the right of every individual to freely use his/her native language, regardless of its status (state/non-state, official/non-official) and demographic characteristics of its carriers (majority/minority). It should be stressed that all people, without exception, have the right to study and receive at least primary education in their native language.
But the multilingual reality of the Russian Federation, comprising more than a hundred indigenous peoples and ethnic groups, calls for a different concept, which could consider the unique historical conditions of state-building there. On the eve of the millennium, Russia as well as other multiethnic societies should be prepared to address ethno-linguistic claims of whole groups, not just individuals. Hence, there is a strong need to understand the basis of these claims in a context other than the familiar, Western, individualistic version of human rights. As the political and linguistic developments in the Russian Federation clearly demonstrate,  linguistic rights of many peoples can be fully observed only within the framework of special (group or collective) rights, ensuing from the self-determination principle.
Affirmed in the United Nations Charter [31]  and other major international legal documents [32],  self-determination is widely acknowledged to be a principle of customary international law and even jus cogens, a peremptory norm [33].   However, considerations of state sovereignty and territorial integrity may limit the character and scope of self-determination thus laying the groundwork for the development of principles that are often fundamentally incompatible.  Therefore, "the self-determination principle has been interpreted differently at different times and has been inconsistently applied as a result." [34]   Ideally, self-determination and sovereignty principles should work in a tandem to promote a just and humane world.
Linguistic rights constitute the basic right of an individual [35].   But these rights are even more crucial for individuals belonging to non-dominant ethnic groups, since for them, language is an equally or even more important attribute of identity than religion and history, serving as a source of unity and self-identification [36].  Unlike the minorities, the dominant ethnolinguistic groups usually enjoy all necessary linguistic rights. Some estimates show that out of 6 to 7 thousand languages of the world, only several hundred possess any kind of official status [37],   suggesting that only the speakers of these languages fully enjoy their linguistic rights.  
According to the UN Geneva Center on Human Rights it is precisely the governments that resist any measures for setting the standards for the observance of the minorities’ rights or the development of measures for the protection of their interests [38].  Because states are the only actors within the structure of international organizations, many ethnic groups such as the Kurds, Berbers, Tamils or the northern peoples of Russia, do not have access to the international legal system of protection of human rights. Therefore, decisions on the issues that are vital for the survival of these groups are made exclusively by the governments of the countries in which they live. Regrettably, the system of international law lacks the procedure for processing the overwhelming majority of complaints by the collectives and groups of people, thereby limiting this right to separate individuals [39].  In other words the majority of international organizations do not accept any collective complaints or the complaints made on behalf of ethnic groups, which, in my opinion, is a most serious shortcoming of the modern international legal system.
When designing  and enforcing the legislation aimed at the protection of the rights of individuals and peoples to use their native languages,  state institutions should proceed from the fact that language is an essential tool for the transfer of the previous generations’ cultural inheritance. By guaranteeing this transfer, the state builds up the confidence of ethnic groups with regards to the preservation of their identity, linguistic and cultural   distinctiveness,  thereby promoting the establishment of a common civic citizenship  irrespective of ethnicity [40].  However, in reality, many ethno-linguistic majorities are often very reluctant to grant “their” minorities full rights.  This is precisely what happened to Kurds in Turkey, Tadjiks in the Samarkand area (Uzbekistan), Lezgins and Talysh in Azerbaijan, Russians in Ukraine or Latvia, Hungarians in Vojvodina or Albanians in Kosovo (Serbia) [41]  and so on. Thus, many states lean towards conducting a direct or concealed policy of assimilation of indigenous peoples and minorities [42].  
On the other hand there are examples of responsible and realistically-minded governments, appropriately reacting to the legitimate demands of their ethnic minorities by adopting the programs aimed at the preservation and development of indigenous languages. For instance, even during the extremely destructive war in the 1980s, the Sandinista government of Nicaragua managed to adopt a special  government program aimed at developing the language of the Indians of the Rama tribe, which found a reflection in the constitution of the country [43].
Another reason explaining the unwillingness of the states to grant linguistic rights to their minorities is that monolinguism is mistakenly considered to be a normal, even ideal linguistic condition of society,  which all multinational formations should strive for. Some scholars even suggest that monolinguism promotes economic development and social progress [44].  However, in reality the majority of countries in the world are of multiethnic composition. According to Ted Gurr, 600 linguistic and 5000 ethnic groups can be found in 184 independent states [45].    
Multilingualism continues to be the dominant characteristic of modern states,  in which the majority  of populations comes in close contact with speakers of other languages throughout their lifetime. Therefore it is practically impossible to implement the “one state, one language” principle.
IV.    Are Ethnolinguistic and Civic Loyalties Compatible?
Conventional wisdom maintains that ethnolinguistic and civic identities comprise conflicting and mutually exclusive loyalties in multiethnic societies.  For over a century, liberals and socialists assumed that cultural identities were transitory, characteristic of a certain period of historical development and would lose their prominence with the onset of modernization or socialism. Even the Bolshevik leaders, who institutionalized cultural differences and ethnicity in the 1920s by creating national republics, did so with a sincere belief that under conditions of a fully developed socialist society cultural-linguistic differences would be irrelevant.
The high degree of citizens’ loyalty to the state combined with a low degree of loyalty to their ethnic group is considered to be an important prerequisite for the construction of a successful nation-state. What are the methods for achieving this allegedly ideal combination of identities? The most commonly prescribed solution is minimizing or even completely eradicating ethnic self-identification. This leads to a logical conclusion that loyalty to the state must on all occasions prevail over ethnic and linguistic loyalty. This approach has an extremely confrontational (maximalist and even purely Bolshevik) coloration  which fails to conceptually envisage “peaceful coexistence” between ethnicity and statehood.
Presumably, when civic notions such as equality and fraternity comprise the core values of common state identity, then its high levels are conceivable for dominant and minority ethnic groups in multiethnic states. Furthermore, precisely because these core contents of state identity are not particularistic, such identity allegedly assumes an inclusive rather than exclusive quality that permits simultaneously high levels of ethnic and state (national) identification to prevail.
However, an unconditional implementation of this concept would discriminate against the indigenous peoples and minorities, since the “equal rights for all” principle would, in fact, put them into an unequal position vis-à-vis other strata of population. As Francois Grin rightly observes:
“Treating on an equal footing languages in unequal positions is tantamount to giving the stronger language an edge to increase its influence and spread” [46].  
In this context, “special rights” are not a privilege but an essential tool for guaranteeing equal  development of the indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities [47].  In all other cases, despite their superficial attractiveness, ethnically neutral values such as equality, brotherhood, civil society, individual human rights, and so forth are likely to be viewed as egoistic values serving exclusively the dominant ethnos’s interests.  Moreover, the so-called  “civic” state has in fact a strong cultural component and, remarkably, liberal theory has no justification for the use of the politically dominant culture as the culture of public life. It is simply taken as a given [48].   For instance, why should the Quebecois be so edgy about their membership in a democratic and civic Canadian society? A strong argument can be made that the Francophones’ demands for a unilingual Quebec are largely due to many years of repressive anglophone policies which ultimately put  French under the threat of being “pushed out” from the North-American continent. A graphic example here is Switzerland, where the Swiss have a strong sense of common loyalty, despite their cultural and linguistic divisions. In Switzerland national groups feel allegiance to the larger state only because the larger state recognizes and respects their distinct national existence [49] .
When national groups are deprived of the right for cultural-linguistic distinctiveness, the issues of ethnicity and language often become politicized. The most extreme expressions of this are political separatism, or the search for an alternative political loyalty at the state level (usually it would be a state with similar cultural-religious values). As Valerii Tishkov notes:
"The enforcement of ethnically selective citizenship and official language laws in societies with sizeable and culturally distinct communities has caused massive discontent and inter-ethnic tensions in Estonia, Latvia, Moldavia, Georgia, Ukraine, and in Central Asia.  Former  ‘double’ minorities, now simply minorities, are calling for their own national states. Or they have started irredentist movements, preferring to leave political systems where they have neither proper voice nor representation. The Armenian enclave in Nagorno-Karabakh has fought to be reunited with its ‘historical motherland’ of Armenia. Abkhazian leaders responded to Georgian hegemony with a ferocious struggle for secession that resulted in the expulsion of ethnic Georgians from Abkhazia.  In Moldavia, the Russian-Ukrainian minority has proclaimed their own state in the Trans-Dniestrian region, while the Gagauz minority demanded greater territorial autonomy.  And whereas the Russian majority in Crimea wants to be a part of Russia and not Ukraine, the Crimean Tatar minority dreams of making Crimea their own national state.  The list of mutual dissatisfactions goes on and on, with many more potential candidates for future confrontations" [50].  
However, as minorities receive more opportunities for cultural and linguistic expression, their destabilizing political activity decreases considerably. The problem is not that each ethnic group would be unique and distinct. Real problems appear when this distinctiveness is suppressed, which exacerbates ethnic groups’ fear of losing their cultural and linguistic identity.  Precisely this fear is the major cause for the politicization of ethnicity.  For instance, while the dissolution of Yugoslavia may be explained by a host of factors, the escalation of military operations between 1990 and 1992 was in no small measure triggered by Belgrade’s stubborn unwillingness to meet the cultural and linguistic demands of the Slovenians and Kosovo Albanians [51].  The ongoing tragedy in Kosovo is the direct result of the liquidation of the Albanian autonomy by President Milosevich.
The Belgrade-Kosovo crisis, the Armenian-Azeri confrontation, and the Georgian-Abkhaz armed conflict  seem to suggest what exactly Alfredsson Gudmundur warns about:
“... internal suppression of minority issues does not work; assimilation has been attempted and it inevitably fails. Minorities do not simply disappear; they may appear dormant for a while, but history tells us that they stay on the map. Nationalism and the drive to preserve identities are strong forces and they apply in equal measure to nation-states and to minorities. ...experience teaches us that the recognition of and respect for special minority rights are viable alternatives to oppression and neglect” [52].  
Indeed, states are beginning to understand the need to address minorities grievances especially when they realize that  granting them cultural and linguistic rights poses no real threat to national security. Yet other states come to this realization only when they discover the signs of secessionism.
Furthermore, the states that “have problems” with their minorities are not eager to criticize the actions of other states that infringe upon the rights of their respective minority groups.  For instance, in the light of the Chechen war, it would be naive to believe that Russia would ever want to side with NATO against Serbia in order to force the end of Belgrade’s military operations against the Kosovars. Although civilizational solidarity  has certainly contributed to Russia’s support  of the Serbs who have similar ethnic origins, religion, language and culture, one may suggest that Russia’s own nationality problems and political expediency that largely account for its edginess over NATO operations. Chechnya for Russia or Tibet for China are essentially the same as Kosovo is for Yugoslavia. In another revealing example, the Christian  Orthodox Georgia  forms a much stronger political alliance with  Muslim Azerbaijan than with Armenia, which is much closer to Georgia in terms of its culture and religion. This phenomenon may be easily explained by the fact that both Georgia with its unresolved  “Abkhaz Question” and Azerbaijan with the problem of Nagorny Karabakh are confronted with the challenge of preserving integrity of their states.
V.    Language Rights and the Principle of Self-Determination
The problem of observance of linguistic rights is inevitably connected with the question of the collective political status of each ethno-linguistic group, such as indigenous, autonomous, minority, and majority groups that either inhabited a particular territory for an extended period of time or have im/migrated recently. Due to the fact that protection of universal human values is the main goal of international legal instruments, both dominant ethnic groups and minorities enjoy the right to cultural and linguistic identity.
  However, unlike the rights of ethnic groups,  the rights of peoples are defined by the basic principle of international law, namely the principle of self-determination, which grants them an opportunity  to choose their own political, economic, cultural and linguistic status, usually by establishing a territorial-state formation.  Although the instruments of international law do not include detailed descriptions of the mechanisms for this procedure, the principle of self-determination was universally accepted and used during the de-colonization period. Many states have exhibited a rather negative reaction towards the possible implementation of this principle, especially  when ethnic minorities sought complete independence (as the experience of Kurds, Kosovo Albanians, Abkhazians, Chechens, Tibetans or Palestinians among others, demonstrates). In this respect an entire set of criteria suggested by Galina Starovoitova for recognizing a self-determination movement’s ‘moral legitimacy’ deserves much attention and can further elucidate the conditions for realizing that principle [53].   At the same time, however, she admits that these criteria rarely apply in any one situation and thus, as Richard Solomon puts it, ‘the threshold for a territorial unit’s accession to international status is set high’ [54].
Furthermore, the right of peoples to self-determination is closely connected to the issue of linguistic rights. Currently only a few peoples (such as Catalans and Basques) are involved in the process of receiving comprehensive linguistic rights, granted to them within the framework of territorial autonomy, which is seen as one of the possible forms the right to self-determination can take. The willingness of central authorities to share and delegate power to the regions is of critical importance to the realization of the self-determination principle, regardless of the autonomy’s name and formal status (such as, a sovereign republic within a federation, an autonomous district, local self-government, etc.). For example, such delegation is envisioned by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples:
"Indigenous peoples, as a specific form of exercising their right to self-determination, have the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs, including culture, religion, education, information, media, health, housing, employment, social welfare, economic activities, land and resources management, environment and entry by non-members, as well as ways and means for financing these autonomous functions" [55].
And indeed, many states increasingly have expressed readiness to reorder governing institutions of power in response to ethnic minorities’ demands for more autonomy and  fuller rights [56].  Concrete examples of delegation of authority within the Russian Federation are the treaties between the Federal government and the Republics of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan that  delimit the spheres of responsibility and authority of the federal and republican governments. In similar fashion, the Dutch legislature provides for the so-called  “local self-government” for Greenland, granting it  the authority to conduct independent policies in economic, cultural, educational, land, construction and other spheres, while leaving the questions of foreign policy, common defense, and currency regulations within the sphere of the central (Dutch) government.
