* This document contains the fourteenth periodic report, due on 6 March 1996. For the thirteenth periodic report of the Russian Federation and the summary records of the meetings at which the Committee considered that report, see documents CERD/C/263/Add.9 and CERD/C/SR.1133-1134.
Committee members may consult the supporting information supplied by the Russian Federation in the secretariat files.
The information submitted by the Russian Federation in accordance with the consolidated guidelines for the initial part of the reports of States parties is contained in the basic document HRI/CORE/1/Add.52/Rev.1.
Introduction : 1 - 6
I. INFORMATION CONCERNING INDIVIDUAL ARTICLES OF THE CONVENTION : 7 - 38
II. ENFORCEMENT OF THE CONVENTION BY THE GOVERNMENT PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE : 39 - 42
III. LEGAL PROTECTION : 43 - 47
IV. THE OUTLINE OF RUSSIAN STATE POLICY ON NATIONALITIES : 48 - 59
I. POPULATION OF THE CONSTITUENT ENTITIES OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION: REPUBLICS, AUTONOMOUS REGIONS, AREAS AND DISTRICTS, MOSCOW AND SAINT PETERSBURG, BY NATIONALITY/ETHNIC GROUP (from 1989 census data)
II. ETHNIC/LINGUISTIC SITUATION AMONG THE PEOPLES OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION (from 1989 census data)
III. INFORMATION ON THE HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN THE CHECHEN REPUBLIC OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION IN PARAGRAPH 22 OF ITS CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS AFTER CONSIDERING THE TWELFTH AND THIRTEENTH PERIODIC REPORTS OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION (CERD/C/304/Add.5)
1. This report is submitted in accordance with article 9, paragraph 1, of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and has been compiled in conformity with the general guidelines regarding the form and content of reports to be submitted by States parties under article 9, paragraph 1, of the Convention (CERD/C/70/Rev.3).
2. It covers the period from February 1996 to January 1997 inclusive, and includes a description of events that have taken place since the submission of the twelfth and thirteenth reports of the Russian Federation (CERD/C/263/Add.9) in February 1996.
3. Account has been taken of the concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination after its consideration of the twelfth and thirteenth periodic reports of the Russian Federation (CERD/C/304/Add.5).
4. As recommended by the Committee in paragraph 24 of document CERD/C/304/Add.5, annexes 1 and 2 to the report present further information on the percentage breakdown by ethno-linguistic group of the population of the Russian Federation.
5. Annex 3 provides a separate account of the human rights situation in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation (as recommended by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in paragraph 22 of document CERD/C/304/Add.5).
6. The information Russia is required to provide under the consolidated guidelines for the initial part of the reports of States parties appears in the core document, HRI/CORE/1/Add.52.
7. The prohibition of racial discrimination is one of the staple provisions of the 1993 Constitution of the Russian Federation. This is fully consistent with the Federation's obligations under the main international agreements on human rights.
8. Article 19 of the Constitution, in particular, states that:
“1. Everyone shall be equal before the law and the courts.
9. Article 26 of the Constitution establishes the right of every individual to “determine and state his national identity. No one may be forced to determine or state his national identity”. Subparagraph 2 of the same article affords everyone without exception the right “to use his native language, and to free choice of language for communication, education, training and creative work”.
10. Another important constitutional clause to prohibit discrimination of any kind in Russian society is article 29, paragraph 2, which states: “Propaganda or campaigning in favour of social, racial, national or religious hatred and strife shall not be permitted. Propagating social, racial, national, religious or linguistic superiority shall be forbidden.”
11. Pursuant to these constitutional provisions, new legislation and ordinances have been passed during the period covered by this report, and more are in preparation.
12. The 1960 Penal Code was in effect in the Russian Federation until 31 December 1996. Article 74 of the Code made it a criminal offence to engage in deliberate acts intended to stir up national, racial or religious hatred or discord, to detract from national honour or dignity, to promote the idea of exclusiveness or the inferiority of citizens because of their religious beliefs, nationality or race, or directly or indirectly to restrict the rights of, or establish privileges for, citizens because of their race, nationality or attitude to religion.
