Thursday, March 28, 2024

FSB Focusing on Exile Tatarstan Government – and Bringing It to the Attention of More People

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Mar. 25 – Two telegram channels controlled by the FSB, OBKHSS and Political Commander of Tatarstan, are publishing article that seek to discredit the Government of Independent Tatarstan in Exile, Aida Abdrakhmanova, the deputy prime minister of that regime, says.   

            She provides a translation of one of these articles, which, as she notes, represents a tendentious pastiche of publicly available information ( and

About the so-called “government of Tatarstan in exile.”

This structure emerged with the support of Western and Turkish intelligence at the end of 2008. By that time, Tatar separatism in the republic had been fairly suppressed, but its most odious representatives were still active. Among them, the most famous were the odious Tatar writer, Russophobe and extremist Fauziya Bayramova (later twice involved in criminal cases), as well as extremists and criminals, the Kashapov brothers, including the current head of the “government of Tatarstan in exile” Rafis Kashapov.

In December 2008, 25 representatives of the so-called gathered in Naberezhnye Chelny. “Milli Majlis” is an unregistered organization created in early 1992 and claiming to be the Tatar “national parliament”. Among the participants in this gathering were Tatar nationalist extremists known since the 1990s, including Zinnur Agliullin, Talgat Akhmadishin, and Damir Shaikhutdinov. But the main one was Vil Mirzayanov, who connected to the event from the USA via the Internet.

Who is Vil Mirzayanov? He is a chemical scientist who in the early 1990s revealed Russian military secrets to which he had access since Soviet times. He was convicted, but under American pressure, he was released. In 1995, Mirzayanov emigrated to the United States and since then has actively worked under the leadership of the CIA in programs aimed at provoking interethnic splits and separatism in Russia. Being an ethnic Tatar, Mirzayanov became the main conductor of the interests of Tatar separatists in the United States. In 2001–2002, he visited Tatarstan, after which he was accused of espionage and expelled from Russia, barred from entering our country.

The resuscitation of the Milli Majlis in December 2008 was preceded by a meeting between Vil Mirzayanov and Fauzia Bayramova in October of the same year in Germany. It was then that the main decisions of the future gathering were discussed, including the creation of the so-called. “national government”, which, at the instigation of Mirzayanov, included several foreigners with Tatar roots, including journalist H. Kulechyuz (Germany), historian Iklil Kurban, writer Rosa Kurban (Turkey). Among the “ministers” of the “government” was also Bayramova’s daughter, political scientist Zulfiya Kadyr, who has been living abroad for a long time.

The “Government of Tatarstan in Exile” was created following a meeting of the Milli Majlis in December 2008 in Naberezhnye Chelny. Vil Mirzayanov became its chairman. That is, from the very beginning, this “government” intended to be abroad to become the coordinator of provoking Tatar separatism within Russia. This activity was supposed to be financed by the CIA, which Vil Mirzayanov was especially interested in (his salary as a professor at Princeton was no longer enough for him).

Mirzayanov was the head of the “government” until February 2023, after which he was replaced by the even more famous extremist Rafis Kashapov.

Rafis Kashapov, together with his brothers, came to the Tatar national movement from the criminal environment of the 1990s, having made a fortune in the alcohol trade. This money financed numerous nationalist covens, as well as support for Chechen separatists during the time of Aslan Maskhadov. By the way, the sale of alcohol did not prevent the Kashapov brothers from positioning themselves as “devout Muslims.” During his illegal political activities in Russia, Rafis Kashapov was convicted four times on extremist charges. After serving his sentence, he went to Ukraine in 2017, and in 2018 settled in London, where he was captured by one of the British secret intelligence services.

The transfer of the leadership of the “government of Tatarstan in exile” into the hands of Kashapov in 2023 suggests that it is British intelligence that is taking control of the activities of the Tatar separatists, integrating them into the mainstream of supporting the Bandera regime in Ukraine. This means that we should not exclude the threat of sabotage and terrorist activity in the republic, given that there are sympathizers of the Bandera regime in Tatarstan.

Most countries have little time for governments in exile even if they support the positions those governments maintain. But Russia is an exception: it is obsessed with such organizations, likely because of the way in which the Bolshevik emigration came from nowhere at the start of 1917 to rule the country by the end of that year.

But by choosing to go after such institutions via propaganda campaigns, Moscow is doing more to bring the existence and activities of such groups to far larger numbers of people than these groups could hope for on their own.   

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