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  • Writer's pictureDmytro Levus

DIVISION OF RUSSIA. TENDENCIES 24-30 November 2022


1. British sanctions against Russian officials, heads of the Idel-Ural, Center, Siberia, North and North Caucasus regions for organizing mobilization during Russia’s war against Ukraine


The UK introduced sanctions against the heads of Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kalmykia, Rostov, Belgorod, and Krasnodar regions. Sanctions are directly related to the active organization of mobilization for the war against Ukraine.


The British Foreign Ministry issued a press release announcing the inclusion of 22 Russian officials in the sanctions list. Ten region heads were designated, including those of the republics of the North Caucasian Federal District and the Volga Federal District.


James Cleverly – Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs


With this, the UK sanctioned the governor of the Krasnodar region Veniamin Kondratiev, the head of Ingushetia Mahmud-Ali Kalimatov, the head of Dagestan Sergey Melikov (in Dagestan, protests against the mobilization were violently dispersed at the end of September), the head of Kalmykia Batu Khasikov, the governor of the Rostov region Vasily Golubev, and the governor of the Belgorod region Vyacheslav Gladkov. In addition, the governors of the Omsk, Murmansk, Magadan, and Arkhangelsk regions were designated.


According to the UK, the above-mentioned governors participated in the organization of mobilization on the territory of Russia, which constitutes actions aimed at undermining the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence of Ukraine.


Dagestan, Ingushetia, and Kalmykia are named "some of the poorest ethnic republics of Russia, where the authorities recruited a significant number of conscripts".


In addition to the governors, five military commissars were sanctioned, including those from Moscow and Rostov Oblast, as well as the Head of Central Committee Ella Pamfilova, Head of the Election Committee of Rostov Oblast Andrei Burov, Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, Director of the Federal Penitentiary Service Arkadiy Gostev, Head of the Federal Bailiffs Service for Tula Oblast and the Rostov region Dmitrii Bezrukikh, leader of the Central Asian Society of Uzbeks of the Perm Territory Jahongir Jalolov (known for his proposal to create volunteer battalions of Uzbeks living in the Perm Territory to participate in the war against Ukraine).


Sanctioned officials are not allowed to enter the UK and their UK accounts and assets, if any, will be frozen.



2. IDEL-URAL STATE


On November 26, Atyan Ezyem - the Council of Elders of the Erzya people - recognized the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine as an act of genocide.


"Erzyans do not have a state, hence our resolution is a resolution of the national representative body - the Council of Elders. The document was initiated by a group of Erzyan combatants who are fighting on the side of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Perhaps Ukraine and Ukrainians will not pay attention to our decision, but we are doing it primarily to restore historical justice and to distance ourselves from the misanthropic empire. One cannot shout about Moscow's policy of ethnocide against the Erzyans but not notice and share the pain and suffering that Moscow has caused to other peoples. Therefore, this document is important for our spiritual healing to overcome colonial thinking," explained the member of Atyan Ezyem Vitaliy Romashkin.


The resolution declares:


1. To recognize the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine as an act of genocide of the Ukrainian people.

2. Translate the text of this Resolution into Ukrainian and English and send it to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

3. To recommend Inyazor and other representatives of Kirdiyur annually, on the last Saturday of November, in the host countries, to light the Candle of Remembrance and lay flowers at the memorials of Holodomor victims.


Boläeń Syreś Inäzoroś. Inauguration in Kyiv (2019)


It's worth noting that Boläeń Syreś Inäzoroś (Olexandr Bolkin, the chief elder of Erzyans) is a citizen of Ukraine and a veteran of the Russian-Ukrainian war. In 2019, he was elected by Inyazor against the position of the Mordovian leadership. For the first time, a non-Russian citizen was elected Inyazor. The inauguration took place in Kyiv, where the previous Inyazor handed over his powers. Currently, the Russian FSB and the occupying power in Mordovia (Saransk) have attempted to create parallel structures imitating the self-government of the Erzyan people, but these quasi-structures are ineffective. Ukrainian citizen Oleksandr Bolkin speaks about the problems of the Erzyans in the Erzyan language to the world. He has represented Ukraine at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples, where he raised the issue of Russia's assimilation of the Russian Federation's indigenous peoples and defended Ukraine's position. At the end of September, the Congress of the People of Erzya took place in Estonia, which caused great concern in the Russian Federation.



3. NORTH CAUCASUS AND CHECHNYA

The global problems arising in the Russian Federation in connection with the war against Ukraine and, accordingly, the strengthening of the sanctions policy, result in issues in Dagestan that were not of great importance before. A clear example is the resignation of the mayor of Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, Salman Dadaev.