13. Article 74 also laid down punishments for such acts, whether in the form of public statements or appeals, inter alia in the press or other mass media, the production and distribution of pamphlets, posters and banners, or the organization of or attendance at meetings, political gatherings and demonstrations for the aforementioned purposes.
14. Over the period covered by this report up to 1 January 1997 (when the new Penal Code took effect), the courts considered several cases brought under article 74 of the former Code which resulted in guilty verdicts. The most notable was a decision in March 1996 by the Yaroslavl oblast (regional court) in a case involving the Nazi terrorist “Werewolf Legion”. Among other offences, the defendants were charged with fomenting inter-ethnic discord. The court found all charges proven and sentenced all four defendants to various terms of imprisonment.
15. Over the same period, one case went directly to the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation (in re: V.I. Novodvorskaya). It had been referred back by the Moscow Municipal Court to the investigative authorities for further investigation. The criminal division of the Supreme Court, hearing the case on 23 December 1996 in response to a private appeal by the Government Prosecutor, agreed with the Municipal Court's ruling that the case needed further investigation but modified the preventive measures ordered, setting personal bail instead of requiring a signed undertaking not to leave the vicinity.
16. As mentioned above, the new Penal Code took effect on 1 January 1997, replacing the largely outdated 1960 Code. It makes significant changes to the penal legislation prohibiting discrimination on any grounds. Chapter I, article 4, on the purposes and principles of the Code, states that “offenders shall be equal before the law and may be held criminally responsible regardless of their sex, race, nationality, language, origin, material and official status, place of residence, attitude to religion, convictions, membership of public associations or other circumstances”.
17. Article 63, section 1 (e), of the Code lays down the general rule that having “motives of national, racial or religious hatred or enmity” for committing a crime is an aggravating circumstance. Having “motives of national, racial or religious hatred or enmity” also constitutes grounds for the imposition of severer penalties under five articles of the Penal Code: article 105 (homicide), article 111 (deliberate infliction of grievous bodily harm), article 112 (deliberate infliction of moderate bodily harm), article 117 (torture) and article 244 (desecration of mortal remains or places of burial).
18. Further to the constitutional clause guaranteeing equality of rights, article 136 of the new Penal Code, “Violation of equal rights”, in the chapter on crimes against individuals' constitutional and civic rights and freedoms, states:
19. A separate article, No. 282, in the chapter on crimes against the underpinnings of constitutional order and State security, is devoted to the definition of the offence of arousing national, racial or religious hatred. This states:
20. One feature that sets the new Penal Code apart from the 1960 Code is article 347, entitled “Genocide”. Under that article, actions intended to bring about the “full or partial extermination of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group by killing or causing grievous bodily harm to its members, forcibly preventing them from bearing children, forcing them to surrender their children, forcibly resettling or otherwise creating living conditions designed to bring about the physical annihilation of members of the said group”, constitute a criminal offence punishable by sanctions up to and including the death penalty.
21. Rules protecting people from all forms of discrimination are to be found in a series of laws besides the penal legislation. The Family Code, for example, states that “restrictions of any kind on the rights of citizens entering into matrimony or in family relations on social, racial, national, linguistic or religious grounds are prohibited” (art. 1, para. 4).
22. Similar provisions are to be found in the Labour Code of the Russian Federation (art. 16, Hiring safeguards) and in other legislation.
23. Since the submission of the previous report, the Russian Federal Assembly has done a significant amount of legislative work to ensure equality and non-discrimination in the exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural and other spheres of public life.
