Staunton, October 31 – The self-proclaimed Tatarstan Government in Exile has called on Tatars to refuse to serve in the Russian military, an action it said it was taking because of the inability and unwillingness of Russian commanders to protect Tatars now serving like Ramil Shamsutdiinov who killed eight of his persecutors earlier this month.
The appeal, posted online calls upon Tatars “to refuse being drafted into the army on the basis of religious, national, political or other convictions.” The Russian military has killed thousands of innocent civilians in the Kremlin’s wars, and Tatars must not be a part of that (tatar-toz.blogspot.com/2019/10/blog-post_26.html).
In addition to calling for draft resistance, the appeal urged the creation of a movement to do away with the draft so that no one will have to serve in the Russian armed forces against his or her will. It was signed by the leadership of the Exile Government. (On that body, see windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/06/tatar-national-movement-needs-to-follow.html.)
The Shamsutdin case has had resonance in other ways as well. Many prominent commentators have denounced his arrest. And nearly 30,000 people have signed a petition calling on the Russian authorities to release him (change.org/p/следственный-комитет-свободу-рамилю-шумсутдинову).