Russia and the Mordovians: Common Destiny, Common Millenium Celebration (anniversary booklet, 2010)

booklet

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Speech at gala concert marking

the 1000th anniversary of the unity of the Mordovian people with the peoples of the Russian state

August 24, 2012, 18:15 Saransk

Courtesy the official site of the President of the Russian Federation

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PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Hello, friends! Greetings to Saransk and all of Mordovia!

I congratulate you on this major holiday: the 1000th anniversary of the unity of the Mordovian people with the peoples of the Russian state. This is a major event, not only for the Mordovian people and your republic, but for all of Russia, because from its very first steps, Russia was built as a multi-ethnic and multi-faith state.

Our ancestors – the Slavic, Ugro-Finnic, Turkic and other tribes – laid the foundation more than a thousand years ago and created a huge, powerful, united, centralised state that now stretches from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean. This is the great civilizational heritage that we must hold dear. It was our ancestors from the different ethnic groups who rallied and created a unified Russian people, the Russian nation. And what they accomplished is truly extraordinary. It is extraordinary because over the course of this long path, which has spanned a millennium, we have not lost the most important things we treasure: we have not lost our languages, our cultures and our traditions.

"The 1000th anniversary of the unity of the Mordovian people with the peoples of the Russian state is a major event, not only for the Mordovian people and your republic, but for all of Russia, because Russia was built as a multi-ethnic and multi-faith state."

Today, here on Mordovian soil, on this festive day, it is impossible not to remember the daughters and sons of the Mordovian people who have made an enormous input into our common wealth of Russia’s development. People like historian Vasily Klyuchevsky, Patriarch Nikon, and other outstanding cultural figures, historians and writers bring glory to all of Russia.

Mordovia has always been known for its talents. There have always been outstanding historians, cultural figures, workers, and athletes in Mordovia, and I have no doubt that there will be many more.

Thank you very much for your enormous input into Russia’s development!

I know that today we have many guests here from various parts of our vast Fatherland. And it is immediately apparent that we are all very different, but when we are together, we make up Russia.

Have a happy holiday!


Meeting of Council for Interethnic Relations

24 August 2012, 19:40, Saransk

Courtesy the official site of the President of the Russian Federation

 

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© Photo: the Presidential Press and Information Office

 

Vladimir Putin held the first meeting of the Presidential Council for Interethnic Relations in Saransk.

The Council includes representatives from all of Russia’s ethnic and cultural associations, scientific and expert communities, and heads of federal government agencies.

Before the meeting, the President took part in celebrations marking the 1000th anniversary of the unity of the Mordovian people with the peoples of the Russian state.

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PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, colleagues, friends,

I welcome you all to Saransk. We all know that a big celebration is underway here at the moment to mark the 1000th anniversary of the unity of the Mordovian people with the Russian people, with other peoples of Russia. I spoke about this just before at the public event. I think this is an important national event given that we live in a multi-ethnic and multi-faith country. Most important of all though, is that over the many centuries of life together, we have not lost the greatest pillars in the foundation of our life and the life of each of our peoples. We have not lost our national culture, language and traditions. Russia has always been famed for and proud of its cultural diversity, and this has always been the source of its strength. It is crucially important that we have managed to preserve this diversity through the centuries.

We are not at a public meeting now, but at a more down to earth event, and so I will allow myself to give a few figures.

According to the 2010 national census results, there are 193 peoples and ethnic groups in Russia today speaking 171 languages. Of these languages, 89 are taught in the state school system. I think I can confidently say that no European country offers such a level of protection of citizens’ ethno-cultural rights.

It is symbolic that the Council for Interethnic Relations should be holding its first meeting here amidst this festive celebratory atmosphere. The Council was established, as you recall, in June, with the main task of serving as an effective mechanism for cooperation between the state authorities and the public in this very sensitive and very important area.

This Council must become a forum where we can discuss frankly the current issues in interethnic relations, without having to smooth over the thornier edges. We need to draw people representing all of the various public and political forces into these discussions, not reject anyone, and study and analyse the competing proposals, except for blatantly extremist proposals.

All reasonable and substantive ideas should be incorporated into the work to develop modern policy approaches that will help us to achieve and strengthen interethnic harmony and peace.

