Albert Razin (photo. mariuveren.com)
An academic in central Russia died Tuesday after setting himself on fire over what has been reported as an act of protest over perceived government policy against his native language.
Albert Razin, 79, was hospitalized in critical condition in the republic of Udmurtia after committing an act of self-immolation outside an administrative building in the city of Izhevsk.
“If my language dies tomorrow then I’m ready to die today,” read one of two signs Razin was wearing, according to the U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty news outlet’s regional affiliate. The text appeared to borrow a line from Dagestani poet Rasul Gamzatov’s poem “Native Language.”
Here is a video of Udmurtian people saying good-bye to Albert Razin.