Saratov region


Possible conflicts


I. The question on the German autonomy exacerbates the international relations. (Nowadays, the question on creating the German autonomy is raised- neither at the federal level, nor in the course of intergovernmental contacts with FRG).

However, in Saratov and Volgograd “the German question” is actively used for the so-called “ electorate mobilization”. The last emotional explosion occurred in July- August 2001 because it was rumoured that on the 28th August 2001 the Autonomy Republic of the Volga region Germans (ARVG) would be reestablished by the President decree, timing to the 60th anniversary of German mass departure. It was talked in the following way: the President knows the German language, lived in Germany, likes Germans and gives them a present. (G.Kotoshihin. The Germans are in the city! / Century. Th Volga region issue. N 45, 2001. ).

The Saratov public representatives, among whom are the local leaders of the RF Communist Party, “Otechestvo” party and the Cossacks, apply to the President of Russia, the Council of Federations, the Government, the governmental Duma as well as Moscow and All Russia Patriarch with demand not to reestablished ARVG. (The treat of silent occupation. 10.08.2001 and A. Fitz Anti-German hysteria took a new turn but according to an old scenario. Will XXI century come for Russian Germans? ).

Their open letter runs:” The citizens and public formations of Saratov region are anxious about the increasing activity of Germany and the Federal national and culture autonomy of Russian Germans leaders, aimed at establishing German Republic on the Volga…. None of the nationalities burdens the Government with their problems like German…. None of the nationalities demands such financing “.

After no president decree had issued, they declared but if the letter, V.V.Putin would have signed the decree on reestablishing the German autonomy.

II. The serious conflicts potential is caused by the intensive formation of new diaspora and the way mass media and public opinion interpret this process.

There is an opinion that “the Asiatic” and “persons of the Caucasian nationality” have the different mode of life, labour traditions (turn for market trade), different behavior culture (including their attitude to drug abuse)… All these make the natives treat the migrants watchfully. The interaction of the cultures with different roots has become a factor of the international tension … Rather East than West is the main “irritant” for Russian culture and Russian mode of life (Y.  Chernyshov East is a delicate and hazardous matter, ).

There are attempts of the theoretical basing the in tolerance. ( The numerous articles of  the public and creative intelligentsia” representatives prove the wide spread of “the patriotic force” views in this question. (It is symptomatic that S. Barsilov’s article, mentioned above, is placed in RNU site).

Varying public opinion, concerning national policy and international relations is great, especially in the creative sphere. It was demonstrated by “the round table”, held in Saratov newspaper “Zemskoe obozrenie” editorial office with the participation of Saratov association union members, Saratov literary men on the 25th January 2002. (A. Anisimov The two approaches to national problem // “Association meeting”, 6.02.2002, ).

III. The migrant inflow, coming on the middle of 1990th, is one more burning problem. Basing on the out of date findings, the popular conclusion of migrant danger is made («The frontier status of the region forces to emphasize migrant danger (in its ethnic aspect)”.


The wide spread of the thesis given can be confirmed by the fact that at the end of 2001, in Strasburg at the conference devoted to the personal rights Alexander Lando, Saratov authorized agent on personal rights, representing Russian Federation, raised the problems connected with migration. (E. Dobronravova “Province” N16, December 2001 ).

Migration “causes the negative reaction of the natives and influences the political situation in the region”. For instance, Saratov Governor D. Ayatskov suggested settling 50 thousand refugees – the Kosovars in the region. According to the public opinion poll, 95% responders regarded the Governor’s initiative negatively and 3% responders expressed an indefinite opinion” ( ).

Besides, apprehensions are excited by the fact that the migrant inflow from the ethnic-political conflict areas can result in breakdowns between the new settlers, belonging to the opposite parties. In addition, there is watchfulness in respect of the minorities, which have been residing in Saratov region for decades, in particular – the Kazakhs. ( Even the respectively democratic newspapers publish the articles, warning against the real danger of the Muslim colonization of Russia and expressing anxiety that the left bank of Volga will belong to the Kazakhs. The extreme nationalists are sure to say:” The Georgians must live in Georgia, the Daghestans – in Daghestan, the Chechens – in the Chechen republic”, quoting the words of Saratov regional department of Russian national party chairperson E.A. Klochkov ( ).

IV. From time to time the breakdowns, connected with anti-Jewish actions, occur. However, the danger is not only in them, but also in public support, rendered to persons, who are prosecuted for rousing national hatred.

Nowadays, Saratov public prosecutor’s office is investigating the criminal case, initiating against Sosnin V.D. and Babikov Y.K. for rousing national hatred in the course of the meeting on 21 September 2001. The five outstanding literary persons, representing Saratov intelligentsia, take the part of the accused V.D.Sosnin, placed under arrest for anti-Jewish actions in January 2002 (“Zemskoe obozrenie”, N50, 20.12.2001). In response, the prosecutor of Saratov and investigator of cases of special importance catch the representatives of Saratov intelligentsia in twisting the facts and publishing unconfirmed and fabricated facts.

The representatives of the judicial power did not dare to quote Sosnin V.D. in newspaper, his statements about the Jews bordering on obscene and being able to shock the readers. The trial on this case is reported to be open. A.A. Morozov, V.F.Grigoriev. Is Vitaliy Sosnin a martyr or a criminal.’2_22_p.html ).

V. The definite tense is caused by the activity of the patriotic (nationalistic) organizations: “Russian party”, “Russian national unity” (RNU), “Russian national party”, “ Slavonic union”, “The Slavic-Russian heathen community”, “ The Unity of battle solidarity” (Nikolay Rusich. Phenology of opposition. Http:// ) The numerous Cossack organizations belong to the patriotic movement.

The capable policy of the RNU regional leader Grigory Trofimchuk yielded an unexpected result: within several months he managed to unite the three most efficient and numerous (excepting RFCP) organizations in opposition and establish the Union of patriotic forces “Obereg”. According to the “Obereg” leaders, their union will allow to introduce proper order in the market sphere by saving the region from the dominance of the Caucasians by origin. The organizers put their great hopes on the youth.

 VI. The interconfessional tension can aggravate the interethnic relations. In the region, there was a considerable conflict, having developed in February 2002 between the two largest Christian confessions – the Orthodox and Catholic churches. That aggravation resulted from the decision of the Pope John Paul II concerning the establishment of the so-called Roman Catholic “church province”, headed by the Metropolitan and consisting of four dioceses with the centers in Moscow, Novosibirsk, Saratov and Irkutsk.

The Governor Dmitry Ayatskov commented upon turning the apostolic eparchies into dioceses in the following way I respect all confessions in Saratov region. I have a profound respect for the Orthodoxy. Moreover, I am anxious seeing the way the orthodox religion of our Russian State loses its force. In addition, I am anxious about the opening the catholic diocese in Saratov “. ( http// )

It is symptomatically that the patriotic force representatives in summer 2001 expressed their opinion of “Catholic aggression” – but in obscure connection with the problem of reestablishing the German autonomy. ( ).

In town of Marx (Saratov region) on the night of 30 September 2001, unknown vandals set on fire the building of Saint Trinity Lutheran church, belonging to Evangelical- Lutheran church of the European part of Russia. The cathedral was considerably damaged. The Bishop of Evangelical- Lutheran church of the European part of Russia Zigfrid Schpringer and the Synod President Alexander sent the letter to the Governor of the region A. Ayatskov It was well planned action… That action was aimed not only against Lutheran church but, first of all, at destabilizing the international situation in Saratov region…”. ( ).