24. The State Duma Committee on Nationalities has been at work on the following federal laws: the National Cultural Autonomy Act; the basic underpinnings of the legal status of Russia's small indigenous peoples; the Peoples of Russia (Languages) Act; the National Minorities Act; the Refugees and Displaced Persons (Assistance Fund) Act; the Small Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East (Communities) Act; the Regions of Traditional Land Use Act; the Outline of Russian State Policy on Nationalities (Implementing Machinery) Act; the Local Self-Government in Areas Inhabited by National Minorities and the Small Indigenous Peoples of Russia (General Principles) Act; the Territorial Rehabilitation of Repressed Peoples (Extension of Transitional Period) Act; and the Fundamental Principles governing relations between territories, oblasts and their constituent autonomous districts.
25. The Committee on Nationalities regularly conducts parliamentary hearings on key aspects of national policy. Hearings have been held on:
(a) the Outline of Russian State Policy on Nationalities;
(b) action to cope with the aftermath of the Ossete-Ingush conflict of October-November 1992; two sets of hearings were conducted on this subject, in Moscow and in Nazran;
(c) concerted action by the representative and executive bodies of the Russian Federation and its constituent entities, and by federal-level and local public organizations and associations, to secure the release of forcibly detained military personnel and civilians and locate people missing in the armed conflict in the Chechen Republic and neighbouring areas;
(d) the Outline of Russian State Policy on Nationalities and the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
26. Material from many of the hearings, such as those on the Outline of Russian State Policy on Nationalities, has been published. Material from the hearings on action to cope with the aftermath of the Ossete-Ingush conflict of October-November 1992 is in press.
27. In 1997 the Committee plans to continue its work on the draft legislation on the underpinnings of the legal status of Russia's small indigenous peoples, extension of the transitional period for the territorial rehabilitation of repressed peoples, national minorities, amendments to the Federal Act on Local Self-government in the Russian Federation (organizational principles) areas of traditional land use, the assistance fund for refugees and displaced persons; it will also work on bills dealing with communities of the small indigenous peoples of the Far North, Siberia and the Russian Far East, the underpinnings of ethnic relations in the Russian Federation for implementing the Outline of Russian State Policy and Nationalities, the rehabilitation of repressed peoples, rehabilitation of the Chechen people under the RSFSR law on the rehabilitation of repressed peoples, rehabilitation of the Ingush people and rehabilitation of the Russian Germans.
28. The National Cultural Autonomy Act entered into force (as recommended by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in paragraph 15 of its concluding observations) on 17 July 1996.
29. The main aim of the Act is to ensure de facto equality of all ethnic communities in the consistent assertion of every Russian citizen's rights and freedoms regarding his or her national origins.
30. The purpose of the Act is to offer the members of all ethnic communities, particularly national minorities, guarantees of national cultural autonomy as one form of national and cultural self-determination and self-organization.
31. According to the Act, national cultural autonomy implies the satisfaction of ethnic groups' cultural and spiritual needs and the preservation and development of crucial components of ethnic identity such as traditions, lifestyles, languages, education, art and self-awareness. National development policy and programmes conducted by means of national cultural autonomy can embrace culturally distinct groups irrespective of their size and distribution, extending down to the tiniest communities and individual citizens.
32. The objectives of national cultural autonomy are pursued through public initiatives, self-organization and the involvement of ordinary citizens. Cultural development programmes shaped within this framework are designed to meet the real needs of national minorities.
33. Pursuant to article 7 of the Act, Order No. 1517 by the Government of the Russian Federation dated 18 December 1996 established an advisory council on national cultural autonomy under the Government of the Russian Federation. The establishment of this deliberative body at the governmental level was to permit constructive interaction between the Government and ethnic communities so as to give a genuine impression of the mood among a significant sector -ethnically the most sensitive - of the Russian population. As initially set up, the Advisory Council includes representatives of Russia's national associations - Assyrian, Azerbaijani, Armenian, Georgian, Korean, Greek, German, Polish, Moldavian, Kurdish, Jewish and other.
