On July 20, 2019 Free Idel-Ural civic movement joined celebration of Captive Nations Week, that is traditionally held every third week of July in the United States of America.
Kamil’ Sukaev, representative of Free Idel-Ural in America, organized stand-alone picket on Times Square with banner saying “Russia is concentration camp of nations”. During an hour Sukaev communicated with journalists and passers-by, told them about situation with human rights of native peoples in Russia and necessity for republics of Povolzhye (russian name for Idel-Ural region) to make secession from Russian Federation.
“None of six Idel-Ural republics, namely Tatarstan , Bashkortostan, Chuvashia, Mari El, Udmurtia and Mordovia did ever voluntarily wanted to be parts of Russian Federation. They were incorporated into Russia by force. However it is necessary to understand, that we do not hope on independence of our republics in the coming years. We count on independence in a prospect. When Russia will weaken and will break into pieces, I hope, without many victims and blood, – then Idel-Ural and other territories will proclaim independence. In future we are ready to build our relations with former parts of Russia on bilateral basis. If my country had freedom, if Tatarstan was not interfered, and Moscow would not take away all profits, then we would live different now. Not in a prospect, not in distant future, but already now we would live other life. I hope that in 10-15 years I will be able to visit or even permanently return to independent republic, that will hear its people and defend their interests”, – Kamil’ Sukaev explains.
1959 law authorizes president of the USA to proclaim Captive Nations Week annually – until all of them will not find freedom and independence.
Originally Law was called to provide moral support to enslaved nations being under control of communist regimes.
List of captive nations, made yet in 1950s, included Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, Latvia, Estonia, White Ruthenia (Belarus), Romania, East Germany, Bulgaria, mainland China, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, North Korea, Albania, Idel-Ural, Tibet, Cossackia, Turkestan, North Viet-Nam and others.
Today list of nations, still expecting freedom from totalitarian and despotic rule, looks very different. Some of countries from the list above do not exist anymore under their former name, others got desirable freedom. However, in 2008 president George Bush, announcing once again holding of the Week, underlined preservation of similar undemocratic regimes in such countries, as Russia, Belarus, Burma/Myanmar, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria and Zimbabwe.