Staunton, October 6 – This coming Saturday will be the 467th anniversary of the sacking of Kazan by the forces of Ivan the Terrible who by his brutal action hoped to frighten other khanates and permanently intimidate the Tatars and other non-Russians of the empire into accepting Muscovite rule.
This year, Moscow wants to send exactly the same message; but the prospect of that has sparked outrage among Tatar nationalists who have complained for years that the Russian state honors those who destroyed their city but has continued to prevent them from having a memorial to the defenders of the city.
This Saturday may prove to be the moment at which these two views will take the most open form since the 1990s. The Moscow Patriarchate has announced plans to hold the first services in the memorial church to the Orthodox warriors who sacked Kazan, an action that Russian nationalists welcome.
The exile government of independent Tatarstan (on this group, see windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/06/tatar-national-movement-needs-to-follow.html) has issued an appeal and a call for action in response to what the Moscow forces are doing in Kazan now (tatar-toz.blogspot.com/2019/10/12_6.html).
“Today,” it says, “every Tatar, Bashkir, Chuvash, Mari, Udmurt, Moksha, and Erzya must consider his most immediate need to know his people and its culture, language, religion and history. The roots of the fraternal peoples of Idel-Ural extend from the depths of centuries. From ancient times, our people always lived close to other another.
“For us,” the statement continues, the news that on October 11, “for the first time in all the mosques of Tatarstan will be read homilies devoted to the Day of Memory” of the fall of Kazan is “very welcome. We lay great hopes that this initiative will be supported by the entire Turkic and Islamic world.”
“The government of independent Tatarstan, even while in exile, in 2020 on the Day of Memory of the Tatar People will award the Albert Razin medal to patriots and representatives of colonized peoples who are struggling for national rights and contributing to this effort their knowledge, souls and hearts.”
This year, the government in exile is making the following proposals and demands:
“Patriarch Kirill must repent and publicly apologise to the Tatar and the other peoples occupied by Moscow for its barbaric actions, occupation and colonization, for forced baptisms, innumerable victims and destruction.
“The murders and arrests of Muslims and activists, the destruction of mosques, the banning of Islamic books and the construction of mosques, and the prohibition on wearing the hijab must stop.
“The authorities of the republics of Idel Ural must introduce into school curriculums the study of the accurate history of the peoples of the Middle Volga and stop the propaganda of the false history invented by Moscow.
“Tatars of the entire world must mark the Day of Memory in cities and villages where they live, using for this the mosques, medrassahs, schools, other educational institutions, and any other opportunities.
“The heads of the administrations of the cities and districts of the Republic of Tatarstan must organize the travel of all who want to participate in the Day of Memory.
“The imams of all the mosques of Russia, the Caucasus, the Crimea and Ukraine must devote their Friday prays on October 11 to the honor of the shahids who defended Kazan.
“And by tradition, Kazan must invite delegations of neighboring fraternal peoples who participated in the defense of Kazan – the Chuvash, the Mari, the Udmurts, the Moksha, the Erzya, the Bashkirs and other peoples of Siberia and the Caucasus – to take part in Day of Memory activities.”