On Sunday, July 23, 2023, protest rallies were held in many American cities to mark the end of the Captive Nations Week. If in previous years the Captive Nations Week in the USA had the character of conferences on human rights topics, then in 2022 the Free Nations League filled it with a new meaning – the struggle of the nations held captive by Moscow for independence. Already in 2023, new groups and organizations joined the Week — AARI (Americans against Russian Imperialism), The Voice of Indigenous peoples and individual groups of national movements.
“This year’s events are distinguished by their organization and mass character. The idea of independence and the secession of our republics from Russia is gaining more and more supporters, ”said the representative of the Free Nations League, Buryat Rajana Dugar-DePonte.
Representatives of indigenous peoples of Siberia, the Urals, the Volga and the North Caucasus, living in Chicago (Illinois), Seattle (Washington), Los Angeles, San Francisco, Irvine and Sacramento (California) came out to support their republics, their people and demand recognition of the right to independence. The largest rally took place in New York. The participants held the flags of their republics in their hands, posters in support of independence, expressed solidarity with Ukraine, and demanded the end of the Moscow Empire.
“I am glad that the number of those who are aware of the futility of our peoples being part of the Russian Federation is growing. Moscow is robbing our lands, mining diamonds in Yakutia, oil in Tatarstan, gold in Bashkortostan, beryllium in Buryatia, using the sea shelves of Kalmykia, in return appointing leaders and officials from Moscow, forbidding the creation of our own political parties, eradicating our languages and sending our guys to another colonial war. We have no future with Russia. Only independence can save our peoples!” Batyr Boromangnaev, an Oirat-Kalmyk activist and representative of the League, explains.
The Captive Nations Week was first declared in 1953, and since 1959 it has acquired an official status – President Dwight Eisenhower gave it the force of law. Every year, on the third week of July, the current President of the United States is authorized to declare the Captive Nations Week until all of them gain freedom and independence.
Since then, every year, those who understand and sympathize with the national republics and regions of indigenous peoples come out to rallies in support of their fellow citizens. This year, political exiles and activists who are currently in Germany, Lithuania and Turkey also joined the United States.