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Rand Simberg

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March 22, 2014 - 12:12 am
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NEW YORK (Routers) Russia signaled concern on Wednesday at New York City’s treatment of its large ethnic Russian minority in Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach, comparing language policy in the region with what it said was a call in Ukraine to prevent the use of the Russian language.

Russia has defended its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula by arguing it has the right to protect Russian speakers outside its borders, so the reference to linguistic tensions in another part of the world comes at a highly sensitive moment.

Russia fully supported the protection of the rights of linguistic minorities, a Moscow diplomat told the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, according to a summary of the session issued by the UN’s information department.

“Language should not be used to segregate and isolate groups,” the diplomat was reported as saying. Russia was “concerned by steps taken in this regard in Brooklyn as well as in Ukraine,” the Moscow envoy was said to have added.

The region, also known as “Little Odessa” after its many former Ukrainian residents, has long had a large Russian-speaking population, starting with refugees from the Soviet Union in the 1930s, followed by many Holocaust survivors after the war. More recently, with the fall of the Soviet Union, there has been an influx of immigrants from former central Soviet republics.

The Russian remarks echoed long-standing complaints over the New York City school district’s insistence that the large Russian minority in the neighborhood should be able to speak English, and use that as the language of instruction in PS 100, Intermediate School 303, William E. Grady Vocational High School, and Abraham Lincoln High.

But amid the growing Crimea crisis, Governor Cuomo has expressed  apprehension over Moscow’s intentions, though communist-sympathizing Mayor William de Blasio seems…deblasé. The new government in New York, a de Blasio aide declared, was reinvigorating its promotion and protection of the rights of minorities “to the highest international standards.”

The school district told the rights council that UN experts had found no credible evidence of mistreatment of its Russian minority as alleged by Moscow — one of whose pro-Kremlin newspapers said this week there was “bloodshed almost like in Syria” in the neighborhood east of Ocean Parkway during a recent visit from MSNBC host Al Sharpton.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is currently in the critical Coney Island peninsula as part of a trip to reassure it of Washington’s support. Between thrilling rides on the B&B Carousell, alternating horsies, he denounced Moscow’s threatened moves to annex the region as a “blatant, blatant disregard of international law. Really blatant. Did I say it would be blatant? Because that’s what it would be.”

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All Comments   (23)
All Comments   (23)
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If we give New York to the Russians, will anybody else notice? And in particular, will the taxpayers?
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ha Ha.

Good work. A little detail though. Most of the "Russians" in Brighton Beach are not ethnic Russians. They are Jews who left the former Soviet Union. In the Soviet Union their internal passport documents were marked Jew in the nationality category, not Russian.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
That didn't stop the Czar from hypocritically using the treatment of Jewish Russian nationals (often disclaimed by the mother country) as a club against Turkey. It's been done before.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
What if a gang of stooges decides New York should secede and join the United Kingdom? (NY UK, NY UK, NY UK...)
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh brother. If more countries pick up on this, the USA is dead.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Meanwhile around 25,000,000 invaders are still in America while our politicians negotiate with them for terms of our continuing surrender and tribute payments.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh, great, the last thing that Jewish community in Brighton Beach needs is for the jerk they escaped from to single them out. Reminds me of the time the Czar, who basically was conducting a one-sided war against his Jewish population, used the treatment of the Russian Jews living the Land of Israel as a pretext to cause trouble for Turkey.
On the other hand, they are one of the two Jewish populations in the US (the religious community is the other) in which a large percentage are politically Conservative. So maybe Obama would go for it.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh, it was a joke. Well, heck, how was I supposed to tell? Tomorrow it may actually be news. You can't satirize these people; the next day they top it.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Russians don't need to annex Brighton Beach, the Bratva got there years ago and De Blasio took over New York this year...visiting in a month or so. We want to remember it when it was still standing.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
They happen to be Conservative.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
*sigh*

Satire is hard when reality is unreal. The first 6 paragraphs could easily have been real.

Just in passing, the White House has been hinting that maybe Putin was lying about not planning to invade Eastern and Southern Ukraine, and it might happen this weekend. So y'all may be just ahead of time.

Subotai Bahadur
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Satire is hard when reality is unreal". The Onion sounds more & more like a legitimate newscast these days.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
You stole my joke!!!
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Very good, I love satire, that was satire wasn't it? Anyway the author forgot to mention for the residents of the area to not resist otherwise it might make the Russians even more aggressive and we can't have that can we.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
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