I hope that the non-governmental organisations and national-cultural autonomous regions that you head will be active partners and show interest in working together with the state institutions.

Today, we need to outline the main strategic directions for our work together. Let me say what I see as the main priorities on which we should focus our attention.

First, we must strengthen Russia as a unique world civilisation. We must remember that our country has traditionally always had regional diversity, ethno-cultural and religious diversity, and over the centuries this has been preserved, not suppressed. This diversity’s continued preservation today is not just the guarantee that Russia’s statehood has a solid foundation, but is also our great competitive advantage. No other country in the world has such a wealth of peoples and languages. In Europe, for sure, no country can match us here, and I think even in the United States it is so. True, the USA is a land of immigrants, but still, I think that no other country has Russia’s diversity.

At the same time, we are fully justified in speaking of the key cementing role played by the Russian language and by the Russian people and its great culture.

Let me make the point clear that neither religion nor ethnicity must divide Russia’s peoples and citizens. On the contrary, we must create the environment that gives equal opportunities to all of our citizens. We are all citizens of this country and we are all absolutely equal in rights.

This brings me to my second priority: we need to strengthen our multi-ethnic people’s sense of civic unity. Lately, I, and my colleagues, so I am told, have made frequent reference to the Soviet period.

Let me say that nostalgia for the past is perfectly explainable. We must take into account the positive experience built up over past decades. I add - given that I myself have made public reference to the Soviet period - that we must take care at the same time not to idealise anything, and this includes the Soviet Union’s interethnic relations policies. Looking back at the project to forge a “new historic community” – the “Soviet people”, we can say that this project was never completed, and not everyone accepted it. There will never be complete and total agreement on such issues.

But the most important thing of all, on which we should focus today, is the need for qualitatively new approaches that take into account modern developments in society, in government, in our country and the world. Of course it is not possible to mechanically reproduce something from the past, and sometimes it is counterproductive to try to do so. Whatever the case, the result will not be effective. But we must nevertheless assess the past for the positive experience it offers and take this into account.

The complex, multidimensional problem we are working on today cannot be resolved with an executive order or a law, although naturally, a corresponding regulatory framework must be created. We will nevertheless need a great deal of time, effort, analytical work, discussions and reflection. I believe the Council should make a sizable, possibly decisive contribution to this process, and here, I count on your active help.

The third priority is harmonising interethnic relations and preventing interethnic conflicts. Russia’s unified territory has been built over the course of centuries, as I have already stated twice today. However, the values of interethnic harmony were not a gift from our ancestors that will last forever. Such traditions must be constantly maintained. Moreover, life moves forward; new challenges, risks and threats arise. And this requires the highest level of attention from the government and our society, as well as some fairly meticulous day-to-day work.

Let me stress that we do not have the right to ignore any negative tendencies that occur in this sphere, and we must understand that conflicts may not only weaken the state, but also destroy its very foundations. Today, more and more often, under the guise of developing democracy and freedom, various nationalist groups are raising their heads. They participate in rallies, work on the Internet and among teenagers and students, using slogans of “Russian,” “Tatar,” “Caucasus,” or other “regional” nationalism. In essence, they are all pushing and provoking separatist tendencies inside our nation. It is important to suppress this dangerous influence. And together, we must make tolerance, respect toward the culture and way of life of other individuals, other peoples, other ethnicities one of the key notions in our society.

I ask the Council members to present suggestions on how to organise work in this direction at universities, schools and preschools. This is particularly relevant for major cities and regions that have large ethnic and cultural communities of working migrants.

Furthermore, we can see that often, the root of conflicts occurring seemingly on an ethnic basis is something entirely different – citizens’ distrust of the authorities and government. The widely known events in Kondopoga, Sagra, and Manezhnaya Square in Moscow are, first and foremost, the result of inaction by law enforcement agencies and irresponsible bureaucrats. Corruption and prejudice among representatives of state bodies, and their inability to provide justice and defend people’s interests, are fuelling ethnic conflicts and tension; and for some people, it is directly advantageous to channel citizens’ indignation over injustice and transform it into interethnic conflicts.

I want to emphasise that supporting interethnic harmony, assuring prompt and competent resolution of potential conflicts, promoting dialogue between members of different communities and advocating tolerance must become a priority at all levels of government – particularly, to a large extent, municipal governments. It is at the local level, in specific cities, towns and villages, that the absolute majority of potential conflict situations and problems occur. And it is there that we can and must effectively resolve them, or better yet, timely and adequately react to them and prevent them.

I also ask you to give interethnic issues close, special attention – actually, I will not only ask but also give corresponding instructions to the presidential plenipotentiary envoys in the federal districts. Clearly, it is also imperative to have citizen oversight. I feel that such mechanisms can be created with the help of our Council. I believe the Council can initiate expert evaluations of legislation and key decisions in interethnic relations. To do this, cooperation with the State Duma, regional parliaments, and relevant ministries and departments would be expedient.

The next challenge is to ensure the successful integration and adaptation of foreign and domestic migrants. Migration plays a significant role in many nations around the world. Russia is no exception. We are already in second place after the United States in terms of the number of migrants coming here, and like other nations, we have encountered problems with interethnic tension. That is why, to make use of the positive potential the migration has – and that potential is great, - we must modernise the entire system of migration management.

It is very important to create adequate conditions for integrating migrants, defending their rights and freedoms and assuring their social protection. At the same time, the migrants must also abide by Russian laws and migration rules, respect our traditions, culture, and rules of behaviour of the regions they are coming to. Only this kind of mutual respect can give us harmony, rather than create close ethnic groups.

Let me stress that the ethnic communities themselves should play a particular role in migrants’ adaptation, taking migrants under their patronage, providing social support and, most importantly, using the infrastructure of their cultural and educational centres to teach their compatriots about the traditions and customs of the region where they come to live and work. Naturally, they will need support from the government as well, and here, we do need a dialogue between the various structures of civil society and government.

Russia strives to ensure the cultural integration of migrants, to accelerate their assimilation based on our nation’s culture. Thus, we need to specify objectives to the Government and regional leaders to create a network of state bridging programmes for migrant workers and their children. And our Council could participate in this work.

I ask you to get involved in putting together a reading list of 100 books recommended for schoolchildren and university students outside the mandatory school curriculum. It should include works that touch on the traditions of mutual respect between different peoples and ethnic groups that have historically resided within the Russian Federation’s territory.

Colleagues,

Managing interethnic relations is a challenge for governmental and social structures. And the national policy strategy that we will need to develop and adopt should not be formed in isolation, exclusively on a bureaucratic level. It is very important for it to be based on extensive public discussion, including within the framework of our Council. Gathered here are highly qualified specialists and respected leaders of ethnic associations who could take charge of this process and actively participate in it.

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VLADIMIR PUTIN: This is a very solid gathering today. You are all experienced people fully immersed in the issue and the substance it entails. But I do not want us to meet simply once or twice a year, discuss things and then go our separate ways. I hope very much, as I said at the start, that we can put the potential of everyone here to good use so as to resolve this issue of such importance and sensitivity for our country – the issue of strengthening interethnic relations.

The speakers today talked about establishing the Council’s working mechanisms, and we will most certainly discuss setting up specific working groups for the different areas. The heads of these working groups will form the Council’s board, which will meet more regularly and discuss in closer focus the various aspects of this big and multifaceted issue.

COMMENT: Together with the ministers.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Yes, together with the ministers. By the way, some ministers are here today, but we will also invite other ministers with whom you think we should discuss matters that come under their responsibility. I am sure that the heads of our ministries and agencies will be happy to take part in this work because it will also provide them with a form of feedback on their ministries’ and agencies’ work and on the actual situation at the practical level, thus enabling us to make adjustments to the government’s work.

And finally, I want to thank all of you for agreeing to take part in this work together. Thank you everyone.

 

 

Presidential instructions

following a meeting with Council for Interethnic Relations

June 29, 2012, 18:00

Courtesy the official site of the President of the Russian Federation

 

Vladimir Putin approved a list of instructions issued following a meeting with members of the Presidential Council for Interethnic Relations.

Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky was instructed to consider holding a yearly national folk festival Together We are Russia and to submit corresponding suggestions.

