Orenburg region


Possible conflicts


1.   Some hostility, especially among the Tatars, is to be observed in respect of the Cossack revival. (www.orb.ru/Socios/Ethnopan/etp1-2.htm#etp1-2-amelin). The unreasonable programs and the Cossack leaders’ declarations result in watchfulness and sometimes incomprehension of the Tatar population. The attempts of some Cossack representatives to set the Russian-speaking population against the Kazakh authorities also cause thew destabilization. (A provocation or schizophrenia? warweb.chat.ru/nazar.htm ; Do the Russians need autonomy in Kazakhstan?, www.zatulin.ru/institute/sbornik/005/03.shtml# ).

2.     The Muslim internal cleavage, which keeps widening, causes anxiety, especially with the Tatar diaspora (www.orb.ru/Socios/Ethnopan/etp1-2.htm#etp1-2-amelin ).The cleavage resulted from an appearance of the 2d mufti – Buguruslansky – in the region. There is Islam politicization, being particularly observed during elections. It makes some Russians respond disapprovingly. 18,2% citizen questioned consider the possibility of Vahhabizm penetration to be real. Among the Muslims, this point of view is supported by 14,3%. (The questioning data of August – September 2000, conducted in 10 bordering areas: V. Amelin. Orenburg region // “Interethnic relations and breakdowns in post-soviet states”, Annual report, 2000, M., 2001, p.123).

3.   The interconfessional tense is also aggravating. Each forth citizen of bordering area is convinced that Islam and Muslim organizations activity exacerbate interethnic relations. About 20% population considers Islam to influence the peoples’ relations unfavourably and 5% express the same opinion regarding the Orthodox (V. Amelin. Orenburg region // “Interethnic relations and breakdowns in post-soviet states”, Annual report, 2000, M., 2001, p.123).

4.    The migratory movements caused the inflow of nationalities, which are non-traditional for Orenburg region. The diaspora of Armenians, Azerbaijans, Chechens, Daghestan peoples, Koreans is increasing in number. The interethnic and ethnoconfessional relations are also affected by illegal migration that makes up 40-50% of the migratory inflow registered. According to other estimates, only 10-15% citizens of the Middle Asian Republics work in the region legally. (S. G. Gorshenin Russian- Kazakh border: the interregional cooperation experience, its problems and prospects ( an example of Orenburg) “Ethnopanorama”, N2, 2001, p.45). According the natives, the illegal migrants not only compete but also exclude the natives from labour market, thereby provoking hostile attitude to peoples of their nationality. The high migratory rate across the border, which stretches for 1876 km, is associated with drug traffic that causes alarm both of the authorities and population. According to the questioning data of the Regional Scientific Sociological Investigations Center, at the end of 2000 people questioned consider that the border must be guarded more strictly (comparing to 20% in 1999). For all this, 22,2% responders note that the introduction of a border control can exacerbate the interethnic relations.

5.    The uncontrollable migration of the ethnic Kazakhs to the bordering areas of Russia, contributing to an appearance of interethnic tense foci, is persisting. The population of the bordering areas keeps the hostile attitude to the Kazakhs: in 2000 the number of the Kazakhs facing such an attitude doubled in comparison to 1998 (V.Amelin. Orenburg region // “Interethnic relations and breakdowns in post-soviet states”, Annual report, 2000, M., 2001, p.124). Only 40% responders treat the Kazakhs, having moved to the region from Kazakhstan, friendly or rather friendly and 33,1% - negatively or rather negatively (V. Amelin. The migrants’ social adaptation problems in Orenburg region// “Ethnopanorama” N3, 2001, p.64). The Kazakh community leaders intend to succeed in establishing their own national-territory autonomy.