Man Dies After Self-Immolation Protest Over Language Policies In Russia’s Udmurtia

Man Dies

Man Dies After Self-Immolation Protest Over Language Policies In Russia’s Udmurtia

A 79-year-old man who lit himself on fire protesting against Russia’s language policies in the capital of the Volga region of Udmurtia has died.

According to media sources, the guy was pronounced dead on September 10 just hours after being admitted to the hospital in the city of Izhevsk.

Albert Razin, the guy, was holding two placards that said, “Do I have a Fatherland?” and “If my language disappears tomorrow, then I’m willing to die now.”

He was said to be in severe condition and had burns covering almost all of his body.

According to sources, the Investigative Committee has started an inquiry, and the Udmurt State Council has postponed its meeting in light of the occurrence.

The Udmurt State Council postponed its session following the incident, reports said.

One of the local specialists who signed an open letter urging the Udmurt parliament to reject the measure on the teaching of “national languages” in schools that has incensed representatives of many of the nation’s ethnic minorities was Razin, a doctor of philosophy and Udmurt activist.

The State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, adopted the measure last year, which abolished the requirement that native languages be taught in the country’s so-called ethnic areas and republics, where the number of non-Russian ethnic groups is quite significant.

Responding to complaints from ethnic Russians living in these regions, President Vladimir Putin said in 2017 that children should not be compelled to study languages that are not their mother tongues.

Man Dies

Putin’s decision devalued non-Russian languages in all aspects of public life to the point that many are now neglected and must struggle to live.

It essentially launched an attack on minority languages in the regions’ educational systems by federal prosecutors.

As a result, the law is viewed as an existential danger in Russia’s so-called ethnic areas, including Udmurtia.

The Udmurt language is of the Uralic stem, which also includes Finno-Ugric languages. The number of people who speak the language has decreased from 463,000 in 2002 to 324,000 in 2010.

Around 560,000 members of the ethnic Udmurt population reside in Estonia, Kazakhstan, and the Volga region of Russia.

About 560,000 individuals, largely from the Volga area, Kazakhstan, and Estonia, make up the Udmurt community.

The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages of the Council of Europe has been signed by Russia, although it has not been ratified. 25 European nations have approved the 1992 agreement.