By Paul Goble
Kyiv’s recognition of the Republic of Chechnya-Ichkeria as under temporary Russian occupation and the expectation of some that the Ukrainian parliament may soon recognize that the Circassians were victims of a genocide carried out by Russian forces are leading other non-Russians within the Russian Federation to seek Ukraine’s backing.
The latest to do so is the Tatarstan government in exile which has sent a letter to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the deputies of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada asking them to recognize the independence of the Republic of Tatarstan and the government of Tatarstan in exile (tatar-toz.blogspot.com/2022/10/blog-post_28.html).
The text of the letter which was signed by members of the Tatar government in exile, other leading Tatar activists, and supporters from other nations within the Russian Federation as well as from friendly countries like Poland follows:
We urge you to recognize the independence of Tatarstan and the government of Tatarstan in exile as its legitimate leadership.
In October 1553, after the heroic defense of Kazan against a fierce assault by Moscow invaders, the capital of the Kazan Khanate fell. This is a day of remembrance of the courage and steadfastness of all those who heroically fought for our Motherland and who were martyred. We always remember this date because it marked the beginning of the genocide and ethnocide against the Tatar people, something which has been going on for 470 years. There are not many nations in the history of mankind who have been able to resist Russian colonialism for five centuries, but the Tatars are.
On October 24, 1991, the Supreme Council of Tatarstan adopted a resolution on the state independence of the republic. The Ittifaq National Revival Party and the All-Tatar Public Center (VTOTs) insisted on that even though they were then the opposition. At that time, thousands of people gathered outside demanding independence, but because of this, an attempt was made to storm the parliament.
As a result, the deputies in fact evaded taking a final decision and shifted responsibility for this action to a popular referendum. That was held on March 21, 1992 … 81.7 percent of the citizens of Tatarstan took part and 61.4 percent f them voted in favor of independence.
Now the most difficult and decisive days for the nation have come again. They will determine whether the Tatar people will survive as a nation.
We remind you that on July 22-24, 2022, the Second Free Nations Forum was held in Prague. At that time, the participants discussed a Declaration on the Decolonization of Russia and its dispatch to UN member countries. Among those taking part were opposition activists and poltiicians as well as statesmen, diplomats and politicians from Europe, Asia and North America, military specialists, economists, political scientists, religious authorities and journalists.
One of the Forum’s decisions was the creation of governments in exile for all the peoples of the Rusisan Caucasus to put these nations on course to integration with Europe. The Forum’s declaration specified that “Russia is a terrorist country” and spoke about the inevitability of a civil war in the Russian Federation now on the verge of collapse. The participants called on UN countries to help establish a system of National Transitional Governments in Exile.