When examining the issues connected with the status of the so-called sovereign republics within the Russian Federation, one should bear in mind the distinction between the peoples which have realized their right to self-determination within a given territory,  and other groups. (Using the international-legal language, it is imperative to know which group is the beneficiary of the self-determination norm).  Clearly, the Tatar republic is the realization of the Tatar people’s right to self-determination; correspondingly,  from the international legal perspective, Bashkirs are the only people that realized their right to self-determination in Bashkortostan; likewise the Chuvash republic would not have come into being if the indigenous people, Chuvashis, had not realized their right to self-determination.
What are the consequences of the establishment of such republics?  The main difference between the “titular” peoples and other ethnic groups is that the former have realized their right to self-determination by creating their own territorial or national state formation, while the latter live outside their historical territories (in other words, the territories in which they went through all stages of ethno-genesis), and thus can enjoy cultural, linguistic and other rights only within the framework of  non-territorial self-determination, namely cultural autonomy [57].   For instance, legally it would be difficult to talk about the Udmurt or Chuvash peoples within Bashkortostan, which instead should be viewed as Udmurt and Chuvash ethnic groups.  If a Tatar, residing in the Orenburg oblast returns to Tatarstan, then he/she becomes the beneficiary  of the principle of national self-determination, while in all other cases he/she remains a representative of the Tatar ethnic group  which has linguistic and cultural rights that are equal to those of the Kazakhs, Bashkirs, Germans, Poles, or any other ethnic group, living outside their national formations.
Therefore, it would be logical to assume that the notion of a “state language” is an extra-territorial.  For instance, the Tatar language is a state language for both the Kazan and the Ufa Tatars.  Furthermore, according to the law of the Russian Federation on national-cultural autonomy, exercising one’s cultural and linguistic rights should not be limited by administrative borders. Since the right of peoples to self-determination is an exclusive prerogative of a group or  collective,  its realization in legal terms is relevant for all individuals that identify themselves as members of this group or collective.  For instance, from  the international legal perspective, all of Russia’s Tatars have realized their right to self-determination regardless of the place of their residency after the Tatar republic was established. This is clearly the case, because the right to self-determination belongs to the people in general  and not to separate diasporas that live in various oblasts, republics, etc.  For instance, it would be rather absurd to talk about the right to self-determination for the Nizni-Novgorod or Astrakhan oblast Tatars since the Republic of Tatarstan already exists. Similarly, the Ufa Tatars while being an integral part of the Tatar people, have also realized their right to self-determination and as a result, have been granted the right to a state language.
 From the legal point of view it would be preferable if there were two state languages on the territories of national republics within the Russian Federation with  Russian serving as a federal language and, the language of the titular (indigenous) group serving to fulfill its right to self -determination. As for languages of other ethnic groups, they should receive their rights within the framework of a national-cultural autonomy.  For instance, the state authorities should facilitate the learning of the mother tongue by children, and most importantly grant an opportunity to use this language for studying in pre-school institutions as well as schools.    
Bashkortostan’s statehood would be only strengthened if the Tatar, Chuvash or Marii populations of Bashkortostan received tangible opportunities for the preservation and development of their languages and cultures. On the other hand,  not only the state but also its citizens should be expected to fulfill their own obligations. Many articles of international legal instruments dealing with the issues of linguistic rights include the following reservations: “... the protection and encouragement of regional or minority languages should not be to the detriment of the official languages and the need to learn them” [58].  In other words,  the citizens should be required to study the state (official) language of the country or republic in which they live regardless of their ethnic background. For its part, the state should create all necessary conditions, including the training of the qualified teaching personnel, creation of effective study curriculums, material rewards for the knowledge of languages, etc., that would stimulate the citizen’s desire to learn  titular (official) languages.
VI. Language Rights in International Law
Many international forums have taken steps to adopt various declarations, conventions and charters devoted to the affirmation of the language rights of national minorities. In principle it is the minorities who need the language rights more than dominant ethnic groups. In this section I will discuss major international legal documents pertaining to  the language issues.
The international community has finally accepted the fact that simply mentioning "ethnic, religious and linguistic" minorities in international documents did not provide them with sufficient guarantees for the preservation of native languages and more and more documents adopted in recent times include specific provisions aimed at securing linguistic rights of minorities. The more general human rights instruments usually mention language only in passing. Language rights are more specifically elaborated in instruments which are restricted to certain topics or apply to numerically small groups only, such as documents relating to education, or to indigenous peoples. A variety of international legal documents referring to language issues demonstrate this. For instance:
a. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights  (adopted in 1966, and in force since 1976) declares that:
            "the States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to guarantee that the rights enunciated in the present Covenant will be exercised without discrimination of any kind  as to race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status." [59]  
But in article 13 the Covenant refers only to "racial, ethnic or religious groups" [60]   which obviously diminishes the importance of this document from the perspective of solidifying linguistic human rights.
b.     In 1966 the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was adopted, which has been in force since 1976. Its article 27, as UN reports confirm, [61]   has become one of the most important international articles for the protection of linguistic minorities. The article states:
 “In those states in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion, or to use their own language” [62].  
Furthermore, some UN Conventions and a number of Council of Europe and CSCE documents include similarly phrased articles.
c.     The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted in 1989 states that
“... due regard shall be paid to desirability of continuity in a child’s upbringing and to the child’s ethnic, religious, cultural and linguistic background” [63].   
Even more important is the article that encourages the mass media
     “... to have particular regard to the linguistic needs of the child who belongs to a minority group or who is indigenous” [64].  
Article 30 repeats essentially the wording of article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the phrase “persons of indigenous origin” having been added. Compare:
“In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities or persons of indigenous origin exist, a child belonging to such a minority or who is indigenous shall not be denied the right, in community with other members of his or her group, to enjoy his or her own culture, to profess and practice his or her own religion, or to use his or her own language” [65].  
However, this article implicitly restricts use of a child’s minority language to the private sphere which makes its impact on linguistic human rights no stronger than the provisions of the previous (covertly assimilation-oriented) documents. In 1992 the Preamble of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages has extended minority linguistic rights wherein a special reference has also been made to article 27. It was clarified that
 “the right to use a regional or minority language in private and public life is an inalienable right conforming to the principles embodied in the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ...” (my emphasis) [66].
Thus one may suggest that the theme of “language rights of individuals and peoples” is becoming more prevalent in international law.
As a result, important and reasonable standards for states to meet have appeared which are  a product of compromise of different approaches towards linguistic rights.   Accordingly, there is hope that these standards will heighten awareness among governments of the importance of linguistic rights, prompting them to apply these standards in policy- and law-making.  At the same time one should note that many of these international conventions, covenants and declarations as a rule limit themselves to simply prohibiting linguistic discrimination and as such are not sufficient to guarantee the preservation and development of minorities’ native languages. In practice, however, these groups need special rights that imply state support for national schools where classes are taught in the students’ native languages. Unfortunately, international legislation guarantees this right neither for individuals, nor the minority groups (regardless of whether the former represents minority or titular groups). Accordingly, the majority of existing documents requires additions and thorough revisions that would necessitate participation of a much wider circle of specialists, representatives of minorities and the indigenous peoples (for instance citizens of Russia’s national republics could contribute to the writing of these laws). There is a need for much more detailed interpretation of various articles, including more concrete procedures for their implementation.  Most importantly, an effective mechanism for international control over the fulfillment of the law by the states needs to be put into place.
Despite the imperfections of international law it would be a mistake to underestimate the efforts of the UN, UNESCO, the European Union, and the Organization for the Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) that have been quite active in protecting linguistic rights of indigenous peoples and minorities. For instance, in 1982 the European Parliament established the so-called “European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages”, the main task of which was to develop measures for supporting languages and cultures of indigenous groups in the members-states of the European Union. According to some estimates, out of a total of 320 million people that live in EU member-states, about 50 million belong to the indigenous groups of population. The European Parliament adopted two important resolutions on language issues, the so-called “Arfe” and “Kuijpers” resolutions.  The Arfe resolution adopted in October of 1981 included a call for national and local governments to promote the usage of the minorities’ languages in several major spheres of communication including education, mass communication, and social life.
Both resolutions played an important role in preparing the necessary political and ideological conditions for the adoption by the European Parliament of a European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages that was finally approved by the Committee of Ministers on June 22, 1992.  This is the only international document, devoted exclusively to the language thematic. In particular, it is designed to regulate the procedures for the usage of minorities and regional languages in education, Mass Media,  economic, cultural and social life. For instance, the preamble of the Charter reaffirms that:  
“... the right to use a regional or minority language in private and public life is an inalienable right” [67].
The document also emphasizes “the value of interculturalism and multilingualism”, while at the same time pointing out that
“the protection and encouragement of regional or minority languages should not be to the detriment of the official languages and the need to learn them” [68].   
Protection and promotion of regional and minority languages in various countries and regions of Europe are seen as
“... an important contribution to the building of Europe based on the principles of democracy,  and cultural diversity within the framework of national sovereignty and territorial integrity” [69].   
Each state that ratifies the European Charter has the right to specify the regional and minority languages to which it wishes to apply the paragraphs chosen in that document. Significantly, a participating state is to apply a minimum of thirty-five paragraphs or sub-paragraphs from among the provisions of the Charter [70].  It should be especially noted that the Charter defines regional and minority languages as
“traditionally used within a given territory of a State by nationals of that State who form a group numerically smaller than the rest of the State’s population ...” and do not include  “... either dialects of the official language(s) of the State or the languages of migrants” [71].  
Of special importance is the following provision of the Charter:
“The adoption of special measures in favor of regional or minority languages aimed at promoting equality between the users of these languages and the rest of the population or which take due account of their specific conditions is not considered to be an act of discrimination against the users of more widely-used languages”(my emphasis) [72].
One of the Charter’s most serious drawbacks is that it has too many general, imprecise and even somewhat evasive statements pertaining to the language issues. For instance:
“... the Parties undertake, if the number of users of a regional or minority language justifies it, to allow, encourage or provide teaching in or of the regional or minority language at all the appropriate stages of education” (my emphasis) [73];  “... to allow documents and evidence to be produced in the regional or minority languages, if necessary by the use of interpreters and translations” (my emphasis); [74]  “within the administrative districts of the State ... the Parties undertake, as far as this is reasonably possible ... to ensure that the administrative authorities use the regional or minority languages” (my emphasis); [75]  “... the Parties undertake, within the whole country ... to eliminate from their legislation any provision prohibiting or limiting without justifiable reasons the use of regional or minority languages in documents relating to economic or social life ...” (my emphasis) [76].  
Naturally, the states that, for various reasons, do not wish to fulfill their obligations may find many legal excuses for their action (or inaction), citing the above-mentioned loopholes, or so-called escape clauses.  For example, reluctant states can easily claim that the number of users of a regional or minority language did not justify teaching in the minority language or that there were justifiable reasons not to eliminate from their legislation provisions prohibiting the use of minority languages in documents relating to social life, and so on.
In June of 1990 the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) adopted the so-called “Document of the Copenhagen Meeting of the Conference on the Human Dimension of the CSCE” which unambiguously stipulated that
“persons belonging to national minorities have the right freely to express, preserve and develop their ethnic, cultural, linguistic or religious identity and to maintain and develop their culture in all aspects, free of any attempts at assimilation against their will” [77].  
Basically, the Copenhagen Document goes further than any other international instrument in specifying minority rights. For instance, the Document even noted that one of the possible means  to create conditions for the promotion of the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of certain national minorities is by establishing
 “... appropriate local or autonomous administrations corresponding to the specific historical and territorial circumstances of such minorities” [78].  
If this document becomes legally binding and if an effective mechanism of control over its implementation is found, there will be a good reason to believe that together with the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages the Copenhagen Document will become one of the most important legal instruments, regulating the relationships between national (ethnic and linguistic) groups and the state.
In December of 1992 the UN General Assembly adopted a Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities inspired, as it was noted in the preamble, by the provisions of article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [79] .  Unlike some other documents, the Declaration questioned a widespread belief of some governments that existence of minorities poses a potential threat for security and territorial integrity of states. The preamble of the Declaration contains an extremely valuable statement that
“the promotion and protection of the rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities contribute to the political and social stability of States in which they live”.
This provision contests the popular belief that the existence of minorities is divisive for nation-states. The Declaration is written in the imperative tone and therefore contains fewer “escape clauses” . For example the document declares that
“states shall protect the existence and the national or ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic identity of minorities within their respective territories, and shall encourage conditions for the promotion of that identity” (my emphasis) [80].  
The Declaration also proclaims that
“the states shall take measures to create favorable conditions to enable persons belonging to minorities to express their characteristics and to develop their culture, language, religion, traditions and customs... ”[81]  and  “shall adopt appropriate legislative and other measures to achieve those ends” (my emphasis) [82].  
Article 2.1 of the Declaration repeats the basic thesis of article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights  even going somewhat further by replacing “shall not be denied” by a more affirmative “have the right”, thereby more actively promoting enjoyment of linguistic rights:
“Persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities ... have the right to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion, and to use their own language, in private and in public, freely and without interference or any form of discrimination”.
However, the articles of the Declaration that touch upon teaching and learning of minority languages contain many loopholes, having been phrased more like soft recommendations than binding obligations—in many ways similar to those found in the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages. And this would easily allow any reluctant state to minimize the impact of the law.  For instance it is declared that
“States should take appropriate measures so that, wherever possible, persons belonging to minorities have adequate opportunities to learn their mother tongue or to have instruction in their mother tongue” [83].
