Opposed to the war with Ukraine: what is known about Fail Alsinov, whose arrest sparked massive protests in Bashkiria. Photo
Activist Fail Alsinov, who was sentenced to four years in prison in Bashkiria (Russia) on charges of "inciting ethnic hatred" and whose release is demanded by thousands of protesters in the republic, has been advocating for the sovereignty of Bashkortostan since 2014. In 2022, he was fined for speaking out against the war in Ukraine and the mobilization of Bashkirs.
According to Vazhnye Istori, the Russian authorities consider Fail Alsinov a Bashkir nationalist. In 2014, he became one of the founders of the Bashkort movement, which advocated for the sovereignty of Bashkortostan.
In 2020, Bashkort was recognized as an extremist organization.
Alsinov also took part in protests in defense of the Shikhan (lone mountain), a natural monument in Kushtau, which the Bashkir authorities wanted to give away for limestone mining. The 2020 protests lasted for about three weeks, and as a result, the protesters defended the Shikhan.
A few days after the announcement of "partial" mobilization in the Russian Federation in 2022, Alsinov called what was happening a genocide of the Bashkir people and wrote that Russia's war with Ukraine was "not our war." He was then fined 10 thousand rubles (about 4.2 UAH), and his home was searched.
In April 2023, Fail Alsinov took part in protests in the village of Ishmurzino in the Baymak district of Bashkortostan against gold mining on the Irandyk mountain range.
In October 2023, after his speech in Ishmurzino, the head of Bashkortostan, Radiy Khabirov, personally wrote a statement against Alsinov, accusing him of speaking out against people of Armenian, Caucasian, and Central Asian nationalities. At the time, the activist said that visitors could leave Bashkiria, but Bashkirs had nowhere to go from their land.
In January 2024, the prosecutor's office requested four years in prison for Alsynov. During the closed court hearings, thousands of people rallied in defense of the activist. Thus, on January 15, according to various estimates, from 1 to 5 thousand people came to the court to support Alsynov.
On January 16, 2024, Alsynov was added to the list of extremists in the Russian Federation, and on January 17, he was sentenced to four years in prison in a case of "incitement to hatred."
In the speech for which Alsynov was convicted, he used the expression "kara khalik." Literally, it translates as "black people, black people" - a conventional name for the feudal-dependent population of the Golden Horde in the 13th-16th centuries. An "academic translation of the activist's speech" prepared by specialist Aynur Khuzhakhmetov was attached to the criminal case. He translated the phrase as "black people" and stated that allegedly "the meaning of the phrase corresponds to the meaning of the words 'khachi,' 'churki,' 'niggers.'
As OBOZ.UA previously reported:
- Protests in Bashkiria began on January 15. Then about 15 thousand people took part in a peaceful rally in support of Alsinov, who called on Russians to "leave" Bashkiria "for their own Ryazan." It was the largest protest of the entire period of the full-scale war.
- On January 17, the Internet was cut off in Baymak, and all entrances to the court where Alsinov was sentenced were blocked. However, people abandoned their cars and walked to support the activist. About 5 thousand people gathered near the court, chanting: "Freedom! Azatlyk, Fail, we are with you!", "We do not surrender our own!".
- After the dispersal and beating of protesters in Baymak, a resident of Bashkiria called on her compatriots to leave Ukraine and return home to protect their people from the totalitarian regime of the Russian Federation.