The Oxymoron of Putin and ‘Minority Protection’

Opinions |Author: Vasil Stefanov | March 5, 2014, Wednesday // 11:23|  views

Russian President Vladimir Putin motivated his military intervention in Ukraine as a "protection of the Russian-speaking minority in the country".

It would do good to have a look at Putin's track record of minority protection back home, before making any inferences of his true intentions in Crimea.

With Russia's colossal income disparity, where 110 billionaires own 35% of the nation's wealth and 18 million live below the poverty line, an egalitarian society is a remote concept.

In a country where political opposition is persecuted on a daily basis and anti-government protesters are placed behind bars solely for their views, pluralism is seen as a threat.

Another group that can fully attest to being "beneficiaries" of Putin's minority protection policy are the homosexuals. Oh right, there aren't any...(as the Sochi Mayor recently pointed out)

As for the increasing number of assaults on ethnic and religious minorities in Russia and the persistent manifestations of racism and xenophobia, the UN Human Rights Committee has expressed concern of the "failure of police and judicial authorities to investigate, prosecute and punish hate crimes".

Before President Putin charges to protect minorities in neighboring states, it may serve him well to fix up his own yard first.

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Tags: Vladimir Putin, Crimea, Ukraine, minority, Sochi, UN, Russia, poverty


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