34. Representatives of many diasporas have already applied for local and regional national cultural autonomy. A conference to establish German national cultural autonomy has been held in Saratov oblast, and one for Tver's Karelians in Tver oblast. District-level Turkic national cultural autonomy has been established in the Yamal-Nenetsk Autonomous Area (November 1996), bringing together representatives of Turkic peoples and ethnic groups; there is now a monthly newspaper, Türk Donyasi.
35. On 12 February 1997 the State Duma of the Russian Federal Assembly passed in second reading a federal bill banning the propagation of fascism in the Russian Federation. The passage of the bill is intended to strengthen legal mechanisms for preventing and putting a stop to propaganda for fascism, in part by setting State bodies to counter such propaganda and bring those responsible to justice.
36. Of cardinal importance to the protection of individuals from all forms of discrimination is article 17 of the Russian Constitution, which states that “basic rights and liberties in conformity with the commonly recognized principles and norms of international law shall be recognized and guaranteed” in Russia.
37. Article 15, paragraph 4, of the Constitution states that “the commonly recognized principles and norms of international law and international treaties of the Russian Federation shall be a component part of its legal system. If an international treaty of the Russian Federation stipulates rules other than those stipulated by the law, the rules of the international treaty shall apply.”
38. In practical terms, this means that international law can be applied directly by the courts. Individuals and bodies corporate can invoke international law directly in disputes with State bodies, enterprises, institutions or organizations. A special order, No. 8, dated 31 October 1995, entitled “some matters relating to the application by the courts of the Constitution of the Russian Federation in the administration of justice”, has been passed by the plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation. The explanatory matter states that “in considering a case, the court may not apply an act governing legal relations if an international treaty which has entered into force for the Russian Federation, and in respect of which the contingent obligations for the Russian Federation have been accepted in the form of a Federal Act, establishes rules other than those laid down in the said Act. In such cases, the rules established by the international treaty shall apply.”
39. Under the Office of the Government Procurator Act, keeping a constant check on compliance with the law in Russia is the responsibility of the Government Prosecutor's Office and its local branches. During the period under consideration, the Office has conducted repeated checks on compliance with constitutional and legislative requirements banning discrimination.
40. Checks have been made on compliance with legislation governing the registration of political parties and public organizations and requiring their activities to be monitored for consistency with their founding missions and objectives. Several public organizations were found to be in violation, and the Government Prosecutor's Office took appropriate action in response. For example, on application from the Government Prosecutor's Office in Rostov oblast, a court set aside an order by the Council of Atamans of the Cossack Union which limited citizens' rights on ethnic grounds.
41. A constant concern of the Office is to coordinate action by all law enforcement and other State bodies to combat fascism and other forms of political extremism. In the light of the current situation, and based on a critical analysis of law-enforcement practice and the findings of comprehensive checks, changes have been made to the ways they detect, intercept and prevent infringements of rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and unconstitutional moves to foment inter-ethnic and religious divisions.
42. During the period under consideration, a number of criminal cases relating to criminal violations of citizens' equal rights were brought and investigated. Coordinated action by the forces of law and order in several constituent entities of the Russian Federation put a stop to open manifestations by members of extremist organizations and identified a series of sites where printed, audio, video, film and photographic material of racist and nationalistic content was produced: hundreds of examples of such products were seized.
43. Paragraph 21 of the concluding observations by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD/C/304/Add.5) recommends enhanced legal protection through the national courts against any acts of racism, by strengthening the court system and the independence of the judiciary. It should be pointed out that these recommendations are consistent with current efforts to reform the judiciary in Russia.
44. The Russian Constitution, the Status of Judges Act, the Regulations on judges' training colleges and judicial bodies and other legislation are all intended to heighten the authority of the judiciary and promote law enforcement.
45. The Judicial System Act came into force on 26 December 1996: it contains guarantees of independence in the administration of justice.
46. Russian law enforcement practice has become substantially more varied in recent times: the courts have begun to consider cases involving citizens' exercise of their voting rights, the rights to found political parties and other public organizations, disputes between Governmental bodies, and challenges to decisions handed down by Governmental authorities.
