Copyright © 2021

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.


Might Zelenskyi play the Muslim card against Russia?

Ukrainian president-elect Volodymyr Zelenskyi meeting with the leaders of the Muslim community of Ukraine on May 2, 2019.
Ukrainian president-elect Volodymyr Zelenskyi meeting with the leaders of the Muslim community of Ukraine on May 2, 2019.
Edited by: A. N.

Yesterday, incoming Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with the leaders of the Muslim community of Ukraine for two hours, stressing the importance of religious comity in Ukraine and his hopes that Muslims there will succeed in attracting more foreign attention from wealthier Islamic countries.

He impressed his audience who included among others Said Ismagilov, head of the Umma Muslim Spiritual Directorate (MSD) of Ukraine, Mufti Akhmed Takim of the Ukrainian MSD, and Ayder Rustamov of the Crimean MSD, all of whom stressed the commitment of their followers to helping all Ukrainians recover Russian-occupied Crimea and the Donbas ( and

Ismagilov has long argued for having the Muslims of Ukraine call on the Muslims of Russia not to fight against their fellow believers in Ukraine.

Perhaps more important and certainly more intriguing, the Umma mufti has frequently said that Ukrainians should make clear to everyone that “Muslims in Ukraine are full-fledged citizens and not as in Russia, second class ones.”

It is highly likely that Ismagilov took this opportunity to repeat that argument to Zelenskyy, stressing to him, as he has to others in the past, that playing the Muslim card against Russia is entirely appropriate given that Moscow has shown no reluctance in playing the religious card against Ukraine.

Read More:

Edited by: A. N.
You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!
Related Posts