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.

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.”

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!