Communications and Mass Media Minister Nikolai Nikiforov was instructed to submit suggestions on launching a television programme on the history, culture and traditions of different peoples in Russia to be broadcasted on a federal television channel.




1000-Year Unity of the Mordovian People with Peoples of the Russian State

 

On 13 January 2009, the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the Decree“On celebration of the 1000-year Unity of the Mordovian People with Peoples of the Russian State”.

The Decree particularly states:

“Considering historical and cultural significance of coexistence and common intellectual values of peoples of Russia and in connection with the 1,000th anniversary of Mordovian people unity with the Russian state nations, I resolve:

1. To accept the proposal of the Republic of Mordovia public authorities to celebrate 1000-year Unity of the Mordovian People with Peoples of the Russian State in 2012.

2. The Government of the Russian Federation relying upon the presentation from the Republic of Mordovia public authorities is charged to approve:

- the membership of the steering committee for organising and holding the celebration of the 1000-year Unity of the Mordovian People with Peoples of the Russian State;

- the plan of main activities related to organizing and holding the celebration of the 1000-year Unity of the Mordovian People with Peoples of the Russian State.

3. The public authorities of The Russian Federation entities are recommended to take part in organizing and holding the celebration of the 1000-year Unity of the Mordovian People with Peoples of the Russian State”.

Mordovia is one of the most interesting and original centers of national culture in Russia. The Republic has developed a unique ethno-cultural environment characterized by the atmosphere of inter-ethnic harmony and cooperation.

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The 1st International Festival "Shumbrat, Finno-Ugria!" held in the summer of 2007 in Saransk, and attended by representatives of the Finno-Ugric peoples from around the world, proves this.

Our republic was then visited by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his colleagues - President of Finland Tarja Halonen and Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany.

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(few videos from the Festival recorded during 23rd IFUSCO in Saransk: opening ceremony of the 23rd IFUSCO / Toorama / Mordovian folk song / finnougric dance /Mordovian dance / [Loituman] Ievan polka)

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The topic of the Finno-Ugric cooperation and revival of the ethnic culture is very important for Mordovia. In 2007, the Volga Cultural Center of Finno-Ugric Peoples and, within its structure, the Inter-Regional Research Center of Finno-Ugric Studies were established in Saransk; the All-Russian “Finno-Ugric Newspaper” was first issued.

 

Saransk also serves as the activity coordination centre of the All-Russian Public Movement "Association of the Finno-Ugric Peoples of the Russian Federation", as for the past several years the organization has been headed by representatives of Mordovia.

In September 2009, the 4th Congress of the Finno-Ugric Peoples of Russia was held in Saransk, which, by its ideology and the scale of its organization, was in tune with the1st International Festival of Cultures of the Finno-Ugric peoples.

 

 

Folk holidays are of great importance for the formation of ethnic and national identity. For the first time in the history of the Republic of Mordovia, the annual holding of the national folk festivals "Aksha Kelu", "Rasken Ozks", "Velen Ozks", " Sabantuy” (traditional Tatar folk festival), "Day of Slavic Literature and Culture” are provided for by the decree of the Head of the Republic. In 2006, the celebration of the All-Russian folk holiday Sabantuy was held in Saransk.

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A special role in preservation and continuation of national traditions of life and culture is given to the museums and ethnographic complexes operating in the villages of StarayaTerizmorga and Podlesnaya Tavla. The National Culture Center, including a workshop for handicrafts operates in Staraya Terizmorga. An open air ethnographic museum is created there. An experimental art school of woodcarving operates in Podlesnaya Tavla.

The Institute of National Philology and Culture is established at the Mordovian State University in order to train specialists for national cultural institutions; folk dances, the history of national costume, and applied arts are studied there.

The Pushkin Republican National Library provides opportunities for the development of culture and languages and information exchange.

It is expected, that a new incentive to the development of ethnic flavour of the region will be given during the celebration of 1000-year Unity of the Mordovian People with Peoples of the Russian State as a significant block of commemorative events aimed specifically at preserving and enriching the language and culture of the Mordovians and other ethnicities living in Mordovia, at the support of all forms of folk art, strengthening of the material and technical equipment of culture, arts, education and science institutions, at cultural interaction with the Mordovians living outside Mordovia, and, in general, at expanding cultural exchanges with other regions.

