PUTIN: ULTRA-NATIONALISM A THREAT TO RUSSIA'S SOVEREIGNTY
- Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned that rising nationalism poses a threat to Russia's very future with calls for a clampdown on "disrespectful" internal migrants.
"Attempts to advocate the idea of the creation of a mono-ethnic, national Russian state contradict our millennium-old history," Putin said in an article published on his official website.
"This is the shortest path to both the destruction of the Russian people and Russia's sovereignty," he added in his second election campaign article ahead of his bid to win a third presidential term at March 4 polls.
He also proposed the creation of a new state agency on national development and interethnic accord.
Russia has seen a dramatic rise in ultra-nationalist sentiments since the break-up of the Soviet Union, with far-right movements prominent at recent mass protests against alleged vote fraud in favor of Putin's ruling United Russia party.
Some 5,000 nationalists rioted near Red Square in December 2010 after the murder of a Spartak Moscow football fan by a youth from the volatile, mainly Muslim North Caucasus region.
And Putin sought to spin both sides of the nationalist coin with the promise of a crackdown on "aggressive, provocative and disrespectful" internal migrants who fail to respect "the customs of the Russian people."
As Putin stressed further, the creation of nationalist parties in Russia's republics is "a direct path to separatism."
But the prime minister recognized the concerns of many ordinary people over "mass immigration" from impoverished former Soviet republics such as Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan and vowed to "toughen" laws on labor immigrants, making a violation of migration procedures a criminal offence, RIA Novosti reported.
- 1861 Birth of the Hungarian-Armenian linguist and philologist, Ghookass Badroopanyan.
- 1904 Birth of the Armenian-Italian physician, Professor, Michael Arlen, son of the famous doctor Yervand Arlen. Michael Arlen was a Full Member of the British Medical Association.
- 1921 The ceremonial opening of Yerevan's People's University. In 1923 it was renamed Yerevan State University.
- 1923 Birth of Karp Khachvankyan (actor) in Akhaltskha (Georgia). He was known as the "Prince of Laughter". He died in 1998.