ua en ru

Tajiks in Russia fear mass deployment to war in Ukraine

Tajiks in Russia fear mass deployment to war in Ukraine Russian security forces near Crocus City Hall (photo: Getty Images)

In Moscow, migrants from Tajikistan are trying to avoid leaving their homes due to fears of deportation or being sent en masse to war against Ukraine following the terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall, according to The New York Times.

Because four of the suspects detained in the attack near Moscow are Tajikistan nationals, anti-migrant rhetoric has intensified in Russia, especially online. Xenophobia has been spreading most actively in the pages of so-called war bloggers, and supporters of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, who are predominantly far-right.

As a result, the Kremlin is satisfying the demands of war supporters by promising tougher actions against migrants while also trying to prevent an outbreