“We do not want to become Russians, let us be ourselves!” – Syres’ Boliayen’

Free Idel-Ural civic movement is asking OSCE High Commissioner on national minorities to help Erzyans to establish a monument of their national hero.

Since April 2018 Free Idel-Ural civic movement is unsuccessfully trying to get permission to establish a monument of Inyazor Purgaz, Erzyan national hero, in Saransk city, Republic of Mordovia. Corresponding appeals were addressed to both Petr Tulaev, mayor of Saransk and Vladimir Volkov, Head of Republic of Mordovia. Despite of the fact that monument costs are already crowdfunded by Erzyan people, both municipal and republican public authorities are permanently blocking the popular initiative. 

“Cultural necessities of native peoples of Republic of Mordovia continue to be ignored, we even don’t have a right to set up our national monuments as representatives of Russian society freely do. All Moscow vertical chain of command, including Vladimir Volkov, a local representative of Edinaya Rossiya party, hamper the activity of Erzyan national movement. Any signs of Erzyan public activity are perceived by officials as a threat to territorial integrity of Russia. We want to develop Erzyan culture, civil society institutes, but instead we hear offers to “talk your Erzyan language on a kitchen”. Russian authorities try to make us as some kind of public enemies, and it’s all because we just do not want to become Russians. Let us be ourselves!”, – co-founder of Free Idel-Ural movement Syres’ Boliayen’ commented the situation. 

Activists hope to draw attention of OSCE High Commissioner on national minorities to the problem of systematic violation of civic, national and cultural rights of native peoples of Idel-Ural, particularly Erzyans, by Russian authorities. 

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