“We are not one nation!”: Activists picketed Russian diplomatic offices

“We are not one nation!”: Activists picketed Russian diplomatic offices

Action entitled “Day of Russian chauvinism” was held on 4 November near diplomatic offices of Russian Federation in different countries.

Emigrants from Russia accused Moscow of lie about international consent and  respect for the rights of native peoples in Russian Federation. Activists required to stop chauvinistic national policy, put an end to contemptuous attitude toward non-Russian peoples and violent attempts of their russification.

“We timed our action to the day of national unity, celebrated in Russia as a state holiday. Probably, it is the most ridiculous and hypocritical Russian holiday, aimed to celebrate what is not real at all. National unity, as well as equality, exist only formally, in officials’ pompous speeches. Interests of national republics arev totally ignored in reality, as well as interests of their native peoples. I am from Republic of Mordovia and  saw with my own eyes how these “unity” and “equality” look in Saransk. If you do not want to be associated with title ethnos of Russia, then you at once become a second-class citizen. Attempts to develop Erzyan or Mokshan culture, to defend people’s economic rights or environment of Mordovia may result in criminal persecution. So-called “unity and equality” disappear very fast, as soon as we realize our own necessities”, – Evgeniy Pashutkin, ethnic Erzya and participant of picket in Turku (Finland), explains.

The Russian diplomats outraged because of the picket and called the police. However after short conversation with Carolina Kanaeva, emigrant and organizer of the event, Finnish police officer wished good luck to activists and allowed to continue their picket which proceeded about an hour. Except Turku pickets  were also held in Helsinki next to parliament of Finland, where political emigrant Andrey Romanov installed tent with banners saying “Urals will be free” and “Free Idel-Ural”.

Picketings caused anxiety of Russian diplomats not only in Finland. Kamil’ Sukaev, representative of Free Idel-Ural civic movement in USA, organized single-person picket near general consulate of Russian Federation in New York. Kamil’ was holding bilingual banner saying: “Hey, Russia! “Unity” failed! Let Tatarstan separate peacefully”. In comments to reporters he also said, that Moscow must give complete and absolute sovereignty to Tatarstan. “When I was standing at consulate doors, a boor FSB officer exclaimed via loudspeaker: “Hey, you! Come here inside, we will talk”! Certainly, I refused such a “generous” offer, however agreed to demonstrate my banner to this unrespectable man. He was still not satisfied, and sent a colleague to take some picture of both me and the banner. Honestly, it feels like being teleported to Russia for a few minutes, so boor and contempt their behavior was”, – Kamil’ shared his impressions.

In Kyiv (Ukraine) Tatar, Erzyan and Crimean Tatar activists gathered near local Russian embassy, , hanging up a banner on the fence of embassy, saying “Kremlin kills native nations”, and large white banner on which participants of the picket wrote “We are not one nation!” on their mother tongues. Activists demanded from Kremlin to establish independent commission at Ministry of defense, which must investigate circumstances of shooting in military base on Transbaikalia, where ethnic Tatar Ramil’ Shamsutdinov is accused, as well as other similar incidents in Russian army. Syres’ Boliayen’, co-founder of Free Idel-Ural civic movement, adressing to participants of the picket, expressed opinion that United committees of soldier’s mothers of Russia must be presented in this independent commission, as well as PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Right and native peoples’ organizations.

Some activists came to the building of Russian general consulate in Kharkiv (Ukraine) to honour memory of Udmurt scientist Alberta Razin. Young people sticked large map of Idel-Ural on information stand just over map of Russian Federation. Activists left portrait of Razin at the gates of embassy and lit a lantern. “We came here to remind that Russian federal authorities practice very cruel assimilatory policy against native peoples.  Self-immolation of Alberta Razin, who aimed to draw attention of the world to problems of Udmurt people, is the result of this policy. National republics in today’s Russian Federation must get their independence”, – Vadim Pozdnuakov, activist from Kharkiv, summarized.

Nafis Kashapov, representative of Free Idel-Ural and exile Tatarstan government, organized pickets in Warsaw (Poland). Nafis together with his comrades took pictures with banners to support Ramil’ Shamsutdinov and Albert Razin.


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