– Be considered second-rate – VG


MEMORY: A man shows a photo of Naidal Tsyrenov, one of the many Buryat natives killed in Ukraine.

Indigenous peoples in Siberia, Muslims in the Caucasus and Crimean Tatars are among the peoples suffering from the mobilization of Vladimir Putin.

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The man in the photo shows a photo of Naidal Tsyrenov (24), who returned home to Ulan-Ude in Buryatia in a coffin, along with three other soldiers there who had also fought in Ukraine.

The Buryats are one of the peoples that have been mobilized in relatively higher numbers than others. Significantly superior, for example, to the Russians in the large cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg.

– It just shows a total lack of respect for human life. They simply believe that some are worth less than others. These are minority groups in Russia that are considered less valuable than the Russians, says Charlotte Flindt Pedersen, director of Det Udenrigspolitische Selskab in Copenhagen.

VICTIMS: Dagestan, a Muslim republic in the Caucasus, has the highest death toll of any warring Russian region. Here, the “Dagestan coat of arms” website has posted photos of some of the dead on Instagram.

– These are people who live in the countryside and who are considered less critical, less resourceful and easier to recruit than people in Moscow and St. Petersburg, he continues.

He has heard of numerous cases where men in entire villages have been mobilized for war.

– They pursue the minority population. While about one percent of the population is recruited in Moscow, it is 10 percent among Yakuts, Buryats, Dagestans … The population on the outskirts is much more vulnerable, continues Charlotte Flindt Pedersen.

An independent tally shows that the largest number of dead soldiers so far come from Dagestan in the Caucasus, he writes Media area.

There – as in other poor republics – the military and security forces are major employers.

The freeburyatiafoundation organization last week released a graph showing how strongly people from Buryatia are over-represented in the death statistics. According to the organization, there have been just over 127 Buryat dead per 100,000 of the male population aged 18 to 60. The corresponding figure for Russia is 16 and for the capital Moscow less than one.

There have been several demonstrations in Dagestan in recent days, not least by angry mothers.

Both in Buryatia, where indigenous Buryats dominate, and in Kalmyks, where there is a majority of Kalmyks, activists have begun to evacuate the men relevant to the mobilization, he said. Media area.

After Dagestan, Buryatia has the second largest number of soldiers killed.

The Buryats are a Mongolian people. They are trying to flee to Mongolia, but one resident described a giant queue over the weekend in Al Jazeera.

At the start of the war, the first coffins began to return to Buryatia and the capital Ulan-Ude. Now people are fed up.

In a video speech last weekend, the president of the International Mongolian Peoples Organization, Elbegdorj Tsakhia, called on Putin to stop the war.

– I know that since the beginning of this bloody war, ethnic minorities in Russia have suffered the most. The Burjat Mongols, the Tuva Mongols and the Kalmyk Mongols suffered greatly. They were only used as cannon fodder, he believes.

At the same time, the exiled Buryats have been active in defending and helping those who have ended up in war or been pushed to enlist.

On Twitter, Paul Niland, a businessman and writer in Ukraine for many years, calls the whole thing “ethnic cleansing”:

We ask Charlotte Flindt Pedersen of the Foreign Policy Society if she too calls it “ethnic cleansing”?

– No, it is not a targeted ethnic cleansing, but indirectly it can be said, because they think that these peoples are not equal to “us Russians”. Therefore, they can be used as soldiers. The minority population is not considered that important.

– The fewer the number of bearers of nations in the republics, the less chance the Russian state will fall apart. After Putin took power, he increasingly centralized power. Among other things, the heads of the republics lost the title of “president”. Only one was allowed to keep it, Ramzan Kadyrov in Chechnya, says Flindt Pedersen – and repeats that it is mainly about “treating minorities as less valuable than the Russians”.

In the region of the Crimean peninsula – the homeland of the Tatars and the part of Ukraine occupied by Russia since 2014 – 46 of the 48 people called to mobilize were of Tatar ethnicity, a Crimean Tatar resource center said. New York Timeswhich also cites Ukrainian officials who say that “the Tatars have been mobilized in disproportionate numbers in relation to their share of the population”.

– When we analyze the mobilization, we clearly see that this is a continuation of the genocide of the Crimean Tatars, says Eskender Bariyev, director of the resource center, to the New York Times.

– We are already too few of us.

Zelenskii says that indigenous peoples are being exterminated

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj pekte in a Sunday night speechtargeting Russian soldiers, on the same:

Russia uses criminal mobilization not only to prolong the suffering of people in Ukraine and to further destabilize the world, but also to physically exterminate representatives of indigenous peoples.

In front of New York Times activists and officials say that ethnic minorities in Russia and occupied areas in Ukraine have been “so disproportionately affected by the mobilization that they are clearly discriminatory”.

Inna Sangadzhieva herself comes from Kalmykia. She came to Norway over 20 years ago, but she has contacts with relatives in the republic just north of the Caucasus, on the Caspian Sea. She currently works as Head of the Department for Eastern Europe and Central Asia in the Helsinki Committee.

– I talked to my parents, he says softly.

FRA KALMYKIA: Inna Sangadzhieva and Helsingforskomiteen.

– They are shocked by the way they are treated. They thought they lived in a civilized country, but in practice this is not the case. They woke up to a reality that they repressed in many ways.

Sangadzhieva talks about the huge differences. A teacher at home in his beloved Kalmykia earns perhaps a fifth of what a man can earn if he becomes a soldier. You speak of people fleeing, of networks, of diasporas abroad. And she also talks about another fear:

– We risk radicalization in these republics.

– What could happen?

– When indigenous peoples and minorities are constantly hunted down and seen as second-class people, they react. It could be a time bomb. It could be a potential basis for civil war.

Sangadzhieva specifically refers to Dagestan and other Caucasian republics.

– There are a lot of protests there now, and we know there are a lot of weapons in the North Caucasus from the wars of the 1990s and 2000s.

It is clear that this is not a “partial mobilization”, as Putin put it. It is full mobilization. Moscow is trying to bring as many soldiers as possible.

– Everyone who has been sitting apathetically in front of the TV now finds that the state is standing in both military boots in their living room and wants their son or husband. Then it is completely different than it has been until now.

– How do indigenous peoples and minorities interpret the fact that there are relatively more people from their regions than from large cities?

– They are interpreted in the worst sense. And this is completely understandable. Because they experienced something similar in the Soviet era, and which is now being recreated by Putin and no one else.

Russian authorities are trying to find soldiers everywhere. Among other things, they have been around prisons and criminal victories and the call for an early amnesty for those willing to fight in Ukraine.

PS: Last week Vladimir Putin signed a new law which stipulates, among other things, that foreigners who spend at least one year in the Russian army will be able to apply for citizenship. They therefore waive the requirement of a five-year residence period. This is to attract migrant workers from the “stan countries” of Central Asia to the Russian army. Many of them work hard and poorly paid jobs.

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