Putin sends ethnic minorities to die. Who are the Buryats, the Kazakhs, the Tuvani- Corriere.it

Putin sends ethnic minorities to die. Who are the Buryats, the Kazakhs, the Tuvani- Corriere.it
Putin sends ethnic minorities to die. Who are the Buryats, the Kazakhs, the Tuvani- Corriere.it
from Federico Fubini

Putin avoids recruiting young people from big cities because he fears family protests. Researcher Maria Vyushkova: Who is aware of these minorities?

Vladimir Putin
compares himself to Peter the Great and from the beginning the war was conceived inside the Kremlin by a small circle of white men, in old age, linked to the dream of a great Slavic empire that reconquers its ancient European regions. But the toll of blood is being paid, out of all proportion, by young men with completely different looks: almond-shaped eyes, high Mongolian cheekbones or olive complexions of the Caucasus.

Lost provinces

Often they are Muslims from North Ossetia or Dagestan or Tibetan Buddhists from Buryatia or the Republic of Tuva, on the borders of Mongolia. Or they come from some remote province of the Far East not far from the borders with China and North Korea, like the autonomous Jewish province where Stalin had tried to deport an entire inconvenient minority. In the name of Putin’s imperial dream – numbers in hand – these young people from the most distant lands are hundreds of times more likely to die in Ukraine than their peers in Moscow or St. Petersburg. Stubborn research and data analysis say they were the first to be thrown into the furnace of war in the bloodiest weeks. The Buryats, for example, are just 0.3% of the population, but they were 4.5% of the dead in the first three weeks of the war.

Ukraine Russia, news on today’s war
Eight dead in Moscow

The share of ethnic Kazakhs engulfed in the war millstone is seven times their weight in the Russian population. people like them and other minorities to find themselves much more exposed than Russian Slavs, whites and originating in the great European cities. As of today, just eight people have died in the war in Moscow, in a population of twenty million in the metropolitan area. Of Tuva, six times as many deaths are known with certainty, despite a population over sixty times smaller: the probability of dying is hundreds of times higher, if you are among those who have come from the wrong side of Russia. Pushed against enemy fire as much as these Asian or Caucasian Russians have so far been only Ukrainians from the occupied territories, forcibly enlisted alongside the Moscow army: conscripts with threats and violence in the independent republics of Donetsk and Lugansk or sent to die under the Ukrainian fire from Sevastopol which only a few years ago was removed by Putin from the control of Kiev. There is a clandestine network in Russia that keeps accounts of the fallen every day, because this is also an act of civil resistance under a regime that lies: the Moscow government had spoken of 1,351 who fell on March 25 and since then nothing moreto the point that the chairman of the Defense Committee of the Duma Andrei Kartapolov went so far as to say this month that the dead in Ukraine are silent because there are no more.

Silicon Valley

Maria Vyushkova knows that this is not the case. As her Asian traits reveal, she comes from Buryatia, expatriated from Russia in 2010, today a quantum computing researcher at the Computational Research Center of Notre Dame in Silicon Valley and among a few visible nodes of the network. Her expertise makes her useful in managing the database created to debunk Putin’s big lie about the dead. I never imagined finding myself in such a role – he says Maria Vyushkova, 40 years old -. We are the only organization that counts the fallen also by ethnic origin. The members of the network are hundreds spread over the eleven Russian time zones: each co-opted upon presentation of other trusted elements of the network, each authorized to know only a very few others so that an arrest or a betrayal does not risk compromising the entire structure. They work as they can. They keep an eye on local newspapers for death announcements or obituaries, watch Russian social media like VKontakte or Odnoklassniki (Classmates), scroll through Telegram chats if anyone talks about a friend who died in the war. Only in this way they have identified about 4 thousand, divided by ethnicity and regions.

The death toll

But some die without anyone talking about them somewhere and to locate these people the members of the network visit the cemeteries, count the fresh graves and check if a photo of a boy in uniform stands on them. So they identified another 4,000 fallen. Then there is the huge number of missing people, often almost always silent deaths, which brings the toll to 12,000 and finally the deaths of Wagner and the other contracted forces. Our total death toll on the Russian side is not far from the 15,000 the Pentagon is talking about, says Vyushkova. In her opinion, minorities are sent forward to die out of contempt, not for the design of a purge in the style of Stalin. In part it is always the poorest of the suburbs who enlist, as happened to the Latinos of the American army in Iraq. But Putin is careful to preserve the families of Moscow and St. Petersburg because he fears protests in big cities – adds Vyushkova -. If some Buryat dies in the suburbs, who wants them to notice?

June 24, 2022 (change June 24, 2022 | 09:06)

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The article is in Italian

Tags: Putin sends ethnic minorities die Buryats Kazakhs Tuvani Corriere .it

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