Protestors gathered in the Russian Republic of Bashkortostan this past Wednesday, the 17th, after a well-known advocate in the area was handed a four-year sentence to a penal colony.
Russian authorities have brought charges against Fail Alsynov for “spreading ethnic hatred” after speaking about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Young Baskir men, the native people in the region, have been “thrown into the flames,” according to Alsynov.
He also expressed grievances in 2020 after a mining operation was to take place at a mountain that’s regarded as sacred. Many speculate that the sentence was also “revenge” for this event. Alsynov has also been labeled a terrorist.
The protests were marred with violence, with dozens of protestors arrested, and the police used tear gas to scatter crowds, which grew to an estimated 3,000 people. Protests spread to the capital of Ufa, where protestors sang songs and performed Bashkir dances. The town of Baymak has also seen similar events.
Bashkortostan is located between the Volga River and the Ural Mountains, close to Kazakhstan.