Russia disproportionally targets ethnic minorities with mobilization notices

24 September 2022, 12:52 PM
Russian military in occupied Crimea (

Russian military in occupied Crimea (

Moscow seems to be exerting particularly heavy mobilization levies on indigenous ethnic groups across Russia’s Buryatia and occupied Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.

As much as 90% of mobilization notices in Russia-occupied Crimea have been issued to Crimean Tatars in what can be described as an act of genocide, Ukrainian NGO CrimeaSOS said in a message on its website on Sept. 23.

“Preliminary reports suggest that Crimean Tatars received around 90% of all mobilization notices in Crimea, while constituting only 13-15% of the peninsula’s population,” said Yevhen Yaroshenko, an analyst at CrimeaSOS.

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According to Yaroshenko, this kind of mobilization could lead to a hidden genocide of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people.

International law defines one of the forms of genocide as intentional efforts to establish conditions to completely or partially wipe out a particular ethnic group.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his Sept. 23 address that Ukraine has evidence of Russia seeking to mobilize Crimean Tatars to fight elsewhere in Ukraine.

“This is a deliberate attempt by Russia to eradicate the Crimean Tatar people, a deliberate attempt by the aggressor to kill as many people on the territory Russia occupies,” Zelenskyy said.

At the same time, the Kremlin is indiscriminately scouring the Republic of Buryatia, in the Russian Far East, for people to call up to fight in Ukraine.

According to the human rights watchdog organization Free Buryatia, seniors, handicapped people, and those recovering from medical procedures are being drafted regardless of their circumstances. Military commissars go door-to-door calling people up, sometimes at night.

“This time Buryatia is remarkable because mobilization notices were being served at night,” head of Free Buryatia, Alexandra Garmazhapova said in an interview with German newspaper DW on Sept. 23.

“Villages were thoroughly scoured (for people to call up). This is clearly not a partial, but a full mobilization… I think this was one of the worst nights in Buryatia; nothing like this has ever happened before.”

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