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1000 YEARS TOGETHER

The conclusion that the ancient Mordovians were directly involved in the formation of Kievan Rus', were announced by the Mordovian scientists in 2006. They said that the history of the state relations between the Mordovian and Russian peoples is not 500 years long, as it had been officially considered before, but more than 1000 years. According to them, starting from the 9th – 10th centuries the Moksha and Erzya Mordovians took an active part in the construction, protection and development of the Russian state. The fact that theMordovians pioneered the ancient Russian state had already been asserted previously by several well-known Soviet scientists. Thanks to the initiative of the Mordovian scientists the fact of 1000 years of solidarity of the Mordovian, Russian and other peoples within the Russian state was officially confirmed by the scientists of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

"The process of infusion of the Mordovian people into the Russian state was a very long one and took several centuries," states the expert opinion letter. – “There is no doubt that it originates in the 9th–11th centuries, and has a historical basis. As the chronological point of reference, the events and the situation in the end of the 10th century were taken, when the chronicle mentions the payment of tribute by the Mordovians to the Russian princes, which, both at that time and much later, was one of the main evidences of citizenship. In this case, the polysemantic term "tribute" meant the totality of duties and taxes, and was not reduced to the meaning of payments by the defeated party to the conquerors. It was then that the "national policy" began to take shape, which was subsequently inherent to the Muscovy (Moscow state) and the Russian Empire - the gradual integration of the peoples and regions into its structure.

Initially, the traditional social structure in the new territories remained intact. For a long time central authorities were content with the reception of unobtrusive regular duties, involvement of the local population during the military campaigns, and loyalty to the supreme Sovereign. That is exactly the status the Mordovians had in the Old Russian State”.

“One thousand years ago Russia was at the dawn of its statehood, but even then, traditions of mutual respect, friendship and support between the ethnicities that made up the new country had been established.

The Mordovian people made a natural, historic choice to live and develop within a unified country. This allowed them to retain their identity yet work with other nationalities to create our common state.

This is where things stand, in my opinion. Indeed, they set about creating a common state. Finno-Ugric peoples truly were among the originators of the Russian statehood, who worked together with Slavic peoples to create our country.

This is why we plan to celebrate the forthcoming anniversary as a nationwide holiday, which will involve regional, federal and international events… the main point is the long-term effect of the anniversary celebrations.

Our strategic objective is to create the conditions in Russia, in particular in the Republic of Mordovia, that will allow the Finno-Ugric languages and culture to flourish, their rich legacy to be studied, and their friendly contacts with related ethnicities in other countries to be expanded.”

From the speech of the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at the opening session of the steering committee charged with organizing the celebrations of the 1000-year Unity of the Mordovian People with Peoples of the Russian State. December 16, 2009.

Director of the Research Institute for the Humanities of the Government of the Republic of Mordovia Valeriy Yurchenkov believes that there is a sufficient evidence base of written sources and archaeological findings of ancient relationship between the Mordovians and the Slavs.

According to Russian archaeologists, the penetration of the Slavs into the Mordovian lands began in the 5th century: everyday objects and traces of the ritual of cremation, which were characteristic for Slavic tribes, were found in the ancient Mordovian burials of that period.

Since the 8th to the 10th centuries "the forest people" (Mordovians) and its neighbouring Slavs - Vyatichi and Krivichi - were under the power of the Khazarian Empire, and paid tribute to it. In 965, Prince Svyatoslav, the grandson of Rurik, organized a campaign against the Khazars and scored a crushing victory over them. All tribes, including the Mordovians, being freed from dependence of the Khazarian Empire, became tributaries of Kievan Rus’.

According to the Director of the Institute of Russian History of Russian Academy of Sciences A. N. Sakharov, the victory over the Khazars allowed Svyatoslav to conclude a treaty with the Volga Region peoples. And when in 985, his son Vladimir the Red Sun walked through the Mordovian lands to the Volga Bulgaria, the local population did not offer him any resistance. This means that the agreement made by his father, continued to operate.

“The Mordovian and Russian peoples are closely bound by their history and enormous shared heritage. It is crucial that current and future generations understand this and appreciate everything we have amassed over centuries.”

