Farit Zakiyev, head of the All-Tatar Public Center (The Tatar Social Center), left Russia after the war with Ukraine started as a sign of anti-war protest.
“I do not accept this war at all, because I am a man of that generation who studied with Ukrainians at the university and worked at the plant. The war with the Ukrainians is absolutely unacceptable to me, ” he said in an interview to Idel.Realii.
Farit Zakiyev mentioned the second reason for his departure was that conducting social and political activities was impossible in Russia right now, specifically the activities of the All-Tatar Public Center. The activist says he was shocked on February 24.
“I consider myself as an experienced politician, but the invasion was entirely incomprehensible for me. There is no winner in this war. Everyone loses. I am a rocketeer. I know what strategic missiles are, what nuclear war is. I believe that on February 24, a step was taken towards the great world war, towards the destruction of humanity. Obviously, people with a background in humanities are making decisions in Russia now. They have no idea what nuclear missiles are. Maybe they think they could win by using it. No. Everyone will die, ” Farit Zakiev reminds.
He explained why The Tatar Social Center refused to hold public events, although activists in Kazan took to the streets to protest after the war broke out. Farit Zakiyev was threatened by Part 8 of Article 20.2 of the Administrative Code (repeated violation of the law on rallies, the maximum penalty – 30 days of administrative arrest), and he can not sit in a special detention center for health reasons.
“And yes, of course, no war. This is now the main slogan for Russians. Every decent and honest Russian should come up with anti-war slogans and support anti-war actions,” Farit Zakiev is convinced. He believes that all people of goodwill should support the call “No to war”.
He doesn’t know right now what he will do after leaving the post. Farit Zakiyev is not sure whether he will return to Russia or not. He is considering both options of returning in 3-4 weeks and gaining political asylum somewhere.