Information Centre of Finno-Ugric Peoples
phone/fax: +372 644 9270; e-mail:

Press release 07 June 2005

Press releases

Finnish journalist denied Russian visa (27.12.05)

Young Finno-Ugrians at the Congress of Turkic Youth (21.11.05)

International attention to problems of national minorities in the Russian Federation is not decreasing (01.11.05)

Chairman of Youth Association of Finno-Ugric Peoples attacked in Mari Republic, Russia (28.08.05)

Lusatian Sorbs express their solidarity with Udmurts (26.08.05)

Ethnic minority in Russia: media is filled with misinformation (25.08.05)

Closing of the 10th International Congress of Finno-Ugric Studies in Yoshkar-Ola (21.08.05)

Hopeless Udmurts appeal to Europe for support (19.08.05)

Russian authorities threatening an ethnic minority organisation (17.08.05)

Scientists replaced with officials at a scientific congress in Russia (16.08.05)

Tenth International Congress of Finno-Ugric Studies in Russia (15.08.05)

Estonian delegation to the 10th International Congress of Finno-Ugric Studies smaller than expected (12.08.05)

Estonian and Saami Theatres Start Co-operating with the Kalevala in Estonia (10.08.05)

An ethnographic film banned in Russia now available on DVD (09.08.05)

Doctoral scholarship in Estonia for foreign Finno-Ugrians (06.08.05)

An open letter to the President of Finland Tarja Halonen (02.08.05)

Estonian students caught in the wheels of Russia's internal politics (02.08.05)

Expulsion of Estonian students from the Mari Republic of Russian Federation (22.07.05)

The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation supporting the Mari people in Russia (07.07.05)

Fascist group in Russia asserts being instructed by local administration (31.05.05)

Russian composer did not celebrate his anniversary in his home town (19.05.05)

European Parliament steps forth in defence of a national minority in Russia (12.05.05)

Federal Union of European Nationalities examined the situation of a Russia's minority (07.05.05)

Members of the European Parliament pass an action plan to improve the situation of Finno-Ugric minorities in Russia (27.04.05)

Finno-Ugric Minority of Russia Grateful to the European Parliament for Support (26.04.05)

Estonian Member of European Parliament on discussion with Russian parliamentarians on Russia’s minorities (22.04.05)

European Parliament Examining the Mari Situation in Russia (11.03.05)

Mari Nation Under Threat in Russia (22.02.05)

Opposition leaders still persecuted in Mari El: Vladimir Kozlov assaulted (04.02.05)

Read more
(information and news about Mari people in Mari, Russian, Estonian, English)

 Press releases by the Estonian Institute for Human Rights:



Unrepresented Nations' and Peoples' Organisation


The 2nd Congress of Ethnic Maris of the Republic of Mari El was held in the forest in fear of persecution

The extraordinary congress condemns the policy of Russian administration and expresses its gratitude to the international community for support.

Amidst a wave of persecution on ethnic grounds and physical violence againstthe indigenous nation of Russia's autonomous Republic of Mari El, the 2nd extraordinary Congress of Ethnic Maris of the Republic of Mari El was held June 5 in a traditional holy grove, the cultural organisation Mari Ushem reported.

Attended by foreign press and visitors, the popular representative assembly was decided not to be convened in the capital city of the republic, remembering the 1st Congress in December 2004 that took place in the street, in frosty weather and encircled by the riot police armed with submachine guns. This time the congress was prepared in secrecy. To avoid provocations and attacks organised and supported by the authorities, the event was conducted in the forest, including the press conference.

Speakers at the Congress condemned the acting president of the republic Leonid Markelov for his policy of producing ethnic and economic disorder, and destabilising cultural and social life. In their speeches, visitors and guests of the Congress condemned the late events in Mari El including the mass beatings of ethnic Maris and the policy of breeding a conflict between the Maris and other nationalities, and artificially splitting the population into separate communities.

In its resolution, the congress declared any attempts to accuse the Mari nation in "nationalism" as ill-founded and provocative. The resolution says: "We demand that our constitutional rights in our own republic be observed, without restraining the rights and interests of the whole population irrespective of ethnic origin."

The congress condemned the hysteria boosted by the republic's administration and the authorities-controlled collection of signatures in protesting against the European Parliament's Resolution "Violations of human rights and democracy in the Republic of Mari El in the Russian Federation" passed this

The congress also expressed its gratitude to "all progressively-minded people in Russia and abroad who have publicly condemned the policy of the present authorities of the Republic of Mari El under Markelov".