Understandably, the above wording raises serious questions as to what is the practical meaning of such phrases as “appropriate measures” or “adequate opportunities”? And most importantly perhaps, who will be charged with the task of determining the limits of the possible and impossible? Unfortunately, the majority of international instruments share a common drawback, which is the excessive number of declaratory and general statements. It is not clear whether  the states choose to abide with the articles of these laws.
Generally speaking, the international community is beginning to realize the necessity to protect linguistic rights, especially of the native peoples and national (regional) minorities. For example, as part of his mandate for conflict prevention the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities undertook a comprehensive study on the enjoyment  of linguistic rights in all OSCE states, the results for which were reported in March of 1999 [84].  Moreover, the question of formulating a Universal Declaration of Linguistic Human Rights and the eventual adoption of a legally-binding charter or covenant was put on the agenda. For instance, in October of 1987 an International Seminar on Human Rights and Cultural Rights, sponsored by UNESCO took place in the Brazilian city of Recife, which adopted the so-called Recife declaration. This document formulated the main task of the international community for many years to come:
“Hence, conscious of the need to provide explicit legal guarantees for linguistic rights to individuals and groups by the appropriate bodies of the member states of the United Nations, [the seminar]recommends that steps be taken by the United Nations to adopt and implement a universal declaration of linguistic rights which would require a reformulation of national, regional, and international language policies” [85].

VII.    Strains of the Post-Soviet Modernization in Russia
The collapse of the USSR marked a new stage in the development of the Russian Federation, during which both the center and the regions are searching for answers to the most topical questions which would shape the future of Russia as a single multinational state. The main question is on what foundations the renewed statehood will be built and whether new forms and principles of co-existence between numerous ethno-linguistic groups can be developed. Many republics within the Russian Federation have abandoned their quasi-autonomous status by adopting declarations of sovereignty and new constitutions, and redefining themselves as sovereign nation-states. These actions were caused by a natural desire to overcome the unitarist, imperial legacy of the Soviet period.
Consequently, during the past decade the elites and populations of Russia’s ethnic republics shifted from mildly politicized ethnic consciousness to various forms of nationalism and separatism. Although this phenomenon does not necessarily mean that each republic will demand complete independence from the center, the fact that some of them signed power-sharing treaties with the federal government indicates their desire to achieve some degree of sovereignty within the federation. Such treaties make it possible to take into account regional differences in geography, natural resource endowments, economic factors, ethnicity, language and ecological concerns. In the absence of clear legislation on the power of the regional governments, treaties provide some guidance. Tatarstan’s treaty was the first of its kind  and has since stimulated the signing of 46 power-sharing agreements, the last treaty being signed by the city of Moscow on 16 June 1998.
Russia’s experience seems to suggest that power-sharing agreements turned out to be an essential component of the consolidation of Russian Federalism laying the foundation of a truly federative state and becoming, in effect, the supplements to the Russian Constitution. It would hardly be an exaggeration to suggest that prior to 1994 there was a real danger that contradictions between the center and the republics would undermine the Russian society, leading Russia to disintegration along the Soviet pattern [86].  
In this context the contributions of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan were vital for Russia’s survival as a federation. The republics’ motivation for signing separate arrangements with the center is easy to explain: by demanding additional rights, ethnically unique republics and economically strong regions seek to either resist the centralization tendency or avert the consequences of frequently crude reform policies devised without proper consideration of their special historical, geographical, cultural and linguistic conditions.
Therefore, any attempts to homogenize all subjects of the federation by arbitrarily disregarding their individual differences or special circumstances, are unwise and even dangerous. Notably, even in such an extremely centralized and unitary state, as the Imperial Russia, some ethnic territories, such as Finland, Poland, Khiva or Bukhara, were allowed,  although only by permission from above, to exercise additional powers due to their ethnic and cultural peculiarity [87].  
Hence, the most important issue today is whether the post-Soviet political structure of Russia will consider the aspirations of the culturally, economically, and ethnically divergent national and territorial units? Will it guarantee free development of languages and cultures of the various peoples of the Federation? Consequently, the problem of fair representation of ethnic groups in federal organs of power and in the media  remains a vital issue in Russia's multiethnic society.
For example, even if the ethnic composition of the Parliament accurately reflected the country's population, which consists predominantly (82%)  of ethnic Russians, representatives of other ethnic groups would be in a clear minority and hence unable to influence the decision making process.
 Moreover, the non-Russians, whose numbers are relatively small, cannot influence a single policy in the State Duma or the Federation Council. Even if all (non-Russian) titular ethnic groups voted together, they would collect only 25 percent of the vote. Consequently, these ethnic minorities are deprived of the opportunity to make decisions on the issues that affect their well-being.
Thus, the "one person, one vote" electoral system, often considered to be the most democratic, does not ensure the representation of ethnic minorities in the legislature. Although in theory simple majority rule may be a fair form of political representation, in reality this principle has limitations in multiethnic societies.
One possible way for Russia is to embrace consociational democracy, the system of government which was advocated by Arend Lijphart for multiethnic states [88].  It guarantees the minority group participation in the government, and even grants minorities veto powers on matters of cultural autonomy as well as other issues which are of direct concern to them.
Another viable alternative for Russia is the integrative approach described by Timothy Sisk [89]  and Donald Horowitz [90].  The integrative system requires not simply the majority of votes, but the majority of votes in the majority of territories for the election of the president. In Russia, such a system would give greater weight to the republics. Moreover, it is important to represent the non-Russian ethnic groups in the executive branch of the federal government, and provide the programming in the languages of ethnic minorities on television and radio.
 The inadequate representation of minorities in the branches of government is partially due to the lack of knowledge and interest in the issues of inter-ethnic relations among the majority of parliamentarians and state officials. Furthermore, the collapse of the USSR, the sovereignty drive in many ethnic republics within Russia and the war in Chechnya contributed to the growing resentment on the part of many Russians towards granting additional rights to minorities.
Given the current mood and composition of the State Duma, it is unrealistic to expect that the Russian parliament might support the idea of consociational or integrative democracy. Suffice it to say that when the law on "small indigenous peoples" was finally approved by the Duma in June of 1996 after a five-year delay, it was rejected by the Federation Council. Yet, to consolidate inter-ethnic peace and stability in Russia, the Kremlin has no other option but to face the challenge of formulating the "standard rules of the game" that will be accepted by the ethnic republics.
It is necessary to acknowledge that federalism can be the key to preventing conflicts arising on the grounds of national and regional separatism and that strategically it is the only political arrangement which can accommodate Russia’s ethno-linguistic diversity.
Moreover, it is absolutely clear that in today’s Russia it is impossible to separate democracy from federalism since the federative structure serves as a major counterbalance to building a unitary polity and a guarantee of the preservation and development of democratic institutions in both the center and periphery. Hence, sustaining and developing federal relations is a major component of the reform process in Russia.
Quite often I am asked: Why were Bashkortostan and Tatarstan more vocal than the other 19 autonomous republics in the process of re-defining the relationship between the center and the periphery?  One possible explanation is that these republics’ relative economic prosperity and unique geographic location enabled them to serve as major links between Europe and Asia. For instance, in terms of industrial potential Bashkortostan alone was equal to the three Baltic states (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia) put together.
Secondly, Bashkortostan and Tatarstan were historically more independent from the center than other ethnic republics. Bashkortostan has a long history of statehood, including the treaty-based relations with Russia starting from the 16th century. After the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks, Bashkortostan became the only autonomy which was founded on the basis of a bilateral power-sharing treaty with Lenin’s government. The rest of the republics were formed by a unilateral decree from the Kremlin. The chairs of the Supreme Soviet of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan were always included into the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR along with the leaders of the Union republics. Thus Bashkortostan and Tatarstan were the only autonomous republics to be represented in the USSR’s Supreme Soviet on par with all the union republics, including Russia.
Thus, it was natural that Gorbachev’s glasnost facilitated the debates on the division of power between the center and the republics and various national movements were established among the population. In fact both Bashkortostan and Tatarstan never concealed their desire to gain the Union republic status. For instance, during the elaboration of the new union treaty in the late 1980s when Mikhail Gorbachev made a desperate attempt to save the crumbling Soviet state, Bashkortostan and Tatarstan bargained hard to raise their legal status. The leaders of these republics were determined to sign the Union treaty independently, which would have enabled Bashkortostan and Tatarstan to gain the Union republic status. These aspirations were never realized due to the August 1991 coup attempt and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union.
The drive for increased political and economic authority and demands for the establishment of a truly federative state were not accompanied by separatism and extreme nationalism in both republics. This is illustrated by the fact that many representatives of the non-titular ethnic groups supported the movement for republican sovereignty. According to American scholars Allen Frank, and Ronald Wixman:
 "Universally the feeling among the peoples of this region was that Moscow and the Soviets benefited, but Bashkortostan and Tatarstan lived in poverty. ... This played a major role in the post-1991 events as local Russian workers strongly supported their republics’ autonomy movements. ... Over issues of sovereignty, political autonomy and economic autonomy Tatars and Russians in Tatarstan, and Bashkirs, Tatars and Russians in Bashkortostan could stand together" [91].
As someone who was actively involved in the process [92],  I have every reason to say that none of Russia’s ethnic republics (with Chechnya as the only exception) ever asserted full independence in any official decision (document). While demanding more rights for independent development, the ethnic republics were not willing to compromise the integrity of the Russian Federation.
While secession was not an issue in Bashkortostan or any other autonomous republic (with the exception of Chechnya), the question of establishing the system of asymmetrical federalism on the basis of treaties and ultimately rewriting the Russian constitution was at the center of the debate.
The dissatisfaction with the current Russian constitution is illustrated by the fact that it was not approved by the majority of residents in Bashkortostan, Tatarstan and thirty other subjects of Russia during a nation-wide referendum. This was due to the federal government’s failure to consider the special interests of many subjects of the federation. Their suggestions were completely ignored too. Under these circumstances it is difficult to seriously speak about any kind of consociational or integrative democracy.
It is clear that the current Russian constitution serves a decorative purpose rather than providing a well-balanced foundation for a representative political system in Russia. In practice the Russian constitution disregards the reality of Russia’s ethnic diversity and unique federative arrangement. Even in the former Soviet Union, where everything was centralized and ethnic republics lived under a totalitarian regime, there was a parliament with a special chamber representing national groups. Until recently the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation also included a nationalities’ chamber. Today neither the constitution, nor the representative organs in the Duma, and the Federation Council guarantee Russia’s nationalities' interests. The only option under these circumstances is to start the process of revising the federal constitution in order to bring Russia closer to a real federative arrangement. The Russian parliament, and the President should acknowledge the fact that the Russian political structure operates on the basis of power-sharing treaties which form the core of Russia’s system of asymmetrical federalism.
Historically, the Soviet autonomies were created first and foremost as a means of compensating  the indigenous peoples for the injustice of centuries-long colonization and oppression. Only promises of broad autonomy could lure the nationalities of the former Czarist Empire into the Bolsheviks’ federation of Soviet peoples. Originally, the major rational behind Lenin’s decision to build a union of the Soviet republics was to secure political loyalty in the non-Russian regions. Whatever the Bolsheviks’ motives were, the grievances of a score of peoples could be addressed only by the establishment of the national-territorial entities. But later on, these entities have become to epitomize not only the national sovereignty of titular groups, but the popular sovereignty of all other non-titular populations. Under those historical conditions, this was the only way to ensure a fledgling Soviet state’s integrity without compromising the peoples’ right to self-determination, a principle that had been advocated long before by Lenin himself [93].
 Essentially, five major reasons can be given to substantiate the ethnic republics’ claim to self-determination. First, as autonomous entities, these republics, have long been constitutive units within both the Russian Federation and Soviet Union; secondly, many of these republics, above all, Bashkortostan and Tatarstan, were forcefully annexed to the Russian Empire [94]  and in many ways they continue to be remnants of the Stalin-Brezhnev totalitarian system; thirdly, Soviet rule in these republics led to massive human and minority rights violations; fourth,  broad autonomy is  the only way to redress these people’s grievances and to ensure their economic, political, cultural, and linguistic development; fifth, in the post-Soviet Russia, as is evidenced by many examples of federal policies, including the war in Chechnya, these ethnic groups can only survive within the framework of their own statehood; sixth, the provision of sovereignty for the republics within a larger state is the ideal form of governance for Russia, since the two conflicting tendencies, centripetal and centrifugal, are reconciled within a federation that enables its ethnic groups to pursue their goal of self-determination while preserving the country’s integrity as multinational state.
         In the wake of the Chechen tragedy, there was hope that Moscow realized the advantages of granting a wider degree of autonomy to the republics. One indication of the shift in Moscow’s nationalities policy came in July of 1996 when a “Concept of the Nationalities’ Policy of the Russian Federation” was adopted. Notably, it was acknowledged that “finding an optimal political arrangement of Russia on the basis of federalism  is among the priority tasks of  Russia’s internal politics.  The goal of this project is neither replacing republics with gubernias, nor turning regions and oblasts into separate republics. The peculiarity of  Russian Federalism is the combination of national and territorial  components of the federation.” Furthermore, this document rightfully points out that separatist as well as unitarist tendencies within the society complicate the development of the Russian statehood and create inter-ethnic tension [95].  Contrary to initial expectations, there has not been any real follow-up since the adoption of this document. Instead, there have been many indications that the federal government was prepared to resume unitarist policies of the recent past.
