Kremlin Worried Newly Minted Russian Citizens From Central Asia Arming Themselves To Overthrow Regime – OpEd


Central Asians who immigrate to the Russian Federation and then acquire Russian citizenship can acquire guns without any additional restrictions, and many of them are doing so, frightening many in the Russian government because a new survey suggests they are ready to use such weapons to defend their original national cultures and values.

Kirill Kabanov, a member of the Presidential Council of Civil Society and head of the National Anti-Corruption Committee, says this pattern constitutes a real threat especially because the new Russian citizens from Central Asia want guns but won’t serve in the Russian military (

He says that he “very much doubts” that the Central Asians want these weapons for hunting, especially after a poll showed that 40 percent of those acquiring weapons say they are prepared to defend their “national, cultural and religious values on the territory of the Russian Federation.” 

According to the Multi-National telegram channel, this problem has emerged now that there is a second generation of immigrants from Central Asia inside Russia. The first generation seeks to work hard and keep its head down, but the second wants to acquire citizenship and use its rights to defend itself, including in opposition to Russian interests.

At present, these problems are “only beginning,” the channel warns; “but if these trends which already exist continue, then in the future we could lose the country.” After all, “none of the indigenous peoples can violate the ethnic balance in Russia, but migrants can create numerous so-called ‘Kosovo precedents’ within the state” (stress supplied).

These commentators don’t address what may well be an even more disturbing prospect: the likelihood that ordinary Russians will now want to arm themselves so as to be able to fight off what they are being told is a domestic threat from migrants who have become citizens. If that happens, then inter-ethnic violence in Russian cities could escalate quickly and dangerously.

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

One thought on “Kremlin Worried Newly Minted Russian Citizens From Central Asia Arming Themselves To Overthrow Regime – OpEd

  • April 2, 2023 at 3:38 am

    One cannot blame the newly minted Russian citizens , who do not share the blinkered and fatalistic Russian obsession with invading neighbouring countries, with what can only be interpreted as rampant imperialism. The example of flagrant Russian use of non ethnic russians to use as cannon fodder in the Ukraine invasion, ought to provide justification to avoid conscription and to buy weapons to defend themselves. Citizenship, is a two way street, and the state has responsibility to avoid irresponsible actions, which endanger the citizens.


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