Without Russians: The Rada passed a presidential law on indigenous peoples

The law stipulates that the indigenous peoples of Ukraine are Crimean Tatars, Karaites, and Crimean Tatars. At the same time, Russians are not an indigenous people, as they have their own state formation outside Ukraine.Indigenous peoples of Ukraine are guaranteed cultural, educational, linguistic and information rights / Photo UNIAN, Vyacheslav RatinskyIndigenous peoples of Ukraine are guaranteed cultural, educational, linguistic and information rights / Photo UNIAN, Vyacheslav Ratinsky

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has adopted a presidential law on indigenous peoples.

According to an UNIAN correspondent, 325 people’s deputies voted for the adoption of the draft law “On Indigenous Peoples of Ukraine” (№ 5506).

The law stipulates that the indigenous people of Ukraine are an autochthonous ethnic community formed on the territory of Ukraine, bearers of original language and culture, have traditional, social, cultural or representative bodies, self-aware indigenous people of Ukraine, constitute an ethnic minority in its population and does not have its own state formation outside Ukraine. 

According to this definition, the law establishes that the indigenous peoples of Ukraine are Crimean Tatars, Karaites, and Crimean Tatars. According to the definition, Russians are not an indigenous people, as they have their own state formation outside Ukraine.

The law defines guarantees for the indigenous peoples of Ukraine on legal protection against any actions aimed at: deprivation of signs of ethnicity and integrity as original peoples, deprivation of cultural values; eviction or forced relocation from compact residence in any form; forced assimilation or forced integration in any form; encouraging or inciting racial, ethnic or religious hatred against them.

Indigenous peoples of Ukraine are guaranteed cultural, educational, linguistic and informational rights.

The law also provides for the determination of the legal status of representative bodies of indigenous peoples of Ukraine, their resource provision, as well as the issue of international representation of indigenous peoples of Ukraine.

It is envisaged that the indigenous peoples of Ukraine have the right to establish their own educational institutions or to cooperate with educational institutions of all forms of ownership in order to ensure the study of the language, history, culture of the indigenous people and education in the language of the indigenous people.

The law stipulates that the indigenous peoples of Ukraine have the right to create their own mass media through representative bodies. The state may provide support to media in which indigenous representative bodies independently directly own at least 51% of the authorized capital and / or voting rights of shares (units, shares) of the media, if such media in accordance with the broadcasting license or permission to temporary broadcasting is carried out by at least 50% of broadcasting in the languages ​​of the indigenous peoples of Ukraine and / or devotes at least 50% of the broadcasting to the issues of realization of the rights of indigenous peoples.

The explanatory note to the bill states that “in connection with the temporary occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol and constant violations by the Russian Federation of fundamental rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens, including indigenous peoples living in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine’s recognition of the status of indigenous peoples formed on the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol is gaining importance. ” It is noted that this will also contribute to the international legal recognition of the status of indigenous peoples of Ukraine.

Indigenous Law

On May 18, Zelensky submitted to the Verkhovna Rada as an urgent draft law “On the Indigenous Peoples of Ukraine” (№ 5506).

On June 8, the Russian State Duma responded to Zelensky’s initiative to pass a law on the indigenous peoples of Ukraine. In this regard, the State Duma adopted a statement that Russia condemns this document due to the lack of mention of the Russians.

On June 9, on Russian television, Putin criticized the Ukrainian president’s legislative initiative to regulate the status and rights of indigenous peoples and compared it to the ideas of Nazi Germany.

“In general, the division into indigenous, first-class and second-class categories of people in itself is quite reminiscent of the theory and practice of Nazi Germany. How to be people with mixed blood? Zelensky himself is a Jew by nationality, he may have blood mixed there. “What to do with these people? They will, like in Nazi Germany, have their skulls and other body parts measured? How were real Aryans identified, and will real Ukrainians be identified?”

(c)UNIAN 2021

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