For example, at the Conference on “Federalism in Russia” conducted last December in Washington, DC, Political Project Director of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy of the Russian Government Andrey Fedorov openly spoke about the need to revise all the power-sharing treaties and replace them with a more unified approach. Moreover,  he added that one of the Council’s main recommendations to the Kremlin was to decrease the number of the subjects of the Russian Federation [96].  
Prime-Minister Primakov mirrored this approach when speaking at an all-Russia conference on federal relations on January 26, 1999, he called for reducing the number of regions in Russia. Moreover, Primakov favored the idea of appointing governors and heads of regional administration instead of electing them. If these changes are implemented, it would be difficult to talk about a successful federation in Russia.
In fact Russia’s republics perceive these calls as aimed, first and foremost, at downgrading their present status. Regrettably, many high-ranking Moscow officials stubbornly cling to an old, authoritarian belief that republican movements for sovereignty and the very process of nation-building will ultimately lead to the disintegration of the country.
Unfortunately, these politicians believe that there exists a fundamental contradiction between ethnic and state loyalties, and furthermore, they confuse two major aspects of non-Russian peoples’ statehood: the international and the national.
The international aspect of statehood is embodied in the democratic and civic essence of a state; in the unity of the multinational people of Russia, being the single source of political power at the federal level (at least that is what the federal constitution stipulates); in the full equality and proportional representation of the citizens of non-indigenous peoples in the organs of power and administration; in the priority of the federal legislation on matters delegated to the center; and in the consolidation of a common state language on the territory of the entire Federation.
The national aspect of statehood finds its expression in the construction of the state on the basis of the indigenous peoples’ corresponding historical territories; in the provision of extensive representation for a given ethnic group in organs of power and administration; in the particular and distinct application of federal laws, taking into account national particularities; and finally in the consolidation of the native language of an ethnic group as the state (official) language, including conducting all administrative acts within state organs in that language. Indeed most national republics have decreed that the language of the titular nation or ethnos was the official, state language of the republic, mostly along with Russian.
A more complete and correct understanding of the national and linguistic processes in the modern Russian Federation  and the constituent republics necessitates a discussion  of the main stages of linguistic policy of the Communist party and the Soviet state.
VIII. A Brief History of Soviet Language Policy
The history of Soviet language  policy can be roughly subdivided into four periods: (1) Pluralism or linguistic federalism; (2) Bilingualism; (3) Monolingualism or linguistic Russification; (4) And, again, Pluralism.  Of course, the four periods overlapped, the elements of all four policies were often pursued concomitantly, but nonetheless the predominant feature of each period can be discerned. During the first period, which lasted from 1917 to the early 1930s, the Bolshevik party  policy was one of so-called,  nativization  (korenizatsiia), characterized by official preoccupation with encouraging the languages of national minorities. At that time there was no overt pressure for the study of the Russian language and many schools appeared where instruction was conducted in  non-Russian languages. The situation began to gradually change in the early thirties, with the study of Russian being made compulsory in 1938. During the second  period, lasting until the late 1950s, schools offering instruction in the languages of non-Russian nationals were increasingly restricted to their ethno-territorial entities, while Russian language schools were promoted throughout the country.
In 1958-1959, under Nikita Khruschev’s rule, active linguistic Russification was initiated in all Soviet ethnic republics under the disguise of “a  voluntary principle”  offered to non-Russian parents who had to choose between the option of sending their children to Russian language schools or to schools where instruction was in the local language. The introduction of that “voluntary principle” was far from being a free choice, as depicted by the government and marked in effect a new period of Soviet linguistic policy aimed  at making the dominant tongue the sole language of instruction. The majority of parents who wanted to assure their children’s upward mobility opted for Russian-language schools, as Russian was the major language of instruction, scientific and cultural exchange, the language of a demographically and therefore politically dominant ethnic group in the Soviet hierarchy. Analyzed against the broader background of the linguistic situation, the option offered by the language law of 1958-1959 appeared to be a well-calculated measure designed to move non-Russian bilinguals to Russian monolingualism. The authorities  had every reason to assume that the magnetism of Russian schools would be strongest for parents who naturally  preferred their children to study the language that was more advantageous in terms of career prospects than a far less competitive native one. On the other hand, the number of years of high school education available in one’s native language varied significantly among nationalities depending on the level of their ethnic territory’s status in the “federal” hierarchy. As compared to union republics, where children could complete both primary and secondary education in their own languages,  those living in autonomous republics (ASSRs) did not have  such a possibility, the number of years of curriculum instruction in their national languages being restricted to a maximum seven.
For instance, by the early 1960s, all schools where classes were taught in the Mari, Mordva, Udmurt, Chuvash, and Komi languages had been closed down in those respective autonomous republics.  Even in Tatarstan, whose population remained the most “loyal” to its native language among all peoples of the Ural-Volga region, there were only five schools with instruction in Tatar in the end of the 1980s [97]  and the share of the students who learned Tatar in the system of public education was only  12 percent.  Thus, even the part of the population that continued to use Tatar for every-day communication experienced dramatic decline in the level of knowledge of that language.  
The poll conducted among ethnic Tatars studying in colleges and universities revealed that only one-third of the total number of Tatar students were fluent in the native tongue, 56 percent used Tatar exclusively for every-day communication, while 10 percent did not speak or understand Tatar at all [98].  This suggests that in the republics that were less “successful” from the point of view of education in the native language, the number of people who spoke their native languages was even lower.  For example, according to an ethno-sociological survey conducted in urban areas of Bashkortostan in 1997, only 12.5 percent of Bashkir parents use Bashkir in communication with their children, while 56.8 percent speak exclusively Russian. Another poll revealed that the total number of urban Bashkirs having a knowledge of the native tongue is 31.5 percent [99].
Notably, official publications like Pechat’ SSSR or Vestnik Statistiki, which indicated the number of books, newspapers, magazines, etc. printed in different languages, gave the impression that a host of literature was available in non-Russian languages of the Soviet Union. However, the trick was that while the titles appeared in the native languages, the text, for the most part, was in Russian with only a few articles in the native tongues. Furthermore, books with titles and title pages in native languages most frequently had their text solely in Russian. Thus, although the official statistics listed these publications in the “native language publication” column, they were written almost exclusively in Russian [100].  
    In 1977, a new Soviet Constitution was adopted that signified a new emphasis on linguistic Russification. In the realm of language  policy, the new constitution mentioned the possibility of using the native language in schools (article 36), whereas the previous constitution of 1936 had declared the right to instruction in the mother tongue (article 121).  The change in wording between the two constitutions signaled the official move away from encouragement of national languages toward Russian monolingualism. It was believed that the national question in the Soviet Union had been solved. But subsequent developments showed that the Soviet leaders had greatly underestimated the mobilizing potential of ethnicity.  In 1985 the third and most authoritative period of Soviet language policy was over and the final, shortest stage began to evolve with Mikhail Gorbachev’s coming to power.
    The policy of democratization advocated by the reformist Communist party, through glasnost and perestroika favored the revival of the national identity of all ethnic groups. For that reason, it was only natural that the late 1980’s saw the formation of many movements for elevating  the status of national territories, including their respective languages.
For example, the cultural and spiritual revival in Sakha which intensified in the late 1980s and early 1990s was focused on the campaign for the rebirth of the Sakha language and culture. While according to the 1989 census only 5 percent of the Sakha people listed their primary language as Russian, fear of linguistic Russification led to the adoption of language laws mandating more Sakha training in the schools and, more importantly, decreeing a joint "state language" status for Sakha and Russian. In practice, however, this means encouraging but not forcing Russians to learn Sakha, especially since only 2 percent of Russians spoke it in 1989. Efforts to overcome the consequences of unbalanced bilingualism resulting from the Soviet language policy (most Sakha knew Russian, but not vice versa) are being made through new "national" school programs in both rural and urban areas [101].
In another example, many Tatars felt that without demanding a new, more independent status for their republic, they would continue to lose a disproportionate degree of local revenues to the center, thus depriving themselves of resources for education and social programs. Furthermore, relative economic prosperity did not compensate for the Tatar people’s  fears of linguistic and social assimilation, resulting in a 1989 language law that required the Tatar language education for all citizens of the republic, and provisions in the 1990 Tatar Declaration of Sovereignty and the 1992 Constitution according to which  Tatar was the state language, along with Russian. The 1989 census revealed that  more than a million Tatars declared Russian, not Tatar, their native language.
A Tyvan cultural revival movement also centered on the regeneration of the Tyvan language and folklore. Tyvans passed a mild version of a language rights law in 1989, opening the way for increased Tyvan language training in republican schools for both Russians and Tyvans. However, the law did not make the knowledge of Tyvan an obligatory requirement. The 1993 Constitution of Tyva grants both Tyvan and Russian the status of a state language.
Similarly, in 1990 Buryatia officially declared its sovereignty within Russia and named both Buryat and Russian state languages of the republic.
In contrast to the previous cases, linguistic policies were more complex in Bashkortostan, since the ruling elites had to take into account the interests of three major ethnic groups (Bashkirs, Tatars, Russians). Moreover, because of Bashkortostan’s geographical position  (just 100 km. separate it from Kazakhstan); its past history of incessant uprisings against the Czarist Empire; its active involvement in national-liberation movement of the 1920’s; a substantial truncation of its territory under the Soviet rule; fairly tense relationship of Bashkirs with numerically predominant Tatars [102];  the resentment of ethnic Russians over gradually losing their privileged status  in the local government; and finally the lack of the official status for the native language of Bashkirs in their own historical homeland, the republic presents a special case of potential radicalization.
    The autonomous  republics within Soviet Russia preserved their autonomy only in name, which largely reflected the official directive of the Communist party regarding the creation of the culture that was national in form but socialist (de-ethnisized) in the content. In this respect the fate of the Middle Volga region’s peoples is most exemplary presenting an accurate picture of the extent and scope of linguistic assimilation in the Soviet Union.    
In order to assess properly the current ethno-lingual situation in the Middle Volga region, it is important to examine their populations and rates of population growth as well as current levels of native language retention.
Generally, throughout the Soviet rule,  most Komi, Komi-Permyak, Udmurt, Mari, and Mordva parents preferred to send their children to Russian-language schools as they perceived their own languages as useless to the future betterment of their children.
Although, among the Chuvash and Tatars, the situation was somewhat better as their populations are far more compact, forming a distinct majority in their republics. By the end of 1980s education was available through the tenth grade only for four peoples in the RSFSR: Bashkirs, Buryats, Tatars, Yakuts. By the time Gorbachev came to power virtually no regular native-language education was available to any of the peoples of the RSFSR [103].  
The data presented in Table 1 (see Appendix) suggests that  between 1959 and 1989 virtually all peoples had a strong tendency to lose their native language.  During this period the number of people who did not claim the language of their ethnic group as their mother tongue increased by 11 percent among the Mordva people, and by 18.5 percent among the Komi people. Most of these people named Russian as their native language.  In general, the level of preservation of the native language was higher in ethnic republics. In 1989 the Tatars demonstrated the highest level of “linguistic loyalty” with 96,9 percent of all people questioned naming the language of their own ethnic group as their native tongue. Nevertheless, in general, the number of the people “loyal” to their ethnic languages decreased in ethnic republics as well.  For instance, between 1979 and 1989 this number (the number of peoples who  did not identify with their native language) grew by 17.5 percent in Udmurtia, 19.4 percent in Komi, and 12,6 percent in Chuvashia.
A notable exception from this pattern is Bashkortostan, where the number of people considering their native language to be their  mother tongue increased by 17 percent during that period.  How can one explain this unique phenomenon?  Some scholars tend to believe that the statistics on the Bashkirs are indicative of the success of Soviet nationality policy in preventing their Tatarization [104].  But in reality, this is an incorrect and overly-simplified statement. The ethno-lingual situation in Bashkortostan is far more complex, deserving special attention that demands  a deeper analysis (see Section X).
IX. Political and Ethno-linguistic Processes in Russia
Officially, the principle of bilingualism is included in the Constitution of the Russian Federation, a document that is designed to be one of the major pillars of Russia’s democratic system. While Russian is granted the status of the official state language, the Constitution guarantees conditions for the preservation and development of the languages of all peoples of Russia. The right to communicate in the native language is considered an integral right of the citizens of Russia and an important attribute of the sovereign status of the national-state formations on Russia’s territory.  Nevertheless, Russia’s linguistic policy has so far failed to solve many urgent problems in several republics, including the Republic of Bashkortostan.
Unlike the constitutions of other national republics, the constitution of Bashkortostan  does not have a provision concerning official or state languages.  As a result, it is not surprising that linguistic issues were often discussed between the republic and the federal authorities as well as between various national and political movements within the republic.  Heated discussions took place in Bashkortostan’s mass media, revealing a wide spectrum of opinion on linguistic issues [105].  Prior to the 1998 presidential elections in Bashkortostan, the Russian state Duma requested the Russian Constitutional Court to examine the legality of article 92 of Bashkortostan’s Constitution stating that candidates for presidency of the Republic of Bashkortostan must possess the knowledge of both Russian and Bashkir languages.  The state Duma argued that this article contradicted Federal legislature that envisions equal rights for all citizens of the Russian Federation, irrespective of their residence and knowledge of languages.  The republic of Bashkortostan, in turn, argued that  in creating these conditions for Presidential candidates  it was guided by article 68 of the Constitution of Russia, which raises the issue of state languages in the national republics of the Russian Federation [106].    However, the root of the problem is that the status of the Bashkir and Russian languages remains legally undefined. From the legal point of view, it is pointless to require the knowledge of two languages without first defining their legal status. For instance, why should presidential candidates have the knowledge of those (Bashkir and Russian) languages and not Chuvash or Tatar? On the other hand, in the 1920s, the Bashkir language, along with Russian received the legal status of  a state language in the former autonomous republic [107] , and the current Parliament of Bashkortostan could simply prolong the validity of this law in order to put an end to the existing ambiguity  and vagueness.
