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The European Language Equality Network demanded that the authorities of Udmurtia should support local activists saving the Udmurt language

Denis Strelkov

The European Language Equality Network (ELEN) sent an official appeal to the Chairman of the State Council of the Udmurt Republic Alexei Prosolov with the requirement to support measures of saving the Udmurt language in the Republic. The Udmurtlyk Movement reported about it on October 8.


The authors of the appeal write that they were shocked by the tragic death of the Udmurt scientist Albert Razin, who protested against amendments to the Russian Federal legislation, making the teaching of the Udmurt language optional. In its letter, ELEN drew attention to the fact that Russia was participating in the International Year of Indigenous Languages of UNESCO, and its cultural diversity was a strong point that should have been saved, but not destroyed.

ELEN supported the demands of the Udmurt movement activists: introducing teaching in the Udmurt language in primary school in areas with a large number of Udmurts, opening additional classes in the Udmurt language in Russian-speaking schools, opening bilingual schools, opening kindergartens in the Udmurt language, providing signs in two languages in the Republic, conducting a campaign to promote the Udmurt language, and supporting Udmurt media.

The association points out that it has extensive experience in saving small languages in Europe and is ready to share its practices with Russia.


The European Language Equality Network (ELEN) is a European non-profit organization headquartered in Paris, established on the basis of the former committees of the member states of the European Bureau for Lesser-Used Languages in 2011. ELEN represents 50 million people, or 10% of the European Union's population, who speak small languages, such as Basque, Welsh or Catalan.

Udmurt sociologist Albert Razin committed suicide in front of the State Council in protest against the language policy of the Russian Federation. Before his death, he held a poster with the words of poet Rasul Gamzatov: "But if tomorrow Avar [poet’s native language] die, I’d rather die today!" He opposed the amendments that allowed parents from national republics in Russia to choose whether their children would learn the national language of the Republic or not.


Denis Strelkov, «7х7»

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