Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Kalmyks Now Demanding Ouster Not Only of Elista Mayor but Also of Republic Head

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 5 – As promised, the Kalmyk opponents of the imposition of former Donbass occupation official Dmitry Trapeznikov as mayor of Elista came out to demonstrate without waiting for the end of the Winter Holidays. They are now demanding not only the dismissal of the outsider as mayor but also the removal of the republic head, Batu Khasikov.

            Some 500 people assembled to make these demands, holding signs declaring that “this is our city” and calling for the removal of the two officials because they do not represent the people of the city or the republic. Many said they had supported Khasikov in the past but now want him out because of his support for Trapeznikov (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/344331/).

            Organizers said they were pleased that so many turned out given the holidays and the cold weather, but they noted that many Kalmyks who have come back to their native republic for vacations were among those taking part, a reflection of way in which the Trapeznikov case has echoed not  only in the republic but more broadly (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/344339/).

            Sanal Ubushiyev and Badma Byurchiyev,  both activists and organizers, said that Kalmyks increasingly are shifting their anger from Trapeznikov to Khasikov because Khasikov not only agreed to the installation of Trapeznikov but has shown his contempt for the Kalmyk people in other ways, rewarding his friends and failing to meet with the people.

            Kalmyks visiting from Moscow and even as far away as Belgium who took part in the demonstration shared in this anger, a signal that what is taking place in a republic seldom mentioned except for the chess interests of its former head may soon attract more attention from the outside world.

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