Although currently the Russian Federation faces a large number of problems, the national and linguistic issues are of special importance. For example, how should the problems of the non-titular nationalities that do not possess territorial autonomy be addressed? Often they do not enjoy equal rights with titular nationalities, such as the right to use their native language which, in turn, leads to their complete assimilation and disintegration. In this respect, international experience suggests that the process of national consolidation of multi-national states is facilitated by the creation of various types of autonomies. An administrative and territorial division based on ethnicity is conducive to strengthening inter-ethnic harmony and creating a more favorable political situation. For instance, when the idea of establishing a joint Tatar-Bashkir republic was announced in the 1920s, the tension was relieved only when the Tatars received a separate administrative-territorial unit. The optimal and most stable linguistic situation is created when the language of the titular, indigenous people receives the status of the state language within the boundaries of that people’s administrative-territorial formation. National-territorial formations serve as the guarantees of the preservation and enhancement of their cultural and territorial integrity. In this respect, the fact that the asymmetrical character of the subjects of the Russian Federation has been preserved, is favorable for the linguistic development of all major ethnic groups (Bashkir, Tatar, Chuvash, Mordva, Udmurts, Komi, Karels, Kalmyks, etc.) since they all possess their own ethnic republics in which the language of the titular group has the status of the state language.  However,  alarming linguistic situation is created in cases where, primarily due to the Czarist colonial and Bolshevik assimilation policies, ethnic groups found themselves in absolute minority in their own ethnic republics.  According to the 1989 census, the most difficult situation in this regard was observed in Karelia, where the titular nation constituted only 10 percent of the total population, Bashkortostan (21.9 percent of the total population), and Komi (23.3 percent).
Understandably, the peoples of these regions feel seriously threatened by the increasingly large number of other ethnic groups (namely Russians) in their republics, a problem compounded by the lingering effects of Soviet nationality policy.  But on the other hand, in the Russian Federation today, the Russian language has objectively advanced to the position of  lingua franca, a universally accepted language of inter-ethnic communication. The prevalence and popularity of this language and the long history of its usage for inter-ethnic contacts certainly contributed to its status. Although the high status of the Russian language  naturally puts the Russian ethnos into a privileged position, this fact does not appear to be a source of inter-ethnic tension, since  other peoples use this language not only for communicating with the Russians but also for communicating between themselves. Today the Russian language is perceived as a necessary tool of inter-ethnic communication and a natural attribute of the Russian statehood. Following the collapse of the USSR, Russian became the language of inter-state talks in the “near abroad,”   and was used during the attempts to resolve various inter-ethnic conflicts (the wars between Georgia and Abkhazia,  Armenia and Azerbaijan and the conflict between the Ossetins and the Ingush).
There are many reasons to believe that the status of the Russian language on the federal level is growing stronger. This is a natural process that is stipulated by demographics, namely the absolute numerical predominance of the Russian ethnic group.  Therefore,  representatives of other ethnic groups are left with no other choice but to master the dominant language, since the knowledge of this language is of critical importance for receiving education, social advancement, mobility, etc.
In conclusion, one may point to a large number of unresolved problems  and shortcomings in the linguistic policies of  Russia’s national republics. For instance the teaching of both the indigenous (titular) and the Russian languages is often carried out at a low level methodologically and professionally.  The curricula do not satisfy the present-day requirements, and effective teaching methods, teach-yourself and phrase-books,  and dictionaries are severely lacking (these issues are especially acute in the Finnish-Ugric republics). The situation is further exacerbated by the lack of the qualified teachers.
A successful linguistic policy would have to establish a balanced correlation between the functions of official languages of ethnic republics, the Russian language, and international languages. Thus, ideally every citizen of Russia, living on the territory of a national republic should acquire the knowledge of the federal language, the local national language, and additionally an international language (preferably English).
In general, the national and linguistic policy conducted by the Russian Federation in the constituent republics  is based on the legal code adopted by the beginning of the 1990s, and is aimed, above all, at the comprehensive development  of the languages of all indigenous peoples. Although linguistic policies vary from one state to another and are implemented in a different manner by the subjects of a single state, one may point out several generalizations about the linguistic policy of the Russian Federation.  The legislation on the languages in the republics usually declares the equality of all languages on the territory of the republic, while at the same time granting the languages of indigenous or titular peoples the status of state languages along with Russian. Government initiatives indicate broad acceptance of the requirement of affirmative action to secure indigenous linguistic survival.
Most Russian national republics conduct a  vigorous linguistic policy aimed at promoting the titular languages, but at the same time take into consideration such factors as multi-national and multi-linguistic composition of the population, and the role of the Russian language in public life, realizing the negative consequences of trying to construct an ethnocratic state [108].  
Against this background, the case of Bashkortostan is unusual. Motivated primarily by the need for political survival, the Bashkortostani authorities widely sloganize the concept of ethnic equality. In reality, however, they do very little to ensure its actual equilibrium.

X. The Ethno-linguistic Situation in Bashkortostan: A Source for Political Instability?
Over the last decade, the republic has been engaged in a heated debate regarding the "national identity" of sovereign Bashkortostan. At the front of this debate is the question of language, particularly the choice of the official languages of Bashkortostan.
A closer examination of the ethno-linguistic situation in Bashkortostan makes it necessary to incorporate some statistical data. Tables 2 and 3 (see Appendix) demonstrate that during the period between 1979 and 1989 a dramatic decrease in the number of Bashkirs  took place in Bashkortostan (70,000 people) while the Tatar population increased by 180,000 people.  It should be noted that  the changes in the ratio of the Bashkir and Tatar  population occurred primarily in the northwestern counties of the republic  in which the so-called  "Tatar-speaking" Bashkirs live among the predominantly Tatar population. These Bashkirs use the northwestern dialect of Bashkir that is quite similar to the Tatar literary language.
Table 4 (see Appendix) suggests that  the above-mentioned changes are characterized by the dramatic decline in the number of Bashkirs and, correspondingly, an equally dramatic increase in the number of Tatars.  For instance, in the Baltachevsky county alone the number of ethnic Bashkirs decreased by 52 percent (!) between 1979 and 1989, while the number of ethnic Tatars increased by 53 percent. Yet the Bashkirs have successfully preserved their ethnic consciousness in neighboring Askinsky county, where a stable and steady increase in the number of titular population is taking place.
A wide-spread “transformation” of the Bashkir ethnicity into the Tatar one may explain by two major factors. Firstly, during the era of Gorbachev’s reforms, when the old nomenklatura system of promoting persons of indigenous nationalities into positions of power in the local party organizations and the Soviets ceased to exist (especially in combination with a decline in the economic and political benefits of Bashkir ethnic identity), there was no more need to continue using the label of titular nationality in order to advance one’s career. In this situation the  “real” (nastoyaschiye) Tatars or the so-called “passport Bashkirs” formally  re-assumed their true Tatar ethnicity which,  they had never concealed in private life.  But the main reason for this shift is that the northwestern Bashkirs themselves have abandoned their primordial identity, largely due to the fact that the cultural and linguistic difference between them and Tatars is meager, thus accelerating the assimilation of the former by the latter.
As a result of this Bashkir-to-Tatar-shift in ethnic identity, the number of registered "Tatar-speaking" Bashkirs decreased, while the number of the "Bashkir-speaking" Bashkirs has grown in relative terms, despite the fact that the absolute number of this ethnic group has dramatically declined, as the 1989 census correctly demonstrates. For instance, according to the 1979 census, 41.4 percent of Bashkirs considered Tatar as their native language, while in 1989 that number decreased to 20.7 percent. These figures suggest that the sharp increase in the linguistic loyalty of the Bashkirs is primarily due to the widespread shift of the “Tatar-speaking” Bashkirs into the Tatar ethnic group.   
The above figures explain why the Bashkirs should remain primarily concerned with establishing their native tongue as the republic’s state language, and adopting special preferential measures aimed at fortifying its position. It is interesting to note that the rate of linguistic assimilation among Bashkirs is higher within their republic than outside. This would seem to indicate that they are heavily affected by the presence of the large numbers of Tatars in their own republic; in fact, the number of Tatars and Bashkirs living in Bashkortostan in 1989 was almost identical. The fact that there are few ethnic Bashkirs living in Tatarstan is further evidence of the potency of the Tatar assimilation influence over the closely related Bashkirs. Basically, Bashkir nationalism thrives on the perception that being the indigenous nation, they are becoming a minority on their “own”  historical territory, mostly due to immigration flows and assimilation.  A few quotes from interviews which I conducted this year with leaders of Bashkir national organizations illustrate that well.  For instance, according to Niyaz Mazhitov, president of the most popular Bashkir public organization, the Bashkir World Congress:
"Bashkortostan is the only land where the Bashkir people can realize their basic rights in full, including their right to an official Bashkir language.  Obviously, no other state, no other government elsewhere in the world will ever do that for them.  Hence, we urge the Parliament, and the President to meet our legitimate demands and designate Bashkir, along with Russian as the official state languages of Bashkortostan. The reality is that other minority languages can not be made official here, because historically this republic epitomizes first of all the Bashkir people’s statehood.  Other minority groups have come here to live by way of migration, but this is not to say they should not enjoy all necessary rights within the framework of a national-cultural autonomy.  Furthermore, these groups’ languages have already been declared official state languages in their respective republics, like Tatar in Tatarstan, Chuvash in Chuvashiya, and so on.  For example, should  Bashkirs, living in Tatarstan demand an official language for themselves?  Definitely not.  The same argumentation applies here.  I am sure this is the only way to avoid chaos and linguistic conflicts" [109].
 Altaf Gaifullin,  chairman of a moderate Bashkir National Party has a similar point of view: "Bashkirs, the only indigenous people of Bashkortostan, have in fact become outcasts in their native land.  Our rights are compromised for the sake of preserving a semblance of inter-ethnic peace and harmony.  Why should Bashkirs be happy in the republic bearing their name if one of their basic rights, the right to language has not been fully realized?  And my understanding is if the Bashkir language is not official in Bashkortostan, then their sovereignty is incomplete.  In fact, those Russians and Tatars who claim to be democrats and internationalists should support us."[110].
In the opinion of Airat Dilmukhametov, one of the leaders of an extremist Union of Bashkir Youths:
"If the Bashkir language is not made official in Bashkortostan then we will have to call for full independence of the Bashkir people. And believe me, Bashkir youths will support us.  We will also start a campaign of civil disobedience if the Bashkortostan parliament passes a law making Tatar, an official language alongside with Bashkir, because should this happen, the Bashkir language will soon be assimilated by Tatar.  The ethnic composition of the republic reflects a dire reality -- Bashkirs are becoming a minority in their home.  Bashkortostan should be first of all for Bashkirs, this land is our last resort, we do not have any other place to go.  The unwillingness of the republican leaders to meet our demands is explained by the fact that they are simply currying favors with Moscow and Kazan.  Thus the Bashkir people have become  hostages to a bigger political game" [111].
Although, the declaration of the titular ethnic group’s language as an official language, mostly along with Russian, has been an important part of the "drive to sovereignty" in all the ethnic republics of Russia, in Bashkortostan the issue of the official language remains unresolved. The Declaration of Sovereignty, the constitution, and other legislative acts do not include articles identifying official languages of the republic. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Bashkir national activists put forward various arguments in support of guaranteeing Bashkir and Russian the status of official state languages. The thrust of their argument is that only the Bashkirs, who gave the republic its name – are the truly indigenous to Bashkortostan.
On the other hand, the Tatar activists have been just as vocal about the need to declare both Tatar and Bashkir as official languages, along with Russian. They cite the fact that there are more Tatars in the republic than Bashkirs and argue that with Bashkir and Russian as the only state languages, Tatars will slowly lose their linguistic distinctiveness and become assimilated to the Bashkir tongue.  In fact, as the above figures indicate, the opposite is taking place, as the Bashkirs are subject to "Tatarization" in their "own" republic. Debates over language issues became so heated during the wider discussion over adoption of Bashkortostan’s new constitution in late 1993, that an unofficial moratorium on linguistic problems was created: articles about the issue disappeared from the newspapers, while the constitution was adopted without reference to language.
    How long the government will be able to avoid the pressure from both sides remains to be seen. However, a more important issue is whether the language rights of the Bashkirs are fully observed? Obviously, as long as their power is not threatened,  the President and parliament of Bashkortostan will be more preoccupied with preserving the appearance of interethnic stability (at the expense of the indigenous Bashkirs) than solving real linguistic problems. As a result, demographically and therefore politically dominant ethnic groups (Russians, Tatars) are going to develop more rapidly thus widening the gap in the level of social and cultural advancement between them and the Bashkirs. The ethnolingual stability in the Republic of Bashkortostan is largely dependent on the actual status of the Bashkir language in social and political life. As many events in the republic have demonstrated, the Bashkir population’s dissatisfaction with the status of their native tongue can become a major source of instability in the republic, although so far violent clashes have been largely avoided.   For instance, a Bashkir nationalist youth organization called “The Union of Bashkir Youths”(Soyuz Bashkirskoi Molodezhi)  made an attempt to seize the local State Television headquarters to make their political, cultural, linguistic demands known to the public. There were also hunger strikes of popular Bashkir activists in down-town Ufa, who put forward similar demands.
In light of that, a complete overhaul of the language policy in Bashkortostan is needed because the “complete equality” principle, as it has been applied up to the present time, has failed to maintain an adequate environment for the Bashkir language, the most threatened of the three major language communities.
