syrez bolyayen head erzyan national movement ukraine

Syrez Balyayen heads Erzyan national movement/ Source: inyazoro.info 

Opinion

Edited by: Kate Ryabchiy

Editor’s Note

The Erzyan national movement recognized the Soviet artificial famine of 1932-1933 as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people. They took this action at the urging of Erzyans, indigenous Russian peoples now fighting alongside Ukrainians against the Russian invaders. Vitaly Romashkin, a member of the Erzyan elders council, states that this is done for historical justice and “is essential for our spiritual healing and overcoming colonial thinking.”

Ukraine’s support for indigenous Russian peoples within the current borders of the Russian Federation is prompting an increasing number of the members of those nations to support Ukraine in various ways, including dispatching some of their numbers to fight against Putin’s invasion.

Many non-Russians inside Russia oppose Putin’s war; some see end of empire approaching

Others have spoken out in support of Ukraine and opposition to Russian repression and aggression, albeit in less dramatic but in some ways equally important ways. The Erzyan national movement is the most recent to do so, adopting a resolution recognizing the 1932-1933 Holodomor as an act of genocide.

On 26 November, the Atyan Ezem, as the Erzyan people’s council of elders is known, took this step. The council posted its decision on the website of Syrez Balyayen, the chief elder of the Erzyan people.

syres boliayian erzya ukriane territorial defence kyiv

Inyazor (head) of the people Erzya Syrez Balyayen, together with a group of compatriots, is now fighting in the ranks of the territorial defense of Kyiv/ Source: The Odesa Journal

Referring to earlier decisions of the same kind by the parliaments of Ukraine, Estonia and Hungary, the Erzyan national movement recognized the Holodomor as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people. The movement sent translations of its decision to the Verkhovna Rada. It also called for Erzyans to commemorate the anniversary of this action every year at the end of November.

Vitaly Romashkin, a member of the Atyan Ezem, explains that “the Erzyan do not have their own state and therefore our decrees are an action of the national representative organ, the council of elders.”

They took this action at the urging of Erzyans, now fighting alongside Ukrainians against the Russian invaders.

“It is possible,” he continues, “that Ukraine and Ukrainians will not pay attention to our action, but we are doing this above all for historical justice… One cannot condemn the Muscovite policy of ethnocide against the Erzyans without acknowledging and sharing the pain and suffering that Moscow has inflicted on others.”

“Therefore,” Romashkin concludes, “this document is essential for our spiritual healing and overcoming colonial thinking.”

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Edited by: Kate Ryabchiy
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