More than 100 indigenous peoples live in the Russian empire. Not all of them were able to secede from the USSR in 1991, some of them formed into republics within the Russian Federation, and others have no political recognition at all. By geographic criteria, they can be grouped into the North Caucasus, the Idel-Ural, and the republics of Yakutia, Buryatia, Tyva, and Kalmykia.
The republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia, North Ossetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay-Cherkessia, Adygea, and partly Kalmykia are located in the North Caucasus. Among them, the unrecognized states are the Caucasus Emirate and the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. The North Caucasus also includes many historical and cultural regions, such as the Cossack Don, Kuban and others.
The term of the Idel-Ural describes the Volga-Ural region or the group of territories between the Volga and the Ural Mountains: the republics of Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Chuvashia, Mordovia, Udmurtia, Mari-El. There is a public movement fighting for the independence of these republics, it is called the Free Idel-Ural and was founded in Ukraine.
The indigenous peoples of Yakutia, Buryatia, Tyva and Kalmykia have evolved into individual nations with modern intellectual leaders who think and see themselves separately from Moscow. Buryats and Kalmyks have their own scientific and religious intellectuals, and close cultural ties with Mongolia.
The centrifugal movements of the enslaved peoples of Russia can play in favor of Ukraine in the war situation, because they will destabilize the aggressor state and question its existence within the existing borders.
It is interesting to note that in Ukrainian history there have already been attempts to organize an anti-Russian coalition of enslaved peoples against imperial Moscow. In particular, the Central Rada, and later the Ukrainian Insurgent Army were involved in this activity.
Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, official Ukraine actively communicates with the enslaved peoples, passes resolutions recognizing them as occupied by Russia and initiates meetings on this subject. In particular, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recorded an appeal to the peoples of the Caucasus, Siberia and the indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation and urged them to resist the mobilization announced by Putin.
In October, a meeting of representatives of the peoples of Russia and other countries, who are oppressed by the Kremlin policy, took place in Kyiv. Leaders of the Crimean Tatar people, representatives of Ichkeria, Dagestan, Abkhazia, Adygea, Bashkortostan, Georgia, Ingushetia, Tatarstan, and Cherkessia participated in the event.
The victory of Ukraine will be not just the access to the borders of 1991, but the maximum weakening and destruction of Russia as a state. Because otherwise, a repetition of the Russian war is likely to happen in one or two generations, because the system will remain the same. And in order to weaken the enemy, we need to act not only from the outside, but also in every way to support the disintegration of the Russian Federation from the inside. And it is the enslaved peoples of the Russian Federation empire who can help in this.
The materials were prepared by Polina Romanova, the Ukrainian Women’s Guard, for the Free Idel-Ural
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