Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Bashkirs and Cossacks Follow Chechens and Tatars in Seeking Ukraine’s Recognition

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 8 – In what Russia’s Free Nations League describes as “a chain reaction,” ever more nations within the current borders of the Russian Federation are seeking Kyiv’s recognition of their territories as being under “temporary Russian occupation” or even de jure recognition of their status as independent states.

            The latest two are the Bashkirs ( and the Cossacks (in a declaration distributed via email by the All-Cossack Social Center).

            The Bashkir appeal comes from the Bashkir National Political Center whose head, Ruslan Gabbasov is now in emigration in Lithuania, and most of whose other leaders are abroad as well, in an open letter to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The Free Nations League provides both the Ukrainian language and a Russian translation.

            Gabbasov says that by recognizing Bashkortostan as a temporarily occupied country as it has already done in the case of Chechnya, Ukraine will be helping the Bashkirs to achieve their chief goal of acquiring national independence for their Motherland. That is because such a move will lead to the realization by more people that the current rulers in Ufa are illegitimate.

            He and his colleagues also ask the Ukrainian leader to create a special plenipotentiary official to develop and maintain contacts with the peoples now living under Moscow’s control. Such an official might be from the Ukrainian foreign ministry or from some other Ukrainian government agency.

            The Cossack appeal in contrast is directed to the Verkhovna Rada which on October 18 recognized Chechnya-Ichkeria as being under temporary Russian occupation. It asks that the Ukrainian parliamentarians continue this “noble” process by doing the same thing for Cossack lands (

            According to the appeal, “the future free Cossackia” will arise on the lands of the Don, Kuban, North Caucasus, Lower Volga and in the Urals, although it acknowledges that the precise borders still must be worked out because Moscow policies have led to the mixing of populations there. (On that difficulty, see this author’s discussion at

            The only legal act by any country recognizing Cossackia as an enslaved land is the US Captive Nations Week resolution of 1959. The Cossacks express the hope that the Verkhovna Rada will make Ukraine the second one.

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