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  • Writer's pictureDmytro Levus

Division of Russia. Tendencies: December 29, 2022 - January 11, 2023

1. Regarding the results of the census in the Russian Federation


The results of the census in the Russian Federation, conducted in 2021, were announced and allow us to conclude the active assimilation processes of non-Russians taking place. At the same time, there are reasons not to take Russian statistics too seriously. The reason for this lies both in the traditional use of statistics by the Russian authorities for propaganda and implementation of their political goals and in the general degradation of state institutions, which are not capable of carrying out such measures qualitatively. The coronavirus pandemic also had an impact, leading the census to have a minimum number of surveys, according to the materials of the household books. As a result, for example, in the multi-ethnic Astrakhan region, about 15% of those covered by the census ended up with an empty "nationality" column.

One of the grassroots performers of the 2021 falsified census in Russia

As an example of assimilation, one can cite the decrease in the number of people such as Erzya and Moksha, which Russian statistics try to combine into Mordovians. In addition to the assimilation processes, it is worth noting Mordvinization, which is a stage of the further fusion of Erzyans and Moksha. According to the results of the all-Russian census in 2021, there were more than 484,000 people in Russia who identified as Mordovians. In 2010, the number was 744,000. At the same time, more than 220,000 declared that they speak the Mordovian language. In 2010, the number of such persons was 392,000. Of them, almost 20,000 people reported that their native language is Mokshan (in 2010, there were only 2,000), and more than 40,000 Erzyan.


The national composition of Bashkortostan looks like this: 4.09 million people in the republic took part in the census, of which 4.02 million indicated their ethnic identity. Of them, 1.5 million people identified as Russians (in 2010, the figure was 1.4 million people), 1.27 million people identified as Bashkirs (compared to 1.17 million people in 2010), Tatars accounted for 974.5 thousand people (in 2010, they comprised about 1 million people). That is, the decrease in the number of Tatars is evident.


2. The Idel-Ural State


Bashkortostan


Analysts who write about the problems Idel-Ural note that the great attention to the war and its large presence in the information field of Bashkortostan stems from the acting head of the region, Radii Khabirov. He perceives the war as an opportunity for excellent PR both before Moscow and before the population of the region against the background of the lack of results during his tenure and the failure of the economy. He is very active in creating volunteer battalions, supporting family members of so-called volunteer soldiers, and informational support. In particular, each of the units has a Telegram channel, aimed at promoting the war and creating war heroes.


The mythology of the so-called special operation on the order of Khabirov

A separate trend was formed around one of the fighters, Fanis Husainov, who became the hero of comics. In particular, on Khabirov's orders, a group of artists from Bashkiria created a comic book about Bashkir volunteer battalions serving in the war zone, naming them "Bezbashennyi Fanis" in honor of this soldier. The comic book repeats all the narratives of Russian propaganda, in particular, the Bashkirs destroying the HIMARS and fighting the Ukrainian military. Khusainov was actively involved in "patriotic education". The Ukrainian army eliminated the mercenary. Moreover, Russian propaganda denied his death for a long time.




Пакетований найманець хусаїнов воює з «гєйропою»

As Bashkir politician Ruslan Gabbasov, who is currently in exile in Lithuania, writes, "The rumors that Fanis Husainov, a mercenary from the Tatishlinsk district promoted by the Bashkir authorities, died, have been confirmed. The Bashkir authorities delayed the recognition of his death as much as possible and even posted a video where he sings cheerful songs to show that he is alive. Returning home from the war on leave, Fanis bathed in the rays of glory. He was invited to television, became a hero of comics, and was interviewed as a "professional" expert on how to survive the war. Of course, the authorities did not want to lose such a publicized example of a Bashkir soldier, which they molded from the void. Who is to blame for the death of Fanis? Of course, first of all, he himself. At first, of his own free will, he went to war, and then, when he returned on leave, he could have broken the contract and stayed home. With fame came the burden of responsibility as a Bashkir "hero". He simply lacked the courage to decline. But to a greater extent, the Bashkir government is to blame here, which made Bashkir Rambo out of an ordinary stupid guy and pushed him to go to war again. Such propagandists as Ilgiz Sultanmuratov are to blame. The cartoonists who drew the comic book are to blame. They inflated the boy with imaginary heroism and sent him to slaughter. He did not die like Rembo. He didn't even see his enemy. He was killed from afar by Ukrainian artillery. The inglorious end of a Bashkir mercenary."


3. NORTH CAUCASUS AND CHECHNYA


Chechnya


Kadyrov's tiktoker

The so-called special operation remains one of the main topics in Chechnya. In particular, the dictator of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, declares that 21,000 soldiers from Chechnya have already taken part in the war against Ukraine. Currently, there are allegedly 9,000 Chechen fighters at the front. At the same time, Chechnya has become a "hub" for the formation of "volunteer units" under the "Akhmat" brand, in which volunteers from other regions are enrolled. According to some experts, this may mean Kadyrov's desire to somewhat reduce the risk of losing fighters of Chechen nationality from the groups under his control (actually a private army) while maintaining the dynamics of sending volunteers, which demonstrates his loyalty to Putin. It is also likely that Kadyrov needs to preserve his fighters to use them if necessary in a turbulent situation in Russia. Significantly, information surfaced from "volunteers" who went to serve in Chechen units, hoping that the service would be more secure. Instead, persons of other nationalities in these units become cannon fodder" and are not perceived by the command as full-fledged "Akhmatians".


Ingushetia


The congress of people for the independence of Ingushetia, which took place on January 7 in Istanbul (Turkey), became one of the central events for the entire North Caucasus region. The Congress announced the creation of the Ingush Independence Committee, the purpose of which is to consolidate Ingush society around the idea of freedom and independence, preserve cultural and religious identity, create a basis for building an independent Ingush state, and "prevent another deception of the people." The names of most committee heads are currently withheld for security reasons. Currently, the main work of the committee is informational and socio-political. The committee allows the possibility of cooperation with other North Caucasian diasporas abroad. The participants of the event called Ingushetia occupied.


It's noteworthy that the event became a reason for an active discussion between the Ingush supporters of the Congress, who are in exile, and the Ingush people living in the Russian Federation. Moreover, the nature of the discussion, which is conducted mainly on social networks, allows us to conclude that Russian propaganda has a fairly effective influence on the Ingush living in Russia. There is a degree of misunderstanding between the diaspora living abroad and the Russian Ingush, as well as disputes about specific attempts by the Russian authorities to induce the conflict between Chechens and the Ingush people. In particular, the supporters of independent Ingushetia who are abroad and take an active stance in the matter are accused of not having the right to decide something from emigration. They receive provocative proposals to return to Ingushetia, despite the danger of imprisonment and persecution, as this is supposedly the only way they will have the right to express themselves on pressing issues. The Russian authorities created a narrative spread in Ingushetia that the Chechens during the struggle for independence did not show brotherly feelings towards the Ingush.


Kuban


Instructors of the future territorial defense of the Kuban

In the Krasnodar region, the authorities announced their intention to conduct training on territorial defense. Training will take place following the Plan of the Southern Military District of the Russian Federation. Given that the news comes not only from the governor of the region but also from the so-called Kuban Cossack Army, whose chieftain is one of the governor's deputies, one may assume with a high degree of probability that this very structure will become the basis for conducting exercises and forming units of the territorial defense These measures are part of a large covert mobilization and military training taking place throughout the aggressor country.

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