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

Press release 26 August 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)

Ethnic minority convenes its congress in the underground (07.06.05)

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 Union of Lusatian Sorbs 'Domowina' (Germany) sent a letter of support to the Udmurt schoolchildren's parents who struggle against the decision of Russian authorities to close down the only school in the Udmurt capital with the instruction in the Udmurt language.

In its letter to the Information Centre of Finno-Ugric Peoples, the Domowina says that Lusatian Sorbs are struggling for the preservation of school education in their mother language in Germany, and therefore support the Udmurts in their struggle.

The Udmurts are the indigenous people of Udmurt Republic in the Russian Federation. In its capital city Izhkar (Izhevsk), the Kuzebay Gerd Grammar School was the only remaining school with the instruction in Udmurt language. The lengthy struggle of schoolchildren's parents for normal conditions for their children vas in vain: the children were removed to schools with the instruction in Russian.

"The smaller a nation, the more important children's education in mother tongue becomes. Regardless of the number of a nation, every person has the right to education in his mother tongue", the Union of Lusatian Sorbs says in its letter.

The Sorbs learnt about the Udmurt culture this year when the Udmurt folk group Aykay performed at the folklore festival Luzhica 2005.

Sorbs are a 60 thousand strong Slavic people living in Germany near to Lausits (Luzhica in Sorbian), in the fomer East-German Federal Lands of Brandenburg and Sachsen. The Sorbian language has Upper and Lower dialects, each having the literature form. The Sorbs have kindergardens, primary schools and one secondary school. Sorbian is taught as a subject in five other secondary schools as well.

The Udmurts, a Finno-Ugric people, live mostly in the Udmurt Republic, an administrative unit located 1200 km to the east of Moscow. According to the 2002 population census, there are 637 thousand of Udmurts, of whom 67 per cent speak the Udmurt language. Two-thirds of the Udmurts live in Udmurtia, and the rest in the adjacent republics of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan, and in the Perm and Kirov districts of the Russian Federation. The education policy of the Udmurt Republic has been to limit the teaching of Udmurt language, as a rule, to primary classes of rural schools only.

Text of the letter