Staunton, Feb. 6 – Putin is disproportionately mobilizing non-Russians to fight in Ukraine, Anvar Kurmanakayev says; and if there are “two or three” more waves of mobilization, some of the smaller nations, within the current borders of the Russian Federation, including his own Nogais, will be at risk of disappearing altogether.
The representative of the Nogai nation, a 100,000-strong nation in the North Caucasus which has not had its own statehood since the 16th century, recently spoke at the Forum of Free Peoples of Post-Russia session at the European Parliament and has now given an interview about his nation (kavkazr.com/a/predstavitelj-nogaytsev-o-borjbe-za-nezavisimostj/32257721.html).
(Kurmanakayev’s speech was mocked by one pro-Kremlin commentator because it was in Russian (tiktok.com/@informator_go/video/7195416727935569154?_r=1&_t=8ZXIiFd9fnx), the result the Nogai representative says of the fact that Russia has stolen from his people their own language; and it was also dismissed as a dangerous distraction by Putin critic (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2023/02/civil-war-in-russia-unlikely-unless.html).)
While the Nogais have not received the attention many other nationalities have, they have had an active national movement since perestroika times. In 1990, they called for establishing a Nogai autonomous region; and they continue to press for that (t.me/noghay_halk/6609 and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2022/11/turkic-nogays-now-seeking-independent.html).
At present, Kurmanakayev says, they place their hopes in three things: greater international attention to their cause as at the European Parliament, their involvement in fighting on the side of Ukraine against Russia, and their increasingly active diaspora. (There are “several million” Nogais abroad, and 15 concentrated centers in Turkey alone.)
He argues that the most important task of Nogais in Russia itself is to preserve themselves as a nation by refusing to allow their sons to be mobilized into the Russian army for the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine. Some 5,000 have already been inducted into the Russian army, a huge share of the 100,000 Nogais in Russia. “The majority of them likely will die” as a result.
“Each of these could have had children, Kurmanakayev says; and that means that “with another two or three such mobilizations, the people could disappear altogether.”