Equal treatment of languages in unequal positions is tantamount to giving the stronger language an edge, allowing it to increase its influence and spread. The Bashkortostan government is in fact ignoring customary norms of international law [112]  being increasingly implemented elsewhere in the world, specifically, the right of indigenous peoples to cultural integrity, which is one of the major norms constituting  the self-determination principle [113].  While the international community has come to consider indigenous cultures equal in value to all other cultures, the cultural integrity norm has developed to entitle indigenous peoples to affirmative measures to remedy past threats to their linguistic survival and guard against the continuing dangers in this regard. Therefore, it is not sufficient for the governments simply to refrain from coercing linguistic assimilation of indigenous  peoples. In general, virtually all republics of Russia have manifested their assent to affirmative action programs for the titular language, although with some divergence in policies.

XI. Conclusion: Implications for Federalism in Russia

The former Soviet republics are the most striking incarnation of the dramatic  transformations that occurred in many multi-national states in recent years. Unfortunately these transformations may potentially lead to a return to former methods of social, political, and economic organization that have already outlived their usefulness. Naturally this situation has an affect on the ethno-linguistic situation in the post-Soviet states.
The situation in Russia has deteriorated faster than many expected. The deepening economic crisis, devastation of the country’s industry and agriculture, growth of its foreign and internal debts, rapidly diminishing human potential, wage arrears, demoralized army, and, above all, the total collapse of central power – these are the alarming by-products of Russia's transition. On the eve of the millennium,  the greatest threats to Russia’s stability and unity do not come from outside its borders, but from internal problems, resulting mainly from the Kremlin’s bankrupt economic policies and persistent nationalism which are largely the unhappy legacy of Soviet rule. Although the international community generally tends to focus on the difficulties arising from the economic debacle in Russia, the "national question", in my opinion, has even more serious implications for the future of Russia and world stability.
    Contrary to widely held assumptions, the threat to Russia’s integrity as a multiethnic state comes not from secessionism on the part of its own ethnic minorities – Bashkirs, Tatars, Yakuts, Chechens, Kalmyks—but from great-power chauvinism, and xenophobia on the part of certain forces within the Russian society and political establishment.    
A successful state, especially the one as large as Russia, must turn its diversity into a source of strength by fostering a system of  governance that would allow ethnic republics to take part in the decisions that affect their specific interests, such as for instance, the survival of their cultures and languages. The unique reality of Russia is that it is comprised of 89 subjects, including 21 ethnic republics with different economic and political structures.
Considering these specific circumstances, the only viable path for Russia's survival lies through building its statehood on the principles of asymmetrical federalism, thereby providing for self-governing entities within a larger state. Unfortunately, a nationalities policy has failed to make the list of the federal government's priorities, despite the fact that one of the causes of the war in Chechnya derived specifically from the absence of clearly-defined rules regulating the relationship between the center and ethnic republics.
While the issues pertaining to the protection of individual human rights are discussed with much regularity in Russia, it is often forgotten that individual rights are not sufficient for protecting the rights of peoples. The international law on minorities favors the recognition of collective rights, and if Russia considers itself to be a multi-national state (which is explicitly stated in the country's Constitution), it should abide by international law on minority rights, favoring the recognition of  collective rights, and safeguard these basic rights on its territory.  
Whatever the future may hold for the non-Russian minorities, they are unlikely to abandon their national cause. Yet their cause can be best addressed by the renewal of national-territorial federalism within the framework of a single multiethnic state. Russia’s ethnic regions, especially, those with considerable bargaining power, such as  Bashkortostan and Tatarstan, will hardly agree with any unilateral moves aimed at downgrading their present status. Too many people have tasted freedom and been inspired by the successes of self-determination movements elsewhere in the former Soviet empire.
The main lesson of the tragedies in Chechnya and Kosovo for Russia and any other multi-ethnic society is that liquidation of autonomies never works and that it is impossible to handle nationality issues by force and coercion.
The Russian Federation is faced with an enormous number of problems, among which national questions occupy a particular place. There is no doubt that Russia's evolution toward pluralism stimulated, among other things, Russian linguistic nationalism, as well as ethnic linguistic nationalism. The non-Russian peoples normally invoke the idea of collective rights to affirm the primacy of their mother tongue in respective ethnic territories, while ethnic Russians are loathe to recognize special rights for groups and do not see why minority languages should be encouraged within a cultural framework that is predominantly Russian. In their efforts to understand the causes of ethnolinguistic development, politicians and scholars should begin from the premise that there exist various methods for integrating peoples and ethnic minorities into larger political and state formations, from colonization of previously independent peoples to voluntary resettlement and immigration of individuals and families.  The means of ethnic integration used by the center influences the general behavior of national groups by shaping the kind of relationships they wish to establish with the broader society and, more specifically, by defining the character of their linguistic rights.     
The foregoing analysis of the linguistic situation in Russia points towards the eventual decrease of linguistic insecurity in some republics (Tatarstan, Chuvashia, Tyva,  Sakha), but not in Bashkortostan, where the sentiment that the Bashkir language is "losing" vis-a-vis Tatar and Russian is as acute as it was several decades ago [114].  Even though in the past decade almost every conceivable political compromise has been tried in Bashkortostan, the fundamental linguistic problem has not been resolved, and has gotten even worse from the point of  view of the Bashkirs, since the republic is becoming almost entirely Tatar and Russian, with native Bashkirs turning into a minority in their "own" homeland.
As might be expected in such an ethnically diverse setting, Russia's autonomous republics exhibit a broad range of practices with respect to the linguistic rights of indigenous peoples and minorities. Many of these differences are due to basic demographic factors. Ethnic republics with a larger percentage of titular ethnic groups and consequently a smaller number of ethnic Russians usually pursue linguistic policies that are more active than in the republics with a more diverse ethnic composition. The differences may also be traced to economic development of the region and subsequent resources available for language revival programs; and to the degree of rootedness of concepts of democracy and linguistic human rights.
It would seem that the federal government and some republics (such as Bashkortostan) need to be better aware of international language standards.  Bashkortostan would be well-served by setting its policies in this area through more official and legal channels, i.e. legislation. A legal framework for the protection of linguistic rights is a crucial first step in overcoming arbitrary interference with minority rights and towards the full implementation of international standards [115].  The policies pursued by Bashkortostan’s government should indicate broader acceptance of affirmative action programs in order to secure the Bashkir people’s cultural-linguistic survival.
Can multi-national Bashkortostan remain a stable component of the strong  multi-national federation? Yes, both Bashkortostan and Russia can coexist and be stable but not due to the deceptively appealing concept of an ethnically-blind "civic" state, which glosses over important issues concerning minority rights. States can be stable when people who perceive themselves as minorities, and consequently fear for their cultural survival are successful in reversing assimilatory trends and develop a sense of cultural autonomy and security [116].  
The experience of developed democracies suggests that, in carrying out a language policy, a multi-national state should not strive towards imaginary equality and an undifferentiated status of indigenous peoples and other ethnic groups.  In accordance with modern norms of international law, indigenous peoples and certain minorities are provided with special rights, the realization of which can, in part, help to effectuate the restitution of their primordial lands; promote special programs for socio-economic development; and, finally, preserve their linguistic and cultural values.  "Special" rights in this context do not represent privileges, but rather a means for securing the development of indigenous groups, thus granting them rights equal to those of dominant groups. While, in principle the cultural integrity norm can be understood to apply to all ethnic groups, the norm has developed remedial aspects particular to indigenous peoples because historically they have always existed under conditions of severe disadvantage. Therefore, governments should make greater efforts to promote the revitalization of indigenous languages.
Whatever hopes we may have for Russia's future, it is clear that in times when the ethnic factor is on the upswing throughout the world, it is impossible for a multinational state to walk away from attempting to solve the urgent problems of language and work out a balanced national policy based on standards of modern international law. The post-Soviet republics and, above all, Bashkortostan, must urgently resolve the problems of ethnicity and language. Political elites of multi-national states should start from the premise that ethnic diversity is an integral part of their statehood and search for mutually acceptable means of resolving national and linguistic problems. Any attempt by the central government in Russia to disregard the particularities of the federation’s various ethnic republics, or to homogenize their powers and competence in relation to the center, may further destabilize the political situation in the country.
The nineteenth-century English theorist A. V. Dicey once observed that a stable multinational federation requires: "a very peculiar state of sentiment among its citizens, since they must desire union, and must not desire unity"  [117].  
Henri Bourassa made a similar point when he pointed out that the "special development of the French-Canadian nation must come about in conjunction with the development of a more general patriotism that unifies us, without fusing us" [118].  
As the examples of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan (and even the 1996 peace pact between Moscow and Chechnya) demonstrate, a federative structure based on bilateral treaties is one possible way to join heterogeneous elements – ethnic republics, ordinary provinces, oblasts, and krais – to the whole, without “fusing them". If Russia is to remain a single multiethnic, democratic state, asymmetrical  federalism seems to be the only reasonable option.
Finally, several proposals can be suggested that would enhance the effectiveness of international legal instruments aimed at protecting linguistic human rights.
1.    The wording of any normative document, especially the declarations relating to such a delicate sphere as the rights and responsibilities of peoples and minorities should be precise and clear in order to minimize the potential for misinterpretation of the most important articles;
2.    The norms established by the law can not serve as “soft recommendations” but must be legally-binding for all the parties signing the treaty. Furthermore, international legal norms must become a component of the legal system of the states themselves.
3.    The documents must prescribe concrete procedures for carrying out international monitoring over the implementation of the treaties’ articles by the states.
4.    The documents should include clear definitions regarding the institution (a state organ) responsible for guaranteeing adherence to the norms established by the law.
5.    The drafts of documents must include concrete sources of financing of the envisioned programs and clarify financial obligations of all interested parties.
6.    If the rights outlined in conventions, covenants, and other documents are infringed upon, individuals as well as groups, including whole peoples (and the states themselves) must be able to submit a complaint to corresponding organizations.

Table 1
Percentage among the Middle Volga nationalities considering the language of their own people to be their native tongue [119]   
as a whole in the USSR        in autonomies
Nationalities        1959    1970    1979    1989        1979    1989
Tatars                  92.1    89.2    85.9    83.2        98.9        96.6
Chuvashis             90.8    86.9    81.7    76.4        97.6        85.0
Bashkirs               61.9    66.2    67.0    72.3        57.7        74.7
Mordvins               78.1    77.8    72.6    67.1        97.3       88.5
Udmurts                89.1    82.6    76.4    69.6        93.2       75.7
Mari                     95.1    91.2    86.7    80.8        97.8       88.4
Komi                     89.3    82.7    76.2    70.4        93.8      74.4
Komi-Permyaks    87.6    85.8    77.1    70.1        92.2     82.9

Table 2
The Percentage Share of Major Nationalities in Bashkortostan [120]  
Nationalities    1926    1939    1959    1970    1979    1989
Bashkirs        23.5    21.2    22.1    23.4    24.3    21.9
Tatars            23.3    24.6    23.0    24.7    24.5    28.4
Russians        43.6    44.2    45.5    43.0    42.7    41.6

Table 3
Population of Bashkortostan (in thousands) [121]  
Nationalities    1926    1939    1959    1970    1979    1989
Bashkirs          626    671    738    892    936    864
Tatars              621    777    769    945    940    1121
Russians        1065    1281    1418    1546    1548    1548

Table 4
The Percentage Share of Bashkirs and Tatars in the Total Population of North-western Bashkortostan  [122]  
Counties                Bashkirs            Tatars
                          1970    1979    1989        1970    1979    1989
Askinsky            58            61      63             20         21      24
Bakalinsky         13            17       8              54         52       62
Baltachevsky      75           74       22             6           6        59
Birsky                5            13        4               12         5        14
Blagovarsky      46            45        8               21        23    60
Buraevsky          62            73        40            26        16    51
Diurtiulinsky        34            39        24            44        42    59
Yermekeevsky    24            40        11            38        25    54
Ilishevsky            71            79        63            21        13    30
Tuimazinsky        51            62        31            34        25    56
Chekmagushevsky  30        34        19            62        56    76
Sharansky            14            27        6            39        28    51        
Yanaulsky            42            45        17            23        19    29


1. See Gosudarstvennaya politika Rossii v konfliktnykh zonakh (analiticheskie materialy) [The Policy of the Russian State in Areas of Conflict: Analytical Materials] (Moscow: Center for Ethno-Political and Regional Research, 1994): 5.
2. Drobizheva Leokadia "Power Sharing in the Russian Federation: The View from the Center and from the Republics". Presented at the conference on Preventing Deadly Conflict: Strategies and Institutions (Moscow: August 15, 1996).
3. More serious conflict-generating political tendencies have emerged in these multiethnic republics since several competing non-Russian ethnic communities or different clans belonging to the same ethnic group strive for power and predominance. For example, in 1992 when an ethnic Kabardin, Valery Kokov, was elected President in Kabardino-Balkaria, a serious political crisis engulfed the republic.  Currently, the most difficult situation is in Karachaevo-Cherkessia, where the election of ethnic Karachai, Vladimir Semenov, to the post of President of the republic brought the Karachai and Cherkess population to the brink of civil war with the latter demanding the partitioning of the republic into two separate ethnic entities. [For details on these republics see Ormrod Jane "The North Caucasus: Confederation in Conflict" in Bremmer Ian, Taras Ray (eds.) New States, New Politics: Building the Post-Soviet Nations (Cambridge University Press, 1997): 96-139; Tishkov Valerii Ethnicity, Nationalism and Conflict in and after the Soviet Union  (SAGE, 1997): 247-273].
