Free Buryatia Foundation

American advocacy group
Free Buryatia Foundation

The Free Buryatia Foundation (Russian: Фонд Свободная Бурятия) is an advocacy group focused on the Russian federal subject of Buryatia. The foundation is located in Alexandria, Virginia, United States.[1]

History

The Foundation was founded in March 2022 in response to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, by opponents of the war in Buryatia and members of the global Buryats diaspora.[2] Co-founder and journalist Alexandra Garmazhapova stated that the Russian government was "using impoverished Buryats as cannon fodder" and that "the future of Buryatia should be determined by the people of Buryatia in free elections."[3]

The organization has organized legal aid for soldiers and national guard members who are conscientious objectors to the invasion of Ukraine, as well as for their families. According to the Foundation, it has helped at least 350 individuals as of early-July 2022, along with widely disseminating step-by-step guides on conscientious objection via social media.[4][5] It has also used open-source intelligence to publish estimations of the number of Buryats killed in action in Ukraine, estimating that around 2.8% of Russian deaths as of late-April 2022 were Buryat, one of the highest death tolls among the Russian federal republics.[6]

The Foundation criticizes the mobilisation. [7]

Objectives

The Foundation supports greater autonomy for Buryatia, including greater control over monetary and natural resources. It supports the promotion of the Buryat language and of the culture of the Buryats.[3]

References

  1. ^ "Фонд Свободная Бурятия". Archived from the original on 2022-06-29.
  2. ^ Shemakov, Roman (30 June 2022). "The Republic of Buryatia: invasion of Ukraine is an extension of Russia's domestic dominance over the country's ethnic minorities". Global Voices. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  3. ^ a b Monks, Kieron (22 June 2022). "Russia's republics, bled dry by Putin, begin to demand independence from his rule". iNews. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  4. ^ Latypova, Leyla (12 July 2022). "'We Save Everyone': The Lawyers Helping Russian Soldiers Evade Service in Ukraine". The Moscow Times. Archived from the original on 2022-07-12. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  5. ^ van Brugen, Isabel (12 July 2022). "Over 100 Russian Servicemen Quit, Refusing to Fight Ukraine: Anti-War Group". Newsweek. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  6. ^ Shcherbakova, Irina (27 April 2022). "'This War Is a Vampire': Buryat Activists Protest Ukraine Invasion". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  7. ^ Russia's mobilization hits hard in poor, rural Buryatia
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