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Window on Eurasia — New Series: This Year, Tatars Won’t Mark Anniversary of 1552 with Public Meeting, VTOTs Head Says

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Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 12 – Beginning in 1989, Tatars every October marked the anniversary of the Russian conquest of Kazan in 1552, first with mass parades and then when those were banned in the early 2000s with smaller meetings. But this year, they will not have even that, Farit Zakiyev says.

            The head of the All-Tatar Public Center better known by its acronym VTOTs, an organization that the authorities have banned as extremist, says that this year there will only be commemorations by individuals, adding that this is a disaster because “a people which forgets its history does not have a future” (

            Zakiyev notes that since the start of Putin’s war in Ukraine, the Kazan authorities have not sanctioned any opposition demonstrations. He says that he and his group are placing their hopes in Tatars outside of Tatarstan to carry the banner forward and to remind everyone that “we had a state” in the past.

Window on Eurasia — New Series

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