Indigenous peoples of Russia

Secret service discredits human rights organizations (Press Release)

In its search for raw materials, the Russian Federation tends to ignore the rights of its indigenous communities – which, on the other hand, are trying to protect the country from environmental degradation caused by the search for and extraction of raw materials. This is a thorn in the side of the Russian secret service: In an interview with the news agency TASS, the First Deputy Director of the secret service, General Vladimir Kulishov, complained about "foreign supporters" of the indigenous communities and about polar researchers. "The accusation that any protests against the Russian government are controlled by foreign agents is a classic of Putin's propaganda," explained Ulrich Delius, director of the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP). "The indigenous communities of Russia have every right to defend their territory and their way of life against the exploitative interests of the raw materials industry."

Kulishov is the head of the border surveillance authorities and the coast guard, which are subordinate to the FSB secret service. In the final phase of the Second Chechen War (1999 to 2009), he was head of the FSB in Chechnya (2006 to 2008), and he is accused of countless crimes against the civilian population. In August 2008, he became First Deputy Director of the FSB for all of Russia and deputy chairman of the National Anti-Terrorism Committee, and he has headed the coast guard and the border surveillance authorities since 2013. He has already received several military orders for his work. He has the rank of an army general because the FSB is attached to the army.

In 2012, it was decided that non-governmental organizations in Russia that receive donations from abroad must register as "foreign agents", and the according law has been tightened several times since then. For the organizations concerned, the obligation to register is a serious aggravation. As most of the organizations are not able to go without donations from abroad, many were indirectly forced to close.