47. Considerable effort has gone into training and retraining judges in matters relating to the exercise of citizens' rights and freedoms. Use is being made both of opportunities at home and of the experience and assistance of foreign judges. Since the submission of the previous report to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, international seminars, theoretical and practical, for judges have been held in various parts of the Russian Federation and beyond in collaboration with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the Council of Europe, and a number of governmental and non-governmental organizations.
48. The adoption of the Outline of Russian State Policy on Nationalities, confirmed by Presidential Decree No. 909 of 15 June 1996, was a significant event. The Outline, which takes account of the unique system of national/State and administrative/territorial arrangements resulting from a protracted and complicated historical process, and of Russia's particular ethnic composition, lays down basic principles and approaches for use in addressing burning problems in relations between different nationalities.
49. According to the Outline, the main principles of Russian State policy on nationality are:
(a) Equality of rights and freedoms irrespective of nationality, language, attitude to religion or membership of social groups and public associations;
(b) Equality of ethnic groups;
(c) Guaranteed rights for small indigenous and scattered ethnic groups, as required by the Constitution and by generally recognized principles and standards of international law;
(d) Support for the development of the cultures and languages of Russia's ethnic groups;
(e) The prohibition of any kind of restriction on citizens' rights based on nationality, language, social or religious connections, etc.
50. The main political priorities underlying the Outline are cooperation, mutual understanding and unity among Russia's ethnic groups, and the inculcation into all citizens, irrespective of their nationality, of the idea of equal rights. The Outline seeks to improve the machinery for the conduct of nationalities policy by combining the efforts of the Federal central authorities, the authorities in the constituent entities of the Federation, and the ethnic communities.
51. The draft plan of action to put the Outline into effect comprises a system of legislative and organizational measures, socio-economic and cultural programmes to improve relations among ethnic groups, satisfy the national interests of all ethnic groups in the Russian Federation, and consolidate ethnic peace and harmony.
52. The draft plan includes five sections:
(a) The formulation of instruments to regulate amendments to the Federal system and the harmonization of ethnic relations.
(b) The formulation and execution of Federal and regional socio-economic, national and cultural development programmes for the constituent entities of the Russian Federation and individual ethnic groups in Russia. This includes socio-economic development programmes for the Republic of North Ossetia/Alania (Order No. 269 by the Government of the Russian Federation, dated 12 March 1996), the Republic of Buryatia (Decree No. 543 by the President of the Russian Federation, dated 29 May 1995, and Order No. 442 by the Government of the Russian Federation, dated 5 April 1996), and the Republic of Mordova (Order No. 1257 by the Government of the Russian Federation, dated 26 December 1995); programmes concerned with individual ethnic groups include further action to rehabilitate the Russian Germans (Decree No. 811 by the President of the Russian Federation, dated 6 June 1996), the revival and development of the cultures of the Finno-Ugric peoples (Order No. 348-P by the Government of the Russian Federation, dated 3 March 1993), and the revival and development of the Turkic peoples of the Russian Federation (Order No. 603-P by the Government of the Russian Federation, dated 6 May 1994).
(c) Prompt action to stabilize the ethno-political situation in the country and individual regions. This includes a programme to deal with the aftermath of the conflict between the Ingush part of the population and the Ossetes in the Republic of North Ossetia/Alania (paragraph 22 of the concluding observations by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination), which is an integral part of the Government's regional policy on the northern Caucusus. One of the main tools of this policy is the Federal Programme for the socio-political development of the Republic of North Ossetia/Alania up to the year 2000, which was approved by order of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 269, dated 12 March 1996.
(i) Under this Programme, Federal ministries and governmental departments are taking steps to settle refugees and displaced persons from the conflict zone, making it possible for them to return to their former homes. The return of displaced persons to their former homes in the Republics of North Ossetia/Alania and Ingushetia is governed by a procedure agreed in Vladikavkaz on 20 April 1996 by the heads of Government of the two Republics in the presence of the Chairman of the Russian Federation's Interim State Committee on the Elimination of the Consequences of the Ossete/Ingush Conflict of October/November 1992.
