Russian bill on national identity generates protests

  • 2006-03-15
  • By Robert Parsons [ RFE/RL ]
An attempt by Russia's State Duma (lower house of Parliament) to define Russian national identity has run into trouble with the country's Muslims and national minorities. The driving force behind a new bill on national identity was President Vladimir Putin himself, who has argued that Russians and Russia need to have a better sense of who they are. But when the bill was sent out for discussion last month by Russia's regional parliaments, it ran into a storm of protest. Deputies in Tatarstan, which has a large Muslim population, claim it is an attempt to strengthen and formalize the dominant...
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