Russia taking a census of ethnic minorities (Voice of Russia Radio)

19 Aug Russia taking a census of ethnic minorities (Voice of Russia Radio)

August and September are the busiest time for census takers in the Russian Far East and Polar Regions, homeland to a large number of ethnic minorities. Officials will take a census of ethnic minorities in 11 Russian regions in August alone.

According to the United Nations, at present, there are 5 thousand indigenous peoples with an overall population of 370 million. Russia’s 2002 census showed that the country has 40 ethnic minorities with a population of 244 thousand. The Nenets are the largest minority with 44 thousand people who have lived in the Arkhangelsk, Tyumen and Krasnoyarsk regions for centuries, while the smallest minority are the Ents who live in Taimyr.

The severe climatic and natural conditions, the vulnerability of the traditional life-style and the small number of indigenous people in the Russian Far East and Polar region prompt the government to pursue a special policy towards them. Last year, a concept for the development of ethnic minorities was adopted to preserve them and their culture as an integral part of cultural diversity of Russia, says Regional Development Minister, Victor Basargin.

“The concept of stable development of indigenous people in the Polar region and the Russian Far East adopted by the government is a unique document for the country and the world as a whole,” says Victor Basargin. “It sets the ambitious but real task of improving living standards of these people and preserving their traditional life-style and the use of the gifts of nature. It provides for granting state support and mobilizing their internal resources, including the traditional form of management and self-organization,” Victor Basargin said. …Go to article.