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Soldiers from Turkic nations form battalion in Ukraine to fight Russian invaders

Screenshot from a video announcement of the battalion’s formation
Article by: Paul Goble

At the end of October, an Azerbaijani volunteer serving in the Ukrainian army said that there were plans to form a Turkic Legion to fight alongside the Ukrainians against Russian invaders.

Those plans now appear to have taken shape in the form of the Turan Battalion, a group consisting of Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Buryat, Altay, and Daghestani soldiers under the command of a Kyrgyzstan citizen Almas Kudabek uulu, who is wanted by Bishkek.

“Under the guise of a special operation,” the battalion’s commander says in an interview, “Putin is carrying out the genocide of the Turkic-language people. Covering himself with Islam, Ramzan Kadyrov has declared a jihad. Islam for us is holy, and one must not play games on this score.”

And he continues: “We will destroy Kadyrov’s devilish regime and Putin’s imperial regime. We will struggle every day and spread terror against [their supporters and agents] inside and out.”

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