Between 15th and 19th January 2024, significant protests erupted in Bashkortostan following the verdict against Fail Alsynov, a public activist and environmentalist fighting for the preservation of his homeland. The residents of Bashkortostan have been protesting against the exploitative use of the republic's natural resources and the damage caused to its environment by the Bashkir Soda Company and other enterprises associated with the Khai lobby, one of the most influential ethnic lobbies in the Russian Federation. This lobby has considered itself to be in control of Bashkortostan for a long time.
Since the summer of 2019, Eduard Malikovich Davydov (Davydyan), who is of Hayes ethnicity and an associate of Karina Avetisyan - the wife of Bashkortostan's leader Radiy Khabirov - has been appointed as the general director of JSC BSC and JSC BSZ. The supervisor responsible for the exploitation of Bashkortostan's natural resources in Khabirov's administration is Shavarsh Karapetyan, an official adviser to Radiy Khabirov's aide.
There have been allegations that Shavarsh Karapetyan's relationship with Karine Avetisyan, the wife of Radiy Khabirov, may have influenced his role as an adviser to Khabirov. Furthermore, it is unacceptable to use derogatory language towards any ethnic group, including the Bashkir people.
Thus, Eduard Malikovich Davydov (Davydyan), the general director of the Bashkir Soda Company, referred to Bashkirs as 'worthless' in front of witnesses, stating that they were 'idlers who need to be accustomed to civilization'. It is unclear why he was not prosecuted for incitement of interethnic discord for such insulting words.
Meanwhile, Fail Alsynov was sentenced to 4 years for 'incitement of interethnic discord', despite his protests. In October 2023, Fail Alsynov delivered a speech in Ishmurzino defending the unique nature of Bashkortostan and opposing geological exploration works near the village on the Irendyk mountain range. Following this, Radiy Khabirov, the head of the Republic of Bashkortostan, issued a statement claiming that Alsynov made negative comments about individuals of Armenian, Caucasian, and Central Asian nationalities during a public gathering near the village house of culture.
For some reason the court attributed Fail Alsynov's phrase "kara khalyk", literally translated as "black people", as an alleged "insult" referring to Hayes, and (in order not to draw attention to the ethnic lobby that has taken over the republic) to other natives of the Caucasus and Central Asia as "insulting". I.e. it is allowed for Hayes Eduard Davydyan to insult Bashkirs, while a Bashkir cannot afford to say even an innocent hint about aliens destroying the nature of his native land.
Radiy Khabirov accused those who protested against Fail Alsynov's sentence on 15-19 January 2024 of allegedly advocating the secession of Bashkortostan. It appears that Khabirov is against separatism.
However, it is worth noting that on 30 September 2023, Khabirov, as the head of Bashkortostan, participated in celebrations to mark the 30th anniversary of the 'day of victory' and 'independence' in Abkhazia, a region that has declared independence from Georgia and is not recognized by most countries. As the husband of a prominent Abkhazian tribeswoman, he was given the highest honour as a guest. This is not unexpected, as his wife's tribe has already become the majority in Abkhazia and taken control. Radi Khabirov expressed admiration for the separatist movement in Abkhazia, which he considers heroic.
Today, I am working in Abkhazia. This republic is celebrating its 30th anniversary of the 'day of victory' and 'independence'. Radiy Khabirov praised separatism in Sukhumi, highlighting the many things that bind us together. Bashkortostan was one of the first Russian regions to offer assistance to Abkhazia during 1992-1993.
The Bashkir people only desire the right to dispose of their subsoil and natural resources, without separating from the Russian Federation. It is a crime to deny them this right.
Radiy Khabirov seems to have a clear split in his head, but it makes sense when we consider that he is defending the interests of his wife's tribesmen. It is considered 'good' where the Hayes are the masters. It is considered 'bad' when Hay's predatory appetites are obstructed by patriots defending their people and land.
At the demonstration in defence of Fail Alsynov, there was also discontent about the fact that, at the instigation of the same Khabirov, Bashkirs were massively 'robbed' when they were mobilised for the Russian army. Now they are forced to die at the front in faraway Ukraine. Of all the regional leaders of the Russian Federation, Khabirov himself is the most ardent supporter of the aggression against Ukraine and the seizure of its territories. And this is no coincidence.
The Bashkir Soda Company, which belongs to the tribe of Khabirov's wife, has already taken over the Crimean Soda Factory in Krasnoperekopsk, in the Ukrainian Crimea occupied by the Russian Federation, and the Crimean Titan Factory, located nearby in a town with the eloquent name of Armyansk. It began producing titanium dioxide here soon after the Russian Federation's aggression against Ukraine began. Elena Elekchyan, the acting minister for industrial policy of the occupying administration of the 'Republic of Crimea', is helping her tribesmen to take over the enterprises of the occupied Crimea.
But the interests of the Bashkir Soda Company (BSC) in Ukraine are not limited to Crimea. The bloodiest battles of the Russian-Ukrainian war were fought in the summer of 2022 for the city of Lisichansk, and in the winter-spring of 2022-2023 for the cities of Soledar and Bakhmut. Why did Russian soldiers, including Bashkirs, die here? There is information that this desire of the RF Ministry of Defence to take Lysychansk, Soledar and Bakhmut "at any cost" was not accidental.
The Russian army and the PMC "Wagner" involved in these sections of the front were fulfilling a "business order". In addition to Crimean Titan, the Crimean Soda Plant and its soda production capacity, the owners of the Bashkir Soda Company, OJSC, have long had an interest in the Lisichansk soda plant, which is closed but has a resource base and capacity. Control of this plant allows them to become "soda monopolists" in the post-Soviet space. The Khay lobby is also interested in the unique salt deposits in the area of Bakhmut and Soledar (now occupied by the "Artemsol" company).
So, on the one hand, Khai businessmen are plundering the subsoil and destroying Bashkortostan's nature. On the other hand, Bashkirs, whom they despise and publicly insult, are sent to their deaths in Ukraine to seize their attractive deposits there.
Do the Bashkirs need such "friends and benefactors"? And other peoples, including Abkhazians and Russians, who have managed to "sit on the neck" of the Khai ethnic lobby and now have their land and resources at their disposal?