From the speech of the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at the 2nd session of the steering committee charged with organizing the celebrations of the 1000-year Unity of the Mordovian People with Peoples of the Russian State. Saransk, June 10, 2011.

Administrative relations between the Mordovian people and the Princes of Kiev are confirmed by many sources. “The Tale of the Destruction of the Russian Land" (the beginning of the 13th century) states that "the Mordovians were farming wild honey for the Grand Prince Vladimir". The author of the chronicles also provides a clear chronological timing of the existence of the Mordovians being a part of Russia – it was the time of the reign of Vladimir Monomakh (1053-1125), Yuri Dolgorukiy (late 1090's-1157) and Vsevolod the Big Nest (1154 - 1212).

Historian V. O. Klyuchevsky argued that the relationship between the Finno-Ugrians and Slavs were peaceful. Neither written sources, nor the folk traditions of the Great Russian refer to any kind of hostile manifestations. On the contrary - there was interpenetration of cultures: Mordovian holidays were timed to the Russian folk or church festivals, Russian words were inserted into the prayers to pagan gods. In turn, during the first religious reform, which was supposed to unite all the allied tribes, Vladimir the Red Sun included the Mordoviangoddess of fertility and agriculture Mokosh into the pantheon of Slavic gods.

Active policy of the rulers of the Old Russian state in the Mordovian lands is proved by the objects of Slavic armed forces weapons which are fairly common in the Mordovian land. For example, in early 1980’s, a Mordovian archaeologist V. Shitov found a double-bladed Carolingian sword which lay beside the remains of a cremated warrior in the Shoksha burial ground. Perhaps, it was a member of a military unit of the Kievan princes.

In 1999-2000, metal pendants with a princely sign of Vysheslav Vladimirovich (who reigned in 980 – 1010) were found in the Mordovian Kelgininskiy burial ground (in Zubova Polyanadistrict of the Republic). This finding indicates that at the turn of 10th – 11th centuries, representatives of the Russian princely administration were in the Mordovian lands. It also confirms that most of these territories were under the jurisdiction of the Old Russian state.

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Pendant with a mark of the Rurik dynasty. Beginning of XI-thcentury.

Bronze, tin-lead alloy. Kelginskyburial ground.

Zubovo-Polyansky district.Republic of Mordovia

 

Metal pendants with marks of the Rurik dynasty were given to administrative officials, which acted on behalf of those knyazes, whose marks were on the pendants.

It was earlier known of only nine such pendants, which were discovered in internal districts of the Old Russian state. Discovery of pendants within the territory of the Republic of Mordovia in the years 1999 and 2000 became a real scientific sensation.

According to scientists first mark belonged to elder son ofVladimir I - Vysheslav, which occupied Novgorodsky post since the end of 980-s until the year 1010. Second mark belonged either to Vladimir I himself or his son Boris.

Pendants with marks of the Rurik dynasty once again prove that western districts of present-day Mordovia were in the spheres of interest and under the jurisdiction of Russian knyazhesky

Russian researchers believe that these findings say about the process of development of feudal settlement of tribal lands. Crosses and icons depicting the Virgin Mary and the first Russian saints Boris and Gleb, found in the Mordovian land, date back to the 11th - 12th centuries.

It was not once that the Mordovians, freed from the power of the khans, as part of the Moscow principality, took part in the fight against the Golden Horde together with the Russian. Chronicles report about this joint struggle against the Tatar feudalists. For example, in 1444, the Horde Prince Mustafa made a campaign at the Ryazan principality and ruined the latter. Troops were sent against Mustafa, including "the Mordovians on skis, with sulitsas (variety of ancient weapons in the form of a short throwing spears), bear-spears and sabres".

In the 15th century, a clear unbreakable community of the Mordovian lands and Russian territory was shown. In the spiritual charter of Ivan III of 1504, the Mordovian Volga region is presented as a geographical area that had long operated within the Russian state. The Mordovian people actively participated in the Kazan campaigns of Ivan IV.

