Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Émigré Leaders of Indigenous Peoples in Russia Urge Their Co-Ethnics Not to Take Part in Putin’s War

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 11 – Émigré leaders of four prominent political movements from among the indigenous peoples within the current borders of the Russian Federation have issued an appeal to their co-ethnics in the Russian military, calling on them not to take part in Putin’s war in Ukraine.

            The four are the International Committee of Indigenous Peoples of Russia, the Congress of the Oirat-Kalmyk People, the Buryat Democratic Movement and the National Movement of Peoples of the North. Their appeal is at

            Below is an informal translation:      

We, representatives of the indigenous nations of Russia, call on our fellow citizens – servicemen and those liable for military service who belong to indigenous nations, and other nations of the Russian Federation –not to take part in the shameful war that is being called a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

It is well known that the national regions of Russia, where indigenous peoples live, rank last among Russian regions in terms of quality of life, while these lands produce natural resources that sustain the Russian economy. The majority of the national districts and republics of Russia are economically underdeveloped regions with a poor population, because a huge share of the national wealth produced by these regions goes to the federal center and is used by President Putin to implement his imperial plans to suppress the freedom of the nations of Russia and other countries.

The imperial chauvinism, nurtured by Putin for twenty years, is now driving you to a bloody slaughter in Ukraine in order to suppress the will of the Ukrainian people for freedom. But only freedom gives each nation a chance to be the master on their own land, develop fully, preserve their language, culture, traditions and be among the civilized nations.

Today, Ukrainians show everyone how to love their native land, their people, their way of life. Today they are defending not only their freedom, but also the freedom of the nations of Russia, whose fate is being decided in Ukraine right now.

Servicemen and conscripts of Russia! Today you have a chance to save your life, the future of your nations, and the lives of thousands of innocent people in Ukraine. Stop taking part in hostilities. Do your best to block your colleagues from going to war in Ukraine. Disobey the orders of your superiors who order you to shoot Ukrainians and destroy Ukrainian cities.

They threaten you with punishment and imprisonment. But they will not execute you! You will stay alive! There are already instances when the Russian Guard employees refused to cross Ukraine’s border since it is an unlawful act that contradicts the laws of the Russian Federation. They faced punishment for this decision, namely they were illegally dismissed from service, however they returned to their families alive.

It makes no sense to die for palaces, yachts, billions owned by Putin and his friends. Don’t give up your young life for their property. Do not commit the sin by killing civilians – children, women, and the elderly. Each of us must remain Human.Your families and loved ones are waiting for you at home. Oppressed, impoverished, native republics, districts, districts, and villages are waiting for you. Their future depends on each of you.

War is a crime! Make an honest choice! Stay home and say no to war!

            Many people in the West may be inclined to dismiss this declaration as reflecting only the views of a clutch of minority emigres who were forced to leave their homelands to escape Russian oppression, but such people must remember two things: emigres have played a key role in changes in Russia in the past, and some in Russia are very worried about these non-Russian appeals.

            An example of that is a Russian complaint that Mordvin leaders aren’t doing enough to counter “anti-Russian rhetoric” by one of the emigres from that Middle Volga republic (, a complaint that is a clear sign such appeals and others like them are gaining traction at home.

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