Evgeniy Nikolaychuk on Vesti.FM: introduction of ’nationality’ box is a return to the Soviet past

Evgeniy Nikolaychuk on Vesti.FM: introduction of ’nationality’ box is a return to the Soviet past

The First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Nationalities, Valery Rashkin, proposed to return the ‘nationality’ box to passports during the census, noting that this would be a response to the public request. "But the question arises: is it really necessary for society?" the analyst of Vestnik Kavkaza, Evgeny Nikolaychuk, said in the National Question program on Vesti FM.

It is assumed that the inhabitants of Russia will be able to choose any nationality during the 2020 census, while it is important to prevent the falsification of data. The main thing is to see the real picture, the expert noted.

It is curious that in the Russian Empire, religion was more important than nationality. In the USSR, the ‘nationality’ box in passports was mandatory, and it was impossible to register as a Russian, Chukchi or Jew, without relatives of these nationalities. “However, not everyone liked to be considered a representative of small nations, and many tried to become Russianized,” Evgeniy Nikolaychuk said.

Historically, the nationality as a concept appeared in the 19th century in Europe. That time that the process of the formation of European nations took place. The ‘nationality’ box was also borrowed by tsarist Russia, but after the revolution, it was abolished. The fifth paragraph was reintroduced by Stalin in 1932. It was then that the Decree "On the establishment of a unified passport system for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the compulsory registration of passports" was issued, according to which all citizens of the USSR over 16 years old should obtain passports, where their nationalities were indicated. Since that time, the ‘nationality’ box has become an obligatory fifth paragraph in the passport of a USSR citizen. Some post-Soviet states abolished this practice after gaining independence, thus, having put forward citizenship in the first place, the expert explained.

“Today's possible introduction of the ‘nationality’ box is quite controversial: I’m sure that for most of the country's inhabitants it will seem like a return to the Soviet past. And it’s not entirely clear why to discuss some extra boxes in the passports if the government has set the task to replace passports with electronic identity cards”, - Yevgeny Nikolaychuk summed up.

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