Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Activists from Russia’s Regions and Republics Fear Attacks on Migrants will Spread to Attacks on Them

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Mar. 31 – Some 50 activists from Russia’s regions and non-Russian republics, many now living abroad, have issued an open letter to all Russians to take a stand against xenophobia and racism in the actions of Russian officials not only because these actions are morally wrong but because they risk triggering attacks on indigenous people as well.

            The appeal is striking because of the very real fears animating those who have issued it and because of the broad range of signatories, an indication that in response to the current attacks on migrant workers has prompted groups that sometimes have not cooperated in the past to come together now.

            Below is the letter and the list of signatories (

 Why is it important to speak out against migrant phobia and racism?  

An open letter from activists and organizations of indigenous peoples, ethnic diasporas and allies.

We are watching with alarm the news about the next exacerbation of migrant phobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia and racism in Russia.

For many years, the Russian state, represented by officials and representatives of law enforcement agencies, has been dehumanizing and persecuting migrants from Central Asian countries. Today this is one of the least protected social groups in Russia, which constantly experiences systemic state and everyday types of discrimination, human rights violations and violence.

We consider it important to condemn migrant phobia and express solidarity and support to representatives of Central Asian countries and other countries.

Brutal abuse and torture of detainees by state representatives, used demonstratively, gives a signal to both far-right forces and pro-government propagandists and bloggers to continue to incite hatred towards migrants, which extends to all people with a non-Slavic appearance. After all, we ourselves, representatives of the indigenous peoples of Russia, as well as ethnic diasporas, are subject to discrimination on ethnic grounds.

The silence of Russian citizens against migrant phobia contributes to the development of Nazi sentiments among Russians, which will affect every non-Russian person.

We are already seeing an increase in the number of physical and verbal attacks, stricter inspections, illegal dismissals, and difficulties finding work. Many representatives of indigenous peoples and ethnic diasporas have experienced a new wave of hatred based on ethnicity, including the already known facts of physical and verbal attacks in public places, which have become more frequent after March 24, 2024. At the moment, many non-Russians do not feel safe in Russia.

Why is it important to speak out against migrant phobia and racism?

Against the background of normalization of discrimination, torture, violence and repression against ethnic, religious, racial, cultural and linguistic minorities by the state, it is very important to conduct a large public campaign against xenophobia, racism, and migrant phobia. At the moment, the opposition to this on the part of Russian society is not widespread and visible enough.

Perhaps for some, this problem seems insignificant against the backdrop of a full-scale war in Ukraine and other crimes committed by the Russian regime. Perhaps, due to the lack of similar experience, someone does not have the motivation or resources to comment on the current situation. But what is important to us is your acceptance and understanding of the problem, expression of disagreement with racism and expression of solidarity. This will help us, representatives of the indigenous peoples of Russia and the ethnic diasporas of the countries of Central Asia, to feel a commonality of interests and public support. And the lack of solidarity and speaking out against racism and xenophobia will raise questions about the truth of your democratic, liberal and pacifist values ​​and widen the division between us.

We call on Russian democratic organizations, bloggers, journalists and other public figures with a large audience, activists, human rights defenders and all concerned people to speak out against migrant phobia, racism and xenophobia, even if this does not directly concern you.

We call on representatives of indigenous peoples and ethnic diasporas to stand in solidarity with each other and with representatives of Central Asian countries.

We must resist the rise of hatred and the fascistization of Russian society before it is too late.

  • Anti-war initiative of indigenous peoples of Russia “Yurt Community”
  • Lana Pylaeva, Komi activist
  • Arshak Makichyan, environmental and anti-war activist
  • Queer Sweet
  • Sholbaana Kuular, anti-war and decolonial activist
  • Free Yakutia Foundation
  • Decolonial media Komi Daily
  • Anti-war and decolonial media “New Tyva”
  • Vilyuya Choinova, Sakha activist
  • Committee of the Bashkir National Movement Abroad
  • Tian Absentee, Itelmen social activist
  • Fund for Indigenous Peoples of Russia “Indigenous of Russia Foundation”
  • Information Center “Russia of Indigenous Peoples”
  • International Committee of Indigenous Peoples of Russia
  • International Fund for Development and Solidarity of Indigenous Peoples “Batani”
  • Congress of the Oirat-Kalmyk People
  • Yana Tannagasheva, Shor activist
  • Zdor Mark, Chukotka activist
  • Decolonial movement “Voices of Nations held captive by Moscow”
  • Tatiana Vite, Russians against war, Italy
  • Eldor Naziri, Russian-Uzbek anti-war and decolonial activist @freedomozodiliberty
  • Lidiya Grigorieva, Sakha activist
  • Maria Vyushkova, Buryat activist, researcher
  • Leila Latypova, Tatar journalist and researcher
  • Anna Gomboeva, decolonial researcher
  • Sargylana Kondakova, decolonial activist from the Republic of Sakha
  • Laysan Latypova, Bashkir activist
  • Victoria Kravtsova, project “Feminist Translocalities”
  • Olga Kalo, decolonial activist
  • Zalina Dzhappueva, Secretary General of Russie-Libertés
  • Budaeva Sadeko, Soyot
  • Saida Akhmaeva, Ambassador of the Coordination Committee of Chechen Youth in Germany (CYCC)
  • Editorial office of media “Trouble”
  • Denis Esakov, de_colonialanguage project
  • Ekaterina Morland, Buryat activist
  • Anna Zueva, journalist from Buryatia, YouTube channel “Zueva”
  • Andrey Danilov, activist of the Sami people
  • Oirad Jisän, Oirad-Kalmyk decolonial movement
  • Natalya Baranova, media manager, femme activist, creator of the project “Experiencing Activism”
  • Mira Gafar, Tatar queer activist, researcher
  • Victoria Maladaeva, co-founder of the Indigenous of Russia Foundation
  • Edgeev Arslan, member of the Union of Writers of Russia, member of the Union of Journalists of Russia
  • Nika Wadwood, feminist, author of the nixelpixel channel
  • Armen Aramyan, founder and editor of DOXA magazine
  • Bashqort Solidarity
  • Movement for the independence of Buryatia – Tusgaar Buryaad Mongolia
  • Foundation "Asians of Russia"
  • Chupanova Maryam, decolonial queer activist
  • Dankhayaa Khovalyg
  • Ekaterina Zibrova, PhD, scientist
  • Grebennikova Anna, social anthropologist, popularizer of science
  • Alla Gutnikova, femme activist, ex-editor of DOXA
  • Lelya Nordik, ecofeminist, artist, co-coordinator of the Feminist Anti-War Resistance


No comments:

Post a Comment