This is a rather revealing and multi-layered situation. First of all, Dadaev, although born in Makhachkala and graduated from the local institute, is perceived as a person from Moscow, from the team of Moscow Mayor Sobyanin. For a long time, the mayor had a fierce conflict with the head of Dagestan, Sergei Melikov (a former Internal Troops and Russian Guard). Despite this, Dadaev stated that he would continue working until the end of his contract. His resignation and departure to the capital of the Russian Federation appear to signify a strengthening of the power bloc in the Caucasus. On the other hand, some sources indicate that Makhachkala ceased to be interesting financially since the main source of income for the mayor and his team was money fraud on so-called national projects (national projects of the federal scale, adopted in 2018 for 2019-2024, focusing on human capital, comfortable environment for life, and Economic growth; financed from the federal budget). Moreover, sources in Dagestan associate the end of funding for these national projects with the war against Ukraine.


Ramazan Alpaut, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalist


Another problem raised by the resignation of the mayor is the inter-ethnic relations in Dagestan and, more broadly, in the entire North Caucasus, in the context of the balance between peoples in power structures. Kumyk activist Ramazan Alpaut (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalist who lives in Prague, Czech Republic) notes that although most of the Dagestani cities, such as Makhachkala, are located in ethnic Kumyk territories, there are no Kumyk mayors. It's worth noting that since the Kumyks are Turks, the Kumyk language is the lingua franca in some territories of Dagestan, and Russia has been deliberately "de-Turkizing" since the days of the Russian Empire. At the same time, Moscow has been inciting confrontations between different peoples. Some of the Dagestani people follow and promote Moscow's policies more than others. Moreover, Kumyks, who are largely deprived by Moscow of the opportunity to make decisions, continue to go and fight in Ukraine.


Examples: “The mayor of Makhachkala resigned from his post. Surprisingly, almost all the cities of Dagestan are located in Kumukiya, but in none of them, even by chance, the mayor is a Kumyk. This fully fits into the logic of the struggle with the Turkic factor in Dagestan, which is widely spoken about. The Kremlin has systematically deprived Kumyks of opportunities to influence their lives even at a city level. Interestingly, do the Kumyks who go to fight for Russia not see this? Or have they suddenly become blind, deaf, and brainless?" "Continuing the thesis that the de-Turkization of Dagestan is not an accident, but a purposeful policy, let's turn to the "good Russians" of the first half of the 20th century. In this regard, the article of the Russian Eurasian linguist N. S. Trubetsky "About the peoples of the Caucasus", written in exile (he was a "good Russian" even then. Kasparov was late!) in 1925, is interesting and indicative in terms of its content and recommendations. His article resembles a holistic concept of politics concerning the Turks, although he personally, as is known, did not sympathize with the Bolsheviks who came to power in Russia. And yet the scientist, not jokingly alarmed by the development of "Turkic pressure" in Russia and in particular in the Caucasus, wrote the following: "The Kumyk language is the "international" language of almost the entire North Caucasus (from the Caspian Sea to Kabarda inclusively), Azerbaijani dominates in the greater parts of Transcaucasia (except the Black Sea coast) and, in addition, in Eastern Anatolia and Northern Persia. Both these languages are Turkic. It should be borne in mind that with the intensification of economic life, the use of "international" languages acquires such importance that it displaces native languages: many villages of the southern districts of Dagestan have already completely "azerbaijanized". It is hardly in the interests of Russia to allow such a Turkification of Dagestan. After all, if the whole of Dagestan is Turkified, it will create the most favorable conditions for the development of Pan-Turan ideas with a separatist, Russophobic slant. Dagestan should be used as a natural barrier on the way to the Turkification of this part of Eurasia.



4. SIBERIA AND THE FAR EAST

The story about the distribution of specially prepared ice to the families of conscripts in the Olokminskyi ulus district of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) became quite popular in Ukraine and other countries not only because of its exoticism and uniqueness (the production of drinking ice in Yakutia is one of the local traditions).


Excerpt from the story about the support of conscripts in Sakha (Yakutia)


The information appeared in several similar stories from Yakutia (in particular, one story revolved around the mayor of Yakutia distributing the products for making borscht to the families of conscripts). Akin stories are a part of the wider narrative concerning the support for the conscripts from the local center of national culture, which prepares charms for the mobilized and creates the impression of a loyal attitude to the so-called special military operation, at least in the South of the Sakha Republic. The story went viral in the Ukrainian mass media and social networks.



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