An important part of the Mordovian history and one of the brightest symbols of unity of the Mordovian people with the peoples of Russia were the events of the Interlunation, when in autumn of 1612 heroic actions of military men and people of the Mordovian land, who protected the borders of the country, did not allow the nomads to attack the central regions and to prevent the expulsion of the invaders. During a major raid to the south-eastern frontiers of the Russian state, Alatyr governor A. Khilkov addressed a Mordovian mirza Bayush with a request to collect Tatar mirzas and the Mordovians and come to defend rears of troops of K. Minin and D. Pozharsky. The allied forces of the Russians, Mordovians and Tatars defeated the enemy which was very important for successful actions of the voluntary military forces, thus facilitating recreation of the unified multi-ethnic Russian state. These events make holding of the main commemorative events of the Millennium in 2012 very significant, as it marks 400 years of the end of the Interlunation in Russia.

These facts are the historical grounds for celebration of the 1000-year Unity of the Mordovian People with Peoples of the Russian State at the federal level.

“1000-year Unity of the Mordovian People with Peoples of the Russian State has historical significance for theMordovian people and the Finno-Ugric community in Russia. At its deepest sense, this anniversary will be a symbolic event in the life of the country; it will cause international interest, especially in the countries of the Finno-Ugric world...

The format of the upcoming anniversary differs substantially from the already familiar ideology of voluntary "entry" and corresponds to the real complexity and naturalness of the historical process. Together we created the Russian state. We were together both during the victories, and in severe trials...

It is symbolic that the main commemorative events will be held in 2012, which marks 400 years since the end of the Interlunation in Russia. And the celebration of the Millennium may become one of the main components of the nationwide celebrations of the date of the revival of Russian statehood. “

From the speech of the Head of the Republic of Mordovia Nikolay Merkushkin at the opening session of the steering committee charged with organizing the celebrations of the 1000-year Unity of the Mordovian People with Peoples of the Russian State. December 16, 2009.

Thus, the upcoming anniversary is intended to emphasize, first and foremost, a historical unity of all peoples in Russia, contributing to the strengthening of its statehood; participation in the process of formation of the Russian state of many ethnic groups, including the Mordovians as one of the state-forming peoples; as well as the great importance of preservation of the unique socio-cultural landscape in the territory of Russia as a basis for ensuring its integrity and efficient, sustainable development. Undoubtedly, the commemorative activities will also contribute to the consolidation of the Finno-Ugric community, promotion of culture of the Finno-Ugric peoples, enrichment of international cultural ties.


MEETINGS OF THE STEERING COMMITTEE CHARGED WITH ORGANISING THE CELEBRATIONS OF THE 1000-YEAR UNITY OF THE MORDOVIAN PEOPLE WITH PEOPLES OF THE RUSSIAN STATE

MOSCOW

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin chaired at the 1st meeting of the steering committee charged with organising the celebrations of the 1000-year Unity of the Mordovian People with Peoples of the Russian State 16 December, 2009

Courtesy the official site of the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation

Moscow

Prime Minister Putin's introductory remarks:

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen,

Today is the first meeting of the steering committee charged with organising the celebrations of the 1,000th anniversary of the unification of the Mordovian and Russian peoples. The celebrations proper are scheduled for 2012.

We have enough time to properly organise this event.

One thousand years ago Russia was at the dawn of its statehood, but even then, traditions of mutual respect, friendship and support between the ethnicities that made up the new country had been established.

The Mordovian people made a natural, historic choice to live and develop within a unified country. This allowed them to retain their identity yet work with other nationalities to create our common state.

This is where things stand, in my opinion. Indeed, they set about creating a common state. Finno-Ugric peoples truly were among the originators of the Russian statehood, who worked together with Slavic peoples to create our country.

This is why we plan to celebrate the forthcoming anniversary as a nationwide holiday, which will involve regional, federal and international events. We need to develop an outstanding and memorable plan for the celebrations.

While it is certainly important that we create a festive atmosphere for people, the main point is the long-term effect of the anniversary celebrations.

Our strategic objective is to create the conditions in Russia, in particular in the Republic of Mordovia, that will allow the Finno-Ugric languages and culture to flourish, their rich legacy to be studied, and their friendly contacts with related ethnicities in other countries to be expanded.

