Activists in Novosibirsk record message for the international community about Kazakhstan • Arina Yuzhnaya • Siber.Realii (RFE/RL) • January 10, 2022
Novosibirsk residents have recorded a video message to the international community “on behalf of all Russian citizens who oppose the Russian military intervention in Kazakhstan.” They are certain that the peaceful protesters in Kazakhstan “are not terrorists,” our correspondent reports.
Nine people appear in the video, including pianist Timofei Kazantsev, former head of the We Are Against Corruption Foundation Viktor Sorokin, and activists Andrei Kaygorodtsev, Rashid Zamanov and Alexander Abrosov. The appeal has been released in two versions: in Russian with English subtitles, and in English translation.
“The citizens of Kazakhstan who came out to protest poverty and corruption are not terrorists. Their arrests, and even more so their murders, are unacceptable,” they say in the message.
They stress that they consider the Russian military intervention unacceptable, since it could lead to “interethnic hostility and bloodshed.”
“President Tokayev called on the CSTO to defend [Kazakhstan] against an external terrorist threat. We believe that the Kazakhs will perceive Russian soldiers, who make up the bulk of the Collective Security Treaty Organization military contingent, as an external threat,” Kazantsev told us.
He believes that there now exists an “extraordinary situation in which our country is potentially behaving like an aggressor.” Kazantsev considers it wrong when an international organization meddles in the internal affairs of a sovereign state, even at the request of the country’s president. All this, in his opinion, is fraught with consequences.
For this reason, the authors of the video also appeal to the people of Kazakhstan. They explain that the Russian people have no “aggressive ambitions,” but that “no one has asked the opinion of ordinary Russians.”
At the end of the appeal, the authors of the video demand the withdrawal of Russian troops from Kazakhstan.
The Kazakh government has unleashed ferocious repression against the uprising that exploded last week.
Security forces opened fire on demonstrators. “Dozens” died, according to media reports, but on 7 January president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev let slip that “hundreds” had been killed. Tokayev also said he gave the order to “shoot to kill without warning” to suppress protests.
There are no accurate figures, because the government has cut off internet access for almost the whole country and imposed an information blockade.
The internal affairs ministry has said that more than 4400 people have been arrested, and warned that sentences of between eight years and life will be imposed. The Kazakh regime has used torture against worker activists before: its forces may be emboldened by the 3000 Russian and other troops flown in to support them.
It’s difficult, in the midst of this nightmare, to try to analyse the wave of protest and its consequences. Anyway, here are four points, based on what I can see from a distance.
The MPs thus propose responding to a Reuters report that the US plans to deploy HIMARS rocket launchers in southeastern Turkey in May.
“First of all, we are talking about deploying Russian rocket launchers of a similar or even greater range in Cuba. Also, an asymmetrical response to Washington by way of reactivating the SIGINT station in Lourdes seems appropriate,” the MPs write in their appeal.
Zyuganov Considers Christ “First Communist in History” TASS
April 20, 2016
The head of the CPRF Central Committee called the feast of Christ’s Resurrection an “amazing, wonderful holiday” that “is in no way at odds with workers’ solidarity.”
CPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov confirmed that the Communists do not intend to forego involvement in May Day rallies despite reports that they might be cancelled in a number of Russia’s regions due to Easter.
“Official processions are cancelled, but as for public organizations, no Aksyonov [head of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov] can cancel them,” Zyuganov told TASS.
He recalled that May 1 is International Workers’ Day, a holiday that “came into being in defense of working people’s rights,” and is an official holiday in the Russian Federation.
“And no administrator can cancel this holiday,” argues the leader of the Communist Party.
“Workers have no other way to defend their rights except solidarity. They have every right to gather on May 1 and voice their opinion. We are going to be involved in these events, and our Crimean organization will also be involved,” said Zyuganov.
As for Orthodox Easter, which this year also falls on May 1, Zyuganov called the feast of Christ’s Resurrection an “amazing, wonderful holiday” that “is in no way at odds with workers’ solidarity.”
“Because Christ was the first communist in modern history. He raised his voice for orphans, for the needy, for the sick, for the wretched, for everyone who had it bad. In this sense, if he were alive, he would be marching with us,” said the head of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.
Earlier, the head of the Republic of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov* said that Crimean authorities would not be holding official May Day demonstrations and rallies due to Orthodox Easter.
“This year, May Day coincides with the Easter holiday. Many of us will be spending the night before May first in churches at Easter services, and many will be celebrating the Holy Resurrection of Christ with their families. The authorities of the Republic of Crimea are not planning May Day demonstrations and rallies this year. There will not be any official celebrations. But people may decide for themselves how they will celebrate the Holiday of Spring and Labor,” Aksyonov said in a statement released by his press office.
The media have also reported the trade unions of Surgut and Tambov have decided not to hold May Day events for the same reason. May Day rallies in Russia have usually been organized by trade union organizations, mainly the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russian (FNPR), which has nearly twenty million members.
Aksyonov says homosexuals “have no chance” in Crimea, and that “we in Crimea do not need such people.” He also promised that if gays tried to hold public gatherings, “our police and self-defense forces will react immediately and in three minutes will explain to them what kind of sexual orientation they should stick to.”