On Saturday, March 25, activists of the League held pickets in support of political prisoners from the national republics and regions of the Russian Federation. The pickets were held in a number of cities in the US, Germany, Lithuania and Türkiye.
“Russia, both literally and figuratively, is a prison of peoples. Moscow treats the national republics and regions as conquered territories. Russians provide policies of predatory exploitation of resources, inefficient leadership, socio-economic degradation, de jure ban on political competition and the absence of fair elections, the destruction of sovereignty and the total assimilation of non-Russian peoples. Our nations are being wiped out by Russian authorities, yet they claim that we don’t want liberty, for everyone is silent. Yes, this silence will remain until Russia is capable of instilling fear,” Vladimir Dovdanov, member of the Oirad-Kalmyk People’s Congress and a participant in the Vilnius rally said.
League activists expressed support for:
# Airat Dilmukhametov, a Bashkir politician and journalist sentenced to 9 years in prison for calling for genuine federalism in the Russian Federation.
# Natalia Filonova, a journalist from Buryatia, known for covering protests in the republic. She has been kept in a pre-trial detention center for several months, and her adopted minor son with a disability was forcibly sent to the orphanage.
# Altan Ochirov, an activist of the Oirad-Kalmyk national movement, sentenced to 5 years for editing an independent Telegram channel about Kalmykia.
# Alexander Gabyshev, a Yakut shaman who survived numerous tortures conducted by Russian security officials for publicly calling to "expel Putin from the Kremlin." Gabyshev became a victim of punitive psychiatry.
“Russia manipulates public opinion, intimidating the international community with the terrible consequences of decolonization and the liberation of our peoples. They claim that freedom and the right to self-determination of the conquered peoples will inevitably turn into instability and war, which means that any repressions are justified. Meanwhile, Russia itself is waging the largest colonial war of the 21st century, using the non-Russian population as cannon fodder in it. Today we want to draw attention to the powerless situation of the national republics and regions, where the level of political repressions is at record levels. After all, our freedom fighters instill fear into not only the Kremlin, but also the so-called Russian liberal opposition,” Marina Khankhalaeva, “Tusgaar Buryaad Mongolia” movement representative and the Boston, MA rally organizer noted.