(ii) Efforts by the local and central authorities to resuscitate the ruined economy of the Republic of North Ossetia/Alania and the Republic of Ingushetia are bearing fruit.
(iii) Some 1,926 displaced Ingush families (10,413 individuals) have been returned to settlements in the Prigorodny district. Three hundred and forty-nine homes, 195 Ossete and 154 Ingush, and four apartment buildings have been restored. Communal services and facilities are being reinstated. A total of 4,288 jobs have been created in the affected area.
(iv) Work to settle in returning Ingush and Ossetes socially and practically, and to rehabilitate them psychologically, is continuing. Disbursements (compensatory and otherwise) of 3.1 billion roubles were made in 1995 to 3,321 Ingush families (12,967 individuals) and 1,637 Ossete families (7,014 individuals) for property lost and accommodation damaged.
(v) More than 40 construction companies and 30 industrial enterprises have been involved in the work, and self-help brigades have been set up to restore housing. Water, gas and electricity have been laid on in all settlements in the Prigorodny district, radio and telephone services are in operation, and the restoration of domestic infrastructure and communications is nearing completion.
(vi) Steps are being taken to improve law and order and confiscate illegally held weapons. Five hundred and twenty-two firearms, 62 kilograms of explosives, 5,264 shells and rockets and 412 grenades were confiscated in 1996. The number of offences committed in the conflict region diminished in the second half of 1996.
(d) A series of political, socio-economic and public-information measures to stabilize the situation in and around the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation (information on this question is provided in appendix 3).
(e) Publicity for the Priority Action Scheme to give effect to the Outline of State policy on nationalities. This includes the design and production, in conjunction with radio and television broadcasters, of a schedule of programmes publicizing and covering implementation of the Outline and the National Cultural Autonomy Act; and the production and broadcast of television and radio programmes devoted to the characteristic historical, cultural and religious and ethnic features of the various parts of the Russian Federation (which will be produced in the most widely-spoken languages of Russia's ethnic groups).
(i) Radio and television broadcasting in the languages of the ethnic groups living in Russia is currently being introduced. The television (AM TV - 27 channels) broadcasts a special programme in Ukrainian, and the radio and television company MIR is putting out a cycle of programmes entitled “Far from Home” on the problems of national diasporas.
(ii) Locally, the constituent entities of the Federation have richer experience. Newspapers and periodicals in Russia's various Republics and autonomous districts are generally published in Russian and the language of the people after which the local entity is named. Radio and television programmes are produced in the same languages. The various oblasts and districts of the Russian Federation have some experience of ethnic broadcasting and the publication of printed periodicals.
53. All this, of course, will require a considerable organizational effort and financing. Consideration is being given to the possibility of special financing for activities carried out pursuant to State policy on nationalities.
54. A number of constituent entities of the Federation have put a special lines in their budgets for activities designed to uphold their national individuality and promote the languages and cultures of the ethnic living there. Comprehensive district programmes for the development of ethnic cultures are under development and in operation.
55. There is a tendency for ethnic schools to expand in areas with a sizeable non-native population, using the ethnic language as the medium of instruction or a subject on the curriculum. Armenian is the language of instruction or is studied at 47 schools; Kazak at 85; Azerbaijani at 66; Turkmen at 19, and so forth. There are seven Jewish pre-school institutions and ordinary schools in Moscow, along with one Russian/Lithuanian, one Russian/Korean, one Russian/Georgian, one Armenian and one Tatar school; there is also a multinational educational complex where children of 15 different nationalities follow the general curriculum and study their native languages, and children of 20 different nationalities attend Sunday school.
