The national minorities’ discrimination in social and economic spheres


           The problems of social and economic discrimination against the national minorities’ representatives were analyzed in Saratov region in the narrow context, i.e. in the market of letting/ renting private- type dwelling. (The unit given is based on the research, carried out in order of CEPRS, by V. Gritsenko in Saratov region.)

           The research was carried out by analyzing the advertisements in the newspapers “From hand to hand” (NN 41, 42) and “What some need” (NN 41, 42) in October 2002. Both private and agency letting advertisements were counted up. The count involved the advertisements of regular and short-term (for twenty-four hours, night) lessors but not the advertisements published under the heading “Urgently” (the paid ones).

           Among those who identify the ethnic belonging of the potential lodgers are, mainly, the owners, letting the dwelling for a long term: 3 months, half a year and longer.

           Among 1266 private and agency advertisements, 189 (14% of total letting adds) used the wording “for a Russian family” (Table 1). The most common wordings are “for a Russian family”, “for Russians” and sometimes with introducing more precise definition: “for a Russian girl – student”, “for two Russian men”, “for a Russian family with Saratov registration”. There are some wordings “for Slavs”, “for a Slavonic family”, “for a man of Slavonic nationality” and 6 advertisements run the wordings “for Russian decent people”, “for a Russian decent family”. One can reveal more stringent requirements – “for Russians only”, “for Slavs only”.

Not a single advertisement mentioned other ethnic groups, excepting Russian.

           Taking into account the experience of the similar researches in other regions, there can be no doubt that the objection to letting a flat to the Caucasians or Central Asians by birth was masked by the wording “for Russians”, which is just a more civilized way of such a rejection. (There was a noteworthy advertisement with the wording, “ one lets a flat for a Russian family”, signed “Aighul”).


Table 1

The lessors’ advertisements, identifying the lodger’s nationality



The total


Including “for Russians”



The private advertisements




Including for a short term




The agency advertisements









           Taking into account the situation in the dwelling market, the persons looking for a flat frequently identify their nationality themselves. It is noteworthy that the portion of the advertisements with ethnic identification is considerably higher in renting than in letting. Among 946 free renting advertisements, published in the issues of newspapers “From hand to hand” and “What some need” in October 2002, 266 advertisements (28,1% of total) emphasized the nationality of a potential renter. Such advertisements are published in the paid ones under the heading “Urgently” (Table 2).



Table 2

The renters’ advertisements identifying the nationality


The total number

Including “for Russians”



The private advertisements




The private advertisements under the heading “Urgently” (paid ones)









           The most common wordings are “for a Russian family “for a Russian man”, “for a Russian woman”, “for a Russian girl”. In such advertisements, only Russians identify their nationality.

           The opposite picture was revealed in the town of Balashov in Saratov region where no renting/ letting advertisements contain the wording with ethnic implication. (Within ten months of 2002 (January – October) 100 letting adds and 220 renting adds were published in the newspapers “Balashov pravda” (under the heading “Miscellanies”) and “Town” (under the heading “Odds and ends”).

           This tolerance is evidently proved by the following reasons:

-         a comparative small number of the town population (96,4 thousand citizens), the absence of lessors’ anonymity;

-         a high mono ethnic level of the town;

-         availability of close informal connections due to which the Azerbaijanians, Uzbeks and other ethnic minorities’ representatives, dealing at the town market, rent (are let) dwelling;

-         the low solvency of the majority of the local population, resulting in the economic mechanisms priorities in the dwelling market.