Along with the restoration of monuments of historic and architectural interest, the Institute of the National Languages and Culture of the Finno-Ugric Peoples will be established at the University of Mordovia in Saransk. This institute is intended to become the centre of Finno-Ugric research and educational projects.

By the way, significant, I'd even say crucial, changes have taken place in Saransk in the time between my first and latest visits to the city. I didn't think so much could be done within such a short period. I would like to congratulate the republic and its government on this.

The forthcoming anniversary will be truly successful if the republic's economic development is given extra momentum. And naturally, we must ensure that our efforts make people's lives more comfortable, giving them access to modern health, education, cultural and athletic services.

A national theatre, the Mordovian Palace of Sports, an ice rink and two university dormitories are already open, and a unique cathedral is being constructed in the city centre.

There are other problems we must address over the next few years, primarily finishing construction on the Republican clinical hospital, which is 70% done. The first phases of construction should be completed this year. We also need to consider medical equipment for the hospital.

It is also necessary to finish construction on the main building and archives of the State University and pay special attention to infrastructure, mainly roads and health and educational facilities.

The majority of these projects will certainly be co-financed, using funds from both federal and regional budget. In some cases, for example in the construction of a new football arena, we will need to make use of public-private partnership mechanisms.

All in all, this will require clear-cut and well-coordinated work from all of us.

It is necessary to analyse all possibilities carefully and come up with an interesting, ambitious and, at the same time, realistic plan of events.

Let us discuss this project in detail now.

 

SARANSK

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin holds the 2nd meeting of the steering committee charged with organising the celebrations of the 1000-year Unity of the Mordovian People with Peoples of the Russian State 10 June 2011

Courtesy the official site of the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation

10.06.2011

Vladimir Putin’s opening remarks:

Ladies and gentlemen, friends, today we will hold the second meeting of the steering committee charged with organising the celebration of the 1,000th anniversary of the unification of the Mordovian and Russian peoples. These celebrations will be held in late summer or early autumn of 2012 – we just discussed it with Mr Merkushkin [head of the Republic of Mordovia Nikolai Merkushkin].

We have already identified the festivities and the key goals we will work on. The action plan has been adopted and is being carried out. This is why I believe that it is very useful to meet here in Saransk and discuss what progress is being made and what needs to be done to ensure that the anniversary is marked at a proper level.

I consider it appropriate that while preparing for this anniversary we traditionally pay much attention to developing the region and improving its social infrastructure; that is we have focused our resources on the most topical issues for local residents. This is the approach we used in St Petersburg, Kazan, Astrakhan and other Russian regions when preparing for and holding similar events.

Significant funds are being set aside for the festivities in Mordovia. The federal budget alone will allocate an additional 18 billion roubles for these purposes and these funds should be used with maximum efficiency for the benefit of the republic’s residents.

I would like to say that recently the government adopted a resolution on co-financing the construction of four sports facilities in Saransk. All these have been included in the celebrations programme and the republic will additionally receive 1.7 billion roubles to this end this year.

I’m referring to the children’s and youth Olympic reserve sports school for winter sports, water sports stadium, the Olympic training centre for racewalking –Mordovia is ahead of pack, globally in this type of sports – and the Yubileiny football stadium. Other issues and social projects are under consideration.

Going back to the festivities plan, I would like to emphasise that it is important that federal and regional authorities coordinate their efforts. Naturally, civil society institutions should be more actively involved in this work, including youth, veteran, environmental and educational organisations, ethnic and cultural associations and everyone who is interested in this process and this work.

In this respect, there is another topical and important issue. The upcoming festivities should be filled with the idea of reinforcing mutual trust, respect and friendship that have been supporting the unity of our multiethnic country for many centuries. The Mordovian and other Russian peoples are closely bound by their history and enormous shared heritage.

It is crucial that current and future generations understand this and appreciate everything we have amassed over centuries. This is why we will continue giving much attention to educational projects. Forums, exhibitions and folk art festivals are held to help people discover the richness and diversity of the Mordovian culture. These events are held to preserve and develop the ethnic traditions and the local language.

I am certain that together we will do our best so that the 1,000th anniversary of the unification of the Mordovian and Russian peoples is marked properly.

Mr Merkushkin, please, you have the floor.