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Tatar Public Center Appeals To U.S. President For Help

U.S. President Barack Obama visited Russia on July 6-7.
KAZAN, Russia -- The Tatar Public Center in Kazan has sent an open letter to U.S. President Barrack Obama asking him to persuade Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to revise recently adopted laws on education in Russia's ethnic republics, RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service reports.

Russia's State Duma adopted the new law earlier this year eliminating classes on history, geography, and languages of the ethnic republics.

Activists in Tatarstan say the law could lead to the complete loss of the ethnic and linguistic identity of indigenous peoples in Russia's republics.

The open letter says: "New educational standards exclude the learning of native language, history, and national culture. We hope the United States can help us to protect our rights."