Yavir V. Ethnic Discrimination in Ukraine and Russia in terms of Ethnopolitical Conflict
The influence of ethnopolitical conflict between Ukraine and Russia on mutual growth of xenophobia, which was recorded in both countries in 2014, is studied. The ethnopolitical conflict between Ukraine and Russia in 2014, which led to the annexation of Crimea by Russian Federation and manifestations of separatism on the East and South of Ukraine ended the peaceful coexistence phase of ethnic groups in Ukraine. Ethnopolitical instability, ethnic conflicts, xenophobia and discrimination based on ethnicity became a characteristic feature of national processes in Ukraine. Ethnopolitical conflict is accompanied by ethnic and political disintegration, sharp polarization of multiethnic society, deconsolidation, the increasing level of intolerance, xenophobia, extremism.
It is well known that any negative, destabilizing processes in the country lead to increased conflict role of ethnicity. As Russian Federation supports the disintegration processes in Ukraine, supports self-proclaimed DPR and LPR, the attitude to this state and its citizens involved in hybrid war in Ukraine deteriorated. According to recent opinion polls Ukrainian attitude to Russia and Russians and Russian to Ukraine and Ukrainian sharply and symmetrically have deteriorated.
At the same time the split in Ukrainian society on the pro-Ukrainian (supporting government actions to counteract the disintegration of Ukraine) and the pro-Russian part (supporting cooperation with Russia, federalization, DPR, LNR) has deepened. This is also confirmed by the opinion polls. Because of rising xenophobia in Russia and Ukraine manifestations of Russophobia and Ukrainophobia became frequent. Outstanding publicity was given to cases of xenophobia in the occupied territories – DPR, LPR, Crimea.
The situation of combating discrimination in Russia, unlike Ukraine, more complicated because of the lack of laws or specific provisions devoted to combating discrimination based on race, skin colour or ethnic origin. Of course, in the Constitution, federal laws are a number of rules that establish the equality of citizens and individuals, including racial and ethnic origin, and prohibit violations of equality. However, Russia continues to mistakenly call these provisions of anti-discrimination legislation, including at the state level. While the rules of sectoral legislation on equality have no practical significance, since in theory and in practice is unclear under what circumstances, on whose address and what requirements can be put forward in alleged violation of these rules. Legislation, law enforcement practice and legal debate in Russia do not offer any definitions or interpretations of key concepts belonging to the principle of equality, namely: «equality of rights and freedoms», «equal access» and «equal opportunity to exercise of rights».
In the Russian Federation was adopted separate universal law that provides an answer to these problems – from xenophobia, propaganda of national hatred and racism and ending terrorist activity – «On combating extremist activity». So, discrimination has actually been declared extremist activity. A lot of actions fall under extremist activity. The purpose of the law is to counter extreme forms of religious, ethnic, racial and social intolerance. Citizens of Russian Federation, foreign citizens and stateless persons are criminal, administrative and civil liability for extremist activity. Russian anti-discrimination legislation, despite the lack of specialized anti-discrimination law, unlike the Ukrainian one, doesn’t exempt from liability for acts of intolerance any of the categories of people, regardless of nationality. The practice of a number of administrative arrangements on the basis anti-discrimination law provides no basis to judge whether they can be used as a means of combating discrimination. The situation is aggravated by the fact that there are no special government agencies responsible for the prevention and elimination of discrimination in the Russian Federation on the federal or regional level.
The author concludes that conflict resolution is a necessary condition for minimizing the consequences relations between Ukraine and Russia xenophobization, considering the use of other political and legal mechanisms insufficient to reduce xenophobia.
Key words: xenophobia, discrimination, inter-ethnic enmity.