Many observers in Russia and abroad have suggested that by escalating his war in Ukraine [The Russo-Ukrainian War (2014-present), which Putin launched by the Russian occupation of the Ukrainian peninsular of Crimea in the Black Sea in February 2014], Vladimir Putin has lost legitimacy in his country. But now a non-Russian activist has taken this one step further and argued that by their support of Putin’s war, the leaders of the non-Russian republics within Russia are losing all legitimacy in the eyes of their nations.
Dorzho Duharov, head of the Buryat National Democratic Movement who was forced to emigrate to the West after his criticisms of Putin’s Anschluss of Crimea in 2014, now says that the leaders of his republic by backing Putin on the war in Ukraine are losing all legitimacy in the eyes of the Buryats.
- Related: Moscow uses its non-Russian subjects to do its fighting. You won’t guess who’ll be next (2015)
“It is very sad,” he says, “that the sons of Buryatia, Irkutsk Oblast and the Transbaikal Kray have been forced to take part in this crime … Tell you sons that a soldier has the right to refuse to carry out illegal orders!” And demand that soldiers from Buryatia be withdrawn from Ukraine and immediately returned home.
Further demand, Dugarov says, that the bodies of Buryat soldiers who have died in this bloody war be returned to their republic for burial rather than cremated on the spot in mobile crematoriums as Russian forces are now doing. And he asked the relatives of soldiers to ask them not to shoot at Ukrainians and to surrender if they have the opportunity.
“One must not take part in this war,” he continues. “This is not our war. This war is a crime and Russia will pay for what it has done, for its unleashing of a bloody fight in the middle of Europe … We don’t want the Buryat people and all residents of Buryatia to have to respond for the crimes of the Putin regime.”
According to the Buryat activist, “the current leadership of the Buryat Republic, having become complicit in military crimes against the world and humanity no longer is legitimate in the eyes of the world community.” Buryat politicians have already been sanctioned, and the head of Buryatia has lost the last shred of legitimacy for Buryats.
Duharov says that as a result, it is his view that the Russian federative treaty is now null and void and that Buryats must form an alternative and legitimate government so that they can negotiate with other republics and regions to form a free and genuine federation on the territory of what is now the Russian Federation.
“But above all, let us together stop this bloody war!” he concludes.
[quote]“I say to soldiers: blood and murders do not give happiness; only peaceful constructive work can allow our Motherland to flourish. The independent Buryatia needs you and needs you alive. Don’t fulfill criminal orders and return home: your mothers, wives and children are waiting!”[/quote]
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