4. In January of 1999 when the Bashkortostani legislature began to consider a draft bill which granted the status of an official language only to Bashkir and Russian, many Tatar public organizations advocated secession of the republics’ northwestern dominated by the ethnic Tatars. Bitter antagonism between Bashkirs and Tatars arose back in 1919 when areas populated mostly by ethnic Tatars were included into the territory of the newly founded Bashkir autonomy. This created a serious territorial dispute between Bashkirs and Tatars.  Since then interethnic tensions between these two ethnic groups never really ceased to exist, surfacing with much regularity in occasional disputes over their representation in the institutions of power or the status of their respective languages and cultures.
5. Interethnic tensions existed under for many years in Buryatia,  surfacing in the ethnic Buryats’ demands for a wider introduction of  their native language in the public life, Moreover,  ethnic Buriats insisted that their culture, especially the Buddhist religion be more actively revived. On the other hands, ethnic Russians resented the increasing representation of ethnic Buyriats in local government. Activists of the Buryat-Mongol People’s party even demanded the reunification of all Buryat-Mongol lands and the establishment of Buryatia without Russians (See Balzer, Mandelstam Marjorie "From Ethnicity to Nationalism: Turmoil in the Russian Mini-empire" in Millar James, Wolchik Sharon (eds.) The Social Legacy of Communism (Woodrow Wilson Center Press and Cambridge University Press: 1994): 78-79.
6. Ethnic strife in the republic exists predominantly between the indigenous Sakha and the newcomer Slavs, mostly Russians and Ukrainians.  These tensions usually have simmered beneath the surface of calm ethnic relations, but occasionally bursting into the surface of social life.  In fact, the Sakha republic became first to open a long line of disturbances in the Soviet Union during the perestroika  period, preceding the better known clashes between local youth and the police in Kazakhstan in December of 1986. (For details see Balzer, Mandelstam Marjorie "A State Within a State: The Sakha Republic (Yakutia)" in Kotkin Stephen, Donald Wolff (eds.) Rediscovering Russia in Asia: Siberia and the Russian Far East (Armonk, New York, London, England: M.E.Sharp, 1995): 142-144.
7. Numerous interrelated factors contributed to the exceptionally tense interethnic situation in Tyva, among which Prof. Marjorie Balzer names extractive central economic policies, the high unemployment among Tyvan youths, large proportions of Russian settlers since 1944 (before that Tyva was not part of the Soviet Union), the mandatory Russifying education of Tyvans in Soviet boarding schools, and the undermining of Tyvan spiritual values. In general Russians are perceived as a linguistic and demographic threat (See Balzer Mandelstam Marjorie "From Ethnicity to Nationalism: Turmoil in the Russian Mini-empire": 56-88 (73); See also Sheehy Ann "Russians the Target of Interethnic Violence in Tuva", RFE/RL Report on the USSR, 14 September 1990, 13-17.
8. Rannut Mart "Beyond Linguistic policy: the Soviet Union versus Estonia" in Skutnabb-Kangas Tove, Phillipson Robert (eds.) Linguistic Human Rights: Overcoming Linguistic Discrimination, (Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter: 1995): 179-208 (195).
9. See EWI Russian Regional Report, Vol.4, No.8, 4 March 1999, Tatarstan’s President Goes It Alone in National Politics.
10. See for details Starovoitova Galina, Sovereignty After Empire: Self-determination Movements in the former Soviet Union (Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace, 1997).
11. Tishkov Valerii Ethnicity, Nationalism and Conflict in and after the Soviet Union (SAGE, 1997): 277.
12. Carley Patricia, Self-determination: Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity, and the Right to Secession (Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace: 1996): 1-2.
13. See for example Gurr Tedd, Minorities at Risk: A Global View of Ethnopolitical Conflict (Washington, DC: Institute of Peace Press, 1993); Kymlicka Will, Multicultural Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995); Drobizheva L., Gottemoeller R., McArdle Kelleher C., Walker L. (eds), Ethnic Conflict in Post-Soviet World, (M.E.Sharpe, Armonk, New York, London, England, 1996).
14. For instance, to understand more deeply the underlying reasons of the Armenian-Azeri conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh one can not ignore the Armenian genocide of 1915 in Ottoman Turkey and the subsequent Armenian-Azeri hostilities in the 1920s. Similarly, the Ossetian-Ingush conflict over the Prigorodnyi district can not be considered out of the context of the Stalinist deportations of some of the Northern Caucasus peoples.
15. For instance, when the European Community came into being, it designated the official state languages of all of its creators as its official languages. As the EC expanded over the years, it has correspondingly expanded the number of its official languages and eventually the Language Service has become one of the EC’s largest administrative budgetary items. The “principle of complete multilingualism” proved to be equally impractical from the viewpoint of effective management of the organization. However, the adoption of one or two “administrative/working” languages for the public operation of the European Parliament, has thus far been absolutely impossible, since neither Germany, nor Italy, Spain, and particularly France cannot bring themselves to recognize English as a "primus inter pares".
16. Rustow Dankwart A., “Transitions to Democracy: Toward a Dynamic Model”, Comparative Politics 2, 1970: 337-63.
17. Deutsch Karl W., “Space and Freedom: Conditions for the Temporary Separation of Incompatible Groups”, International Political Science Review 5, 1984: 125-38.
18. Sniderman Paul M., Fletcher Joseph F., Russell Peter H., Tetlock Philip E., “Political Culture and the Problem of Double Standards: Mass and Elite Attitudes Toward Language Rights in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms”, Canadian Journal of Political Science 22, 1989: 259-84.
19. Weinstein Brian, The Civic Tongue: Political Consequences of Language Choices, 1983, New York: Longman.
20. Fishman Joshua, “Language Modernization and Planning in Comparison with Other Types of National Modernization and Planning”, Advances in Language Planning, Fishman J. (ed.), 1974, The Hague: Mouton: 92-94.
21. Pool Jonathan “The Official Language Problem”, American Political Science Review, Vol.85, No.2, June 1991, p.496.
22. See for example Fishman Joshua A. Language and Nationalism. Cambridge, MA: Newbury House, 1973: pp.63-71; Pool Jonathan  “Developing the Soviet Turkic Tongues: the Language of the Politics of Language”, Slavic Review 35,1976: pp. 425-42; Vaillancourt Francois “The Economics of Language and Language Planning”, Language Problems and Language Planning 7, 1983: pp. 162-78; Woolard  Kathryn A. “Sentences in the Language Prison: The Rhetorical Structuring of an American Language Policy Debate”. American Ethnologist 16, 1989: pp. 268-78. 
23. Isaev Magomed I. National Languages in the USSR: Problems and Solutions, Moscow: Progress, 1977: pp.21-23.
24. Pool Jonathan “Thinking about Linguistic Discrimination”, Language Problems and Language Planning 11, 1987: pp.3-21; 
25. O’Barr William M. “The Study of Language and Politics”, Language and Politics,  O’Barr William M., O’Barr Jean F.(eds.).The Hague: Mouton, 1976: p.19.
26. Pool Jonathan  “The Official Language Problem”,  American Political Science Review, Vol.85, No.2, June 1991: 495-514.
27. Atkins J.D.C. “The English Language in Indian Schools”, Americanizing the American Indians, Francis Paul Prucha (ed.). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1978.
28. For example Amnesty International provides the following evidence: "In 1990 and 1991 the Serbian authorities introduced a uniform curriculum throughout the whole of the Republic of Serbia and abolished the province’s educational authority. The total number of enrolments in secondary Albanian-language schools was drastically reduced and a considerable number of educational institutions were closed. Many subjects at Pristina University were no longer taught in the Albanian language but only in Serbian. More than 18,000 ethnic Albanian teachers and other staff in Albanian-language schools and the university who refused to recognize these changes and follow the new curriculum were dismissed.  Instead they created a parallel educational system, using the old curricula, and lessons began to be held in private homes. The issue of education has thus become one of the key points of confrontation in Kosovo (my emphasis).  See Kosovo: the Evidence (Amnesty International United Kingdom, September 1998): 66; See also Open Wounds: Human Rights Abuses in Kosovo (Human Rights Watch/Helsinki, March 1993): 112-125.
29. The official policy of Baku involved the frequent implementation of practices which infringed on the rights of Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians to develop their native language and culture and communicate freely with their co-ethnics in Armenia.  This policy prepared the soil for today’s inter-ethnic conflict.  See Yamskov Anatoly "Inter-Ethnic Conflict in the Transcaucasus: A Case Study of Nagorno-Karabakh" in Rupesinghe Kumar, King Peter (eds.) Ethnicity and Conflict in a Post-Communist World (New York: St.Martin’s Press, 1992): 138-139.   In a statement concerning the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, the USSR Supreme Soviet Presidium had to admit that: "For a long period, many problems touching the national interests of the Armenian population were not being solved in the Autonomous Region, especially in the field of culture and education, and in the field of cadres policy. The constitutional rights of the Autonomous Region were violated". See Izvestia, 20 July 1988.
30. See, for example, Tove Skutnabb-Kangas , Robert Phillipson .(eds.), Linguistic Human Rights: Overcoming Linguistic Discrimination. Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 1994.
31. See UN Charter, Art.1, para.2.
32. For example International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Dec.16, 1966,G.A. Res.2200 (XXI), art.1(1), 993 U.N.T.S.3 (entered into force Jan.3, 1976); International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Dec.16, 1966, G.A.Res.2200 (XXI), art.1(1), 999 U.N.T.S. 171 (entered into force Mar.23, 1976); Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, G.A. Res.2625, Oct.24, 1970, U.N. GAOR, 25 th Sess., Supp. No.28, at 121 (U.N.Doc. A/8028, 1971). 
33. See Hannum Hurst,  Autonomy, Sovereignty and Self-Determination: The Accommodation of Conflicting Rights (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990): 45.
34. Carley Patricia, Self-determination: Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity, and the Right to Secession (Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace: 1996): 1.
35. Some provisions contained in the introductory article written by Robert Phillipson, Mart Rannut, Tove Skutnabb-Kangas for Linguistic Human Rights: Overcoming Linguistic Discrimination. (Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 1994: 1-18) can be helpful for defining the concept of “the linguistic rights of peoples”. Many of my own views have been shaped under this work’s direct influence.
36. Remarkably, the OSCE has undertaken recently a comparative study on the enjoyment of linguistic rights in all OSCE participating states. It was found that: “That the enjoyment and preservation of the minority culture turns upon the freedom to transmit ideas, customs, and other indicia of culture in the original language of the minority. Their [minorities] ability to speak that language generally distinguishes them from the majority group in OSCE states”. Report on the Linguistic Rights of Persons Belonging to National Minorities in the OSCE Area (Organization For Security and Cooperation in Europe: High Commissioner on National Minorities, The Hague, 10 March 1999): 1.
37. See Phillipson R., Rannut M., Skutnabb-Kangas T., Op. cit., p.2.
38. Alfredsson G.“Minority Rights: Equality and Non-Discrimination”,  in Krag H., Yukhneva N. (eds.) The Leningrad Minority Rights Conference. Papers. Copenhagen: The Minority Rights Group.- 1991: 19-41.
39. See Phillipson R., Rannut M., Skutnabb-Kangas T., Op. cit.: 3.
40. For Russia that citizenship could involve the idea of Rossia (an accurate transliteration of the name of the country into the Latin alphabet) as a national state of “Rossians” (rossiyane is a word, quite distinct from the word “russkie”, defining ethnic Russians). Consequently, the concept of a “Rossian” citizenship is not loaded with ethnic meaning as it is with “Russian” (russkaya) nation, as well as that of Bashkortostani or Tatarstani citizenship, as compared to purely ethnic notions of Bashkir or Tatar nations.
41. In 1990 when the autonomy of Kosovo was abolished, the independent education councils of Kosovo and Vojvodina were merged with the education council of Serbia. Instead, one unified council was created which instituted a new curriculum to be administered centrally from Belgrade.
42. Some scholars believe that such practices may even result in an international linguistic crisis with many unique tongues being lost irretrievably. See Krauss M. “The World’s Languages in Crisis”, Native American Languages Act of 1991, Hearing before the Select Committee on Indian Affairs United States Senate. One Hundred Second Congress, Second Session, June 18, 1992, Washington, DC., U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington: 1992.- pp.62-68.
43. Craig C. “A Constitutional Response to Language Endangerment: The Case of Nicaragua” in Native American Languages Act of 1991, pp.75-82.
44. See Phillipson R., Rannut M., Skutnabb-Kangas T., Op.cit.,p.4.
45. Gurr T. Minorities at Risk: A Global View of Ethnopolitical Conflict (Washington, DC: Institute of Peace Press, 1993); Kymlicka W. Multicultural Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995), 1.
46. Grin Francois “Combining Immigrant and Autochthonous Language Rights: A Territorial Approach to Multilingualism” in Skutnabb-Kangas T., Phillipson R.(eds.), Op.cit.: 38.
47. Phillipson R., Rannut M., Skutnabb-Kangas T., Op. cit., 15.
48. Arel D. “Political Stability in the Multination: the Civic State and the Fear of Minorisation” in Alain Gagnon and James Tully (eds.) In Search of Justice and Stability: Liberal Justice and Political Stability in Multinational Societies (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).
49. Kymlicka Will, Multicultural Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995): 13.
50. See Tishkov Valerii Ethnicity, Nationalism and Conflict in and after the Soviet Union (SAGE, 1997): 241;  On the role of linguistic differences in political conflicts see Hroch Miroslav "Linguistic Conflicts in Eastern Europe and Their Historical Parallels" in Rupesinghe Kumar, King Peter (eds.) Ethnicity and Conflict in a Post-Communist World (New York: St.Martin’s Press, 1992): 199-208.
