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Putin Signs Controversial Education Law

President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a controversial new law on education.
It guarantees education in the state language, which is Russian.
Under the law, which was signed December 31, the right to an education in the languages of Russia's ethnic minorities is officially recognized, but not completely guaranteed.
The law states that classes in non-Russian languages cannot be conducted to the detriment teaching in the Russian language.
It goes into effect on September 1, 2013.
When the draft of the law was under consideration in the Duma, it sparked protest rallies in several regions, including Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, and Chuvashia.
Critics said it would accelerate the decline of indigenous languages.
The issue gained nationwide attention when some ethnic Russian residents in Tatarstan protested against the mandatory teaching of Tatar in the republic's Russian schools.

*CORRECTION: This article has been corrected to reflect the law's effect on indigenous languages in Russia.

Based on reporting by Interfax and ITAR-TASS