56. St. Petersburg has the Polar Academy, founded by the Ministry of Nationalities and Federal Relations, the Ministry of Education, the Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and the Polar Circle Association. It trains members of the indigenous peoples of the North to be Government administrators. Following the Academy initiative and thanks to the organizational efforts of the Ministry of Nationalities and Federal Relations, the first-ever production-oriented educational institution for indigenous minorities - the Higher College of Ethnic Occupational Technology of the Ethnic Minorities in Russia - has opened in St. Petersburg as part of the State University of Technology and Design.
57. The Priority Action Scheme is intended to promote legislation and strengthen the authority of the law, fostering a culture of human rights and tolerance, while enhancing social protection for citizens of the Russian Federation.
58. Paragraph 17 of the Committee's concluding observations suggests that more attention should be paid to minorities and indigenous populations living in the North, taking appropriate action to advance and protect their rights, particularly the right to use and work the land in the areas they inhabit, and their lifestyles.
59. Small ethnic groups, in particular the peoples of the Russian North, which are in a difficult economic, social and cultural position, have come in for special attention from the State. A bill defining the underpinnings of the legal status of Russia's small indigenous peoples and a bill under preparation on traditional land use, together with special programmes -“Economic and social development of the small indigenous peoples of the North up to the year 2000”, “The Children of the North” - and items covered in the programme of activities for the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People, 1995-2004, all seek to enable ethnic minorities to participate as equals in the management of State and public affairs, develop their traditional pursuits, to bring about spiritual renewal, to preserve and develop ethnic cultures and languages, and to restore damaged ecosystems.
(from 1989 census data)
Source: Narody Rossii, Entsyklopedia (Moscow, 1994).
ETHNIC/LINGUISTIC SITUATION AMONG THE PEOPLES OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Source: Narody Rossii, Entsyklopedia (Moscow, 1994)
1/ Tatar: 227,800.
2/ Tatar: 12,700.
3/ Ukrainian: 7,500.
4/ Ukrainian: 26,000.
5/ Tatar: 12,500.
6/ Ukrainian: 14,700.
7/ Ukrainian: 364,600.
8/ Bashkir: 5,700.
9/ Chuvash: 4,300.
10/ Yakut: 11,900.
1. To bring about a peaceful settlement to the crisis in the Chechen Republic and offer real protection for human and civil rights and freedoms throughout the Russian Federation, the Russian leadership took the following series of steps in 1996.
31 March 1996 The President of the Russian Federation signs a decree, “A programme for the settlement of the crisis in the Chechen Republic”.
27-28 May 1996 An Agreement on a ceasefire and cessation of military activities and steps to settle the armed conflict in the Chechen Republic, and the minutes of a meeting of the working groups, are signed in Moscow.
10 June 1996 The minutes of a meeting of the Commission negotiating a ceasefire, cessation of military activities and steps to settle the armed conflict in the Chechen Republic, and the minutes of a meeting of the working groups looking for missing persons and seeking the release of forcible detainees, are signed in Nazran.
14 August 1996 The President of the Russian Federation signs a decree, “Further moves to settle the crisis in the Chechen Republic”.
22 August 1996 An agreement on prompt action to secure a ceasefire and cessation of military activities in Grozny and the Chechen Republic is signed in Novye Atagi.
31 August 1996 A joint declaration is signed in Khasavyurt; “Principles defining the basis of relations between the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic” are agreed.
3 October 1996 A declaration covering the creation and functioning of a joint governmental commission is signed in Moscow.
23 November 1996 A decree by the President of the Russian Federation, “Steps to secure further peaceful settlement in the Chechen Republic” and an agreement on the principles governing cooperation between the parties pending the election of a president and parliament of the Chechen Republic are signed.
2. These moves to deal with the situation in the Chechen Republic demonstrate the Russian leadership's firm intention to arrive at a settlement by peaceful means in accordance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation.
3. At present, it is chiefly economic and political means that are being used to normalize the situation. The election of a president of the Chechen Republic on 27 January 1997 was an important step towards the political settlement of relations between the governmental authorities of the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic.
4. Action is being taken to restore transport infrastructure and essential facilities, and to pay pensions, wages and compensation to the victims of military operations.
