Friday, October 06, 2006

Russia Copying Nazi Social Policies

More signs that the Russian government under Vladimir Putin is increasingly moving towards social policies that involve repression of a kind not seen in Europe since the Nazi era. Kommersant reports that the Russian authorities are now asking schools to compile lists of children with Georgian names, so that “checks” can be carried out on the status of their parents.

Regional police departments sent telephonograms to some of Moscow schools, asking to provide a list of pupils with Georgian last names. After receiving the list, police officers are to check the parents of these children – whether they are registered in Moscow, where they live in fact, what they do, and whether they pay taxes. According to the law “About general education in the city of Moscow”, children without registration in Moscow have the right for education in Moscow’s schools as well. Thus, the easiest way to find Georgians is through their children.

“The initiative is coming from the Internal Affairs Ministry,” a high-placed source in law-enforcement bodies told Kommersant. “Last week, every regional police department received a code telegram demanding to discover illegal migrants from Georgia living in Russia.” The source added that “the easiest way to do it is through the children who go to school no matter if their parents are registered in Moscow or pay taxes.” Several ways to discover illegal migrants were prepared. “Police officers were supposed to come to schools and talk to principals. However, minor police departments flaked on and only sent telephonograms to schools, due to which the story became public,” the source said. Thus, police officers might be expected soon to those schools which received no telephonogram.

School principals try to keep back the fact that they have received some instructions from police departments. Kommersant correspondents telephoned nearly 50 schools of Moscow. However, only a few confirmed that the check is going on. When school #658 was asked about the telephonogram from the police, they replied “there was something like that”.

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