51. Klopcic V., “Le droit des langues dans l’ex-Yugoslavie” in Giordan H. (ed.) Les minorit_s en Europe: droits linguistiques et droits de l’homme  (Paris: Kim_,  1992), 325-344.
52. Alfredsson Gudmundur, “Minority Rights: Equality and Non-Discrimination”in Krag H., Yukhneva N. (eds.) The Leningrad Minority Rights Conference. Papers (Copenhagen: The Minority Rights Group, 1991): 19-41(39).
53. Specifically, she presents the following criteria: intolerability of existence for a population; historical right to a territory; ethnic composition of the population; expression of the people’s will; responsibility for consequences. See Starovoitova Galina, Op.cit.: 36-38.
54. Ibid.: ix.
55. See Draft United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities by its Res.1994/45, Aug. 26, 1994 art. 33, U.N.Doc. E/CN.4/1995/2, E/CN.4/Sub.2/1995/56, at 105.
56. See for example comments by Mexico, Peru, Canada, Colombia, Chile, and Guatemala in the Report on the First Round of Consultations Concerning the Future Inter-American Instrument Legal Instrument on the Rights of Indigenous Populations, Annual Report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, 1992-1993, O.A.S.Doc.OEA/Ser.L/V/II.83, 1993: 293-298.  Moreover, as James Anaya points out, “in general, an integral part of international human rights law is the duty of states to secure enjoyment of human rights and to provide remedies where the rights are violated. This duty relates to the substantial corpus of international law on the responsibility of states in regard to unlawful acts and omissions.”  See Anaya James, Op.cit.: 129. For a discussion on the law of state
responsibility see Brownlie Ian, Principles of Public International Law. 4th ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990): 432-476.
57. See on Non-Territorial Self-Determination Bauer Otto “The Nation” [1907] in Balakrishnan G. (ed.) Mapping the Nation (New York, 1996) : 39-77.
58. See the Preamble of the European Charter on Regional and Minority Languages.
59. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Dec.16, 1966, G.A. Res. 2200 (XXI), Article 2 (2), 993 U.N.T.S.3 (entered into force Jan.3, 1976).
60. Ibid., Article 13 (1).
61. Capotorti Francesco, Op. Cit.; Eide Asbjorn., “Possible Ways and Means of Facilitating the Peaceful and Constructive Solution of Problems Involving Minorities”. Progress Report Submitted to Sub-Commission on Prevention of discrimination and Protection of Minorities at its 42nd session (e/CN.4/Sub.2/1990/46).
62. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Dec.16, 1966, G.A. Res. 2200 (XXI),  999 U.N.T.S. 171 (entered into force Mar.23, 1976), Article 27.
63. UN Convention of the Rights of Child, Article 20, paragraph 3.
64. Ibid.,  Article 17 (d)
65. Ibid., Article 30.
66. See the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, Preamble.
67. European Charter, Preamble.
68. Ibid., Preamble.
69. Ibid., Preamble.
70. Ibid., Article 2, Paragraph 2.
71. Ibid., Article 1 (a).
72. Ibid., Article 7, Paragraph 2.
73. Ibid., Article 8, Paragraph 2.
74. Ibid., Article 9, Paragraph 1(b, iii), (c, iii).
75. Ibid., Article 10, Paragraph 1 (a, i).
76. Ibid., Article 13, Paragraph 1 (a).
77. Document of the Copenhagen Meeting of the Conference on the Human Dimension of the CSCE, Article 32.
78. Ibid., Article 35.
79. Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National, Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, G.A.Res.47/135, Dec.18, 1992, Human Rights: A Compilation of International Instruments, U.N.Doc.ST/HR/1/rev.4 (vol.1, pt.1) at 140, Sales No.E.93.XIV.1, 1993.
80. Ibid., Article 1.1.
81. Ibid., Article 4.2.
82. Ibid., Article 1.2.
83. Ibid., Article 4.3.
84. Report on the Linguistic Rights of Persons Belonging to National Minorities in the OSCE Area (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe: High Commissioner on National Minorities, the Hague, 10 March 1999). I express my most sincere gratitude to Prof. William Schabas, for providing me with the text of that report.
85. Cited from  Skutnabb T. and Philipson  R., Op. cit., 98.
86. See for details Ilishev Ildus, "Russian Federalism: Political, Legal, and Ethnolingual Aspects -- A View From the Republic of  Bashkortostan", Nationalities Papers (Vol.26, #4, Dec.1998): 723-761.
87. Zorin Vladimir “Natsional’nye Aspekty Rossiiskogo Federalizma” in Svobodnaya Misl, (No.10, 1996) :19-30 (24).
88. See Lijphart Arend  Democracy in Plural Societies (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977).
89. See Sisk Timothy Power Sharing and International Mediation in Ethnic Conflicts (Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict: Carnegie Corporation of New York, US Institute of Peace: Washington, DC, 1997). 
90. See Horowitz Donald  Ethnic Groups in Conflict (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1985); Horowitz D. "Democracy in Divided Societies" in Journal of Democracy 4 (4): 18-38.
91. Frank Allen, Wixman Ronald, “The Middle Volga: Exploring the Limits of Sovereignty” in Bremmer I., Taras R.(eds.) New States, New Politics: Building the Post-Soviet Nations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997): 140-189 (157).
92. From 1993 to 1997 I worked in the office of the president of Bashkortostan and, among other things, my responsibilities involved maintaining contacts with governments of the ethnic republics of Russia.
93. Lenin and Stalin also embraced the rhetoric of self-determination in the early part of this century, while viewing this principle in association with Marxist precepts of class liberation. See Lenin Vladimir, “The Right of Nations to Self-Determination” in Vol.20 of Collected Works. 45 vols. English edition (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1947); Stalin Joseph, Marxism and the National-Colonial Question (San Francisco: Proletarian Publishers, 1975).
94. See Donelly Alton, The Russian Conquest of Bashkiria, 1552-1740: A Case-Study in Imperialism (London: Yale University Press, 1968).
95. See Rossiiskaia Gazeta (July 4, 1995).
96. Fedorov Andrey “A recent Russian Study of Center-Regional Issues” in Federalism in Russia: How Is It Working?, Conference Report: 9-10 December, 1998 (Washington, DC: US National Intelligence Council and US Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, February 1999):28-29.
97. See  Mnogonatsionalny Tatarstan: Informatsionno-Spravochny Material (Kazan: Apparat Presidenta Respubliki Tatarstan, 1993), 36.
98. Faroukshin Midkhat Kh., Moukhariamov Nail M. “Dvuyazychie Glazami Studentov” in Sovetskaia Tataria (12 August 1989), 4.
99. See Kiyekbayev Murat, Bashkiry v Gorodakh Bashkortostana: Istorija i Sovremennost (Ufa: Nur-Poligrafizdat Press, 1998): 90-93.
100. Allen Frank, Wixman Ronald, “The Middle Volga: Exploring the Limits of Sovereignty” in Bremmer I., Taras R.(eds.) New States, New Politics: Building the Post-Soviet Nations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997): 140-189 (155).
101. Balzer Marjorie Mandelstam, “A State Within a State: The Sakha Republic (Yakutia)” in S.Kotkin, D.Wolff (eds.) Rediscovering Russia in Asia: Siberia and the Russian Far East (M.E.Sharpe, Armonk, New York, London, England, 1995): 139-159 (145).
102. Historically, the Bashkirs and culturally, linguistically close Tatars were always leery of each other and clashes between them were not unusual. This however did not stop them from joining efforts in resisting the Russian Czar. Cooperative efforts between the Bashkirs and Tatars were possible because they perceived each other as being civilizationally closer vis-a-vis the Russians.
103. See Allen Frank, Wixman Ronald, “The Middle Volga: Exploring the Limits of Sovereignty”: 154-155.
104. Ibid.: 166-167.
105. For example Valeev Damir “Zdravy Smysl Podskazyvaet: O Statuse Yazykov v Bashkirskoi SSR” in Izvestia Bashortostana  (January 23, 1992); Gilyazitdinov Dzhavad “Vybiraem Soglasie?: Natsionalnye I Mezhnatsionalnye Problemy v Bashkirii na Sovremennom Etape” in Sovetskaya Bashkiria (May 20, 1992); Dusyev V. “Kuda vy Tianete Nas, Vozhdi Natsii?: Mezhnatsionalnye Otnoshenia” in Sovetskaya Bashkiria (July 15, 1992); Ilishev Ildus “Problemy Iazykovoi Politiki v Bashkortostane” in Izvestia Bashkortostana (July 8, 1994); Irnazarov R.I “Suverenitet Bashkortostana i Gosydarstvenny Iazyk” in Izvestia Bashkortostana (December 10, 1992); Katz Sholom “O Natsionalnoi Politike v Bashkortostane: Mysli Posle Kurultaia” in Izvestia Bashkortostana (August 1, 1995); Ramazanov Rafail “Bortsy za Svobodu ot Rabstva ili Kto Provotsiruet Mezhnatsionalnyi Konflikt v Bshkortostane?” in Izvastia Bashkortostana (June 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 22 1993); Tryaskin P. “Zhivem na Odnoi Zemle: Trudnaya Tema Natsionalnykh Otnoshenii” in Sovetskaya Bashkiria (February 13, 1992); Uraksin Zinnur “Yazykovaya Situatsia v Bashkortostanei Problemy Rasshireniya Obschestvennykh Funktsii Bashkirskogo Yazyka” in Bashkortostan Ykytyusyhy (may, 1992): 14-16; Yuldashbayev Bilal “Za Natsionalno-Suverennye Prava Avtonomii v Sostave Demokraticheskoi Rossii” in Leninets (September 24-29, 1992).
106. Bashkortostan President Murtaza Rakhimov’s interview with Nezavitsimaya Gazeta (May 17, 1997).
107. See Central State Historical Archives of the Republic of Bashkortostan (TSGIA RB), the Bashkir Language Act of the Central Executive Committee and Council of the People’s Commissars of the Autonomous Bashkir Soviet Socialist Republic (March 30, 1926); Ibidem., Directive on Conducting Administration and Usage of Non-Russian Languages in Local Bodies of Government and Republican Ministries in Bashkortostan (“O Poryadke Vedeniya Deloproizvodstva i Razgovornoi Rechi v Selsovetakh, Volostyakh, a Takzhe v Kantonnykh Tsentralnykh Uchrezdeniyakh i Narkomatakh na Natsionalnykh Yazykakh, Prisposablivaya k Usloviyam Bashkirskoi Deistvitelnosti”) (October 6, 1924).
108. For their own part, Russia’s ethnic republics also count on the federal government’s and generally public’s understanding and support when realizing measures aimed at reviving their national cultures and languages. Total rejection by them of the ethnic revival programs can only exacerbate interethnic relations and jeopardize civic peace. Hence, all the parties concerned should rather exercise extreme caution and maximum tact, have more tolerance and patience. For example, it is not difficult to foresee what kind of feelings the following racist remarks will cause on the part of the Sakha people. “...The Yakuts living on the territory inhabited by indigenous peoples of the North are as much colonizers as Russians ... accordingly, there is no reason to consider them more indigenous there than Russians and Ukrainians. ... It can be doubted that any lofty morals should be inherent in the Yakuts ... How could the Yakuts have developed respect and mercy for old age, if in the recent past they would practize killing old and sick people”. See Natsionalnaya Politika Rossii: Istoria i Sovremennost (Moscow: Russkii Mir, 1997):546-551.
109. The Interview was conducted by the author on June 14, 1999.
110. The interview was conducted by the author on July 2, 1999.
111. The interview was conducted by the author on July 10, 1999.
112. It is worth noting, for instance, that the UN Human Rights Committee established under the ICCPR has stated that the right of minority ethnic groups to enjoy their own culture, profess their own religion, or use their own language represents customary international law. See UN Human Rights Committee, General Comment No.24, Issues relating to reservations made upon ratification or accession to the Covenant or the Optional Protocols thereto, or in relation to declarations under article 41 of the Covenant, 4 November 1994, para. 8, in Report of the Human Rights Committee, UN GAOR, 50 th Sess., Supp. No 40, Annex V, at 124, UN Doc. A/50/40 (1995).
113. Anaya S.J. Op.cit.: 98-104.
114. Tatar and Russian nationalists would probably disagree with the fact that the language problem in Bashkortostan is being resolved in their favor.
115. Report on the Linguistic Rights of Persons Belonging to National Minorities in the OSCE Area (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe: High Commissioner on National Minorities, the Hague, 10 March 1999): 37-38.
116. As Dominique Arel observed: some nationalist, ‘politically incorrect’ measures may be needed to actually defuse nationalism and interethnic tension in the long run. "Political Stability in the Multination: the Civic State and the Fear of Minorisation" in Alain Gagnon and James Tully (eds.) In Search of Justice and Stability: Liberal Justice and Political Stability in Multinational Societies (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).
117. See Kymlicka Will, Multicultural Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995): 192.
118. Cook Ramsay, French-Canadian Nationalism: An Anthology (Toronto: Macmillan 1969): 149.
119. Frank Allen, et al,  Op.cit.:166.
120. The statistical data were calculated from tables 5 (1920);8 (1926); 9 (1939) and 10 (1959-89) in Yuldasbayev Bilal Kh., Bashkiry I Bashkortostan: Etnostatistika (Ufa: Vsemirny Kurultai Bashkir, 1995).
121. Ibid.
122. This and some other tables have been created by Dmitry Gorenburg for the report, titled “Tatars into Bashkirs and Back: Identity Change in Bashkortostan” made on April 27, 1997 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Nationalities.

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