5. Despite the Russian leadership's proven willingness to settle the crisis in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation by peaceful means, however, the agreements reached continue to be unilaterally violated by illegal armed units in attacks on the security, lives, freedom, honour and dignity of citizens of the Russian Federation and foreigners in the Chechen Republic.
6. As divisions and units of the Federal forces have withdrawn from the Chechen Republic, the criminal and psychological pressures on Russian and Russian-speaking inhabitants of Chechnya have intensified and a policy of “ethnic cleansing” is in effect.
7. The President of the Russian Federation's plenipotentiary representative in the Chechen Republic has been receiving an enormous number of complaints from Russians and Russian-speakers, together with requests for assistance in leaving Chechnya immediately for other parts of the Federation.
8. There are squads in Grozny that identify and intimidate Russian and Russian-speaking families. They also demand that the Russians get out of Grozny; otherwise they will be moved into special reservations.
9. Only Chechens receive compensation for housing that has been destroyed or that they have been forced to leave. There are reports of extortion by the compensation commissions. Russians cannot afford to move their property out of the Republic. The prices offered to Russians selling their homes are unrealistically low: 400 to 600 dollars. Russians do not receive any of the humanitarian assistance delivered to the Republic. It is distributed among the Chechens, who sell it on to the markets.
10. Criminal outfits in the Chechen Republic tend to direct their activities against non-Chechens. According to the Coordinating Centre at the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, 331 serious crimes were recorded in the Chechen Republic between September and October 1996 (249 of them against non-Chechens):
(a) Homicides - 35 cases (25 against non-Chechens);
(b) Serious bodily harm - 88 cases (66 against non-Chechens);
(c) Robbery with assault - 117 cases (90 against non-Chechens);
(d) Abductions - 94 cases (68 against non-Chechens).
11. Since the unified commands were set up in Grozny, they have been approached by 1,032 individuals reporting crimes. Theft, robberies and assaults have become widespread in the city.
12. Between 1 and 21 September 1996, Central Unified Command in Grozny alone received over 400 reports of crimes from Russian citizens (there have been 600 formal complaints from residents of the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation). Most concerned criminal attempts to seize citizens' property. In 66 incidents, illegal acts against inhabitants of Grozny have been accompanied by threats of murder; 47 of them have been against Russians.
13. Of 43 incidents in which money, valuables and property were extorted, 33 were directed against Russian citizens; of 15 incidents where apartments were seized, 10 of the victims were Russians; of 135 citizens complaining of illegal confiscations, destruction or damage to property, 103 were Russians.
14. Because of criminal moves to drive non-Chechens out of the Republic, the flow of refugees from Chechnya has not declined since the Russian forces withdrew, as the statistics prove.
15. Between December 1994 and August 1996, local branches of the Russian Federal Migration Service recorded over 453,000 citizens of the Chechen Republic who left their homes; between 6 August and 11 September 1996 alone, they registered and provided temporary accommodation for roughly 270,000 civilian victims.
16. According to Federal Migration Service figures, roughly 140,000 people who have emigrated from the Republic say they could no longer live there. Judging by the many applications to the Service, there are probably between 50,000 and 60,000 people who would like to leave the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation. The lack of guaranteed education, medical care, jobs, etc. might be explained by the temporary difficulties of the transitional period, but the violence, hostage-taking, confiscations of property, evictions and persecution on national grounds in defiance of all the rules clearly show that mass violations of human rights are taking place in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation.
17. Using all possible means of influencing the situation - among them, ensuring that Russian citizens can exercise their right to take part in elections to legislative and executive bodies - the Russian leadership is determined (as the Constitution of the Russian Federation requires) not to permit the rights and freedoms of Russians to be infringed.
18. As part of its efforts to reach a peaceful settlement of the crisis, the Russian Government has been collaborating with the OCSE Assistance Group in the Chechen Republic.
19. The Russian Government has continued to cooperate with the special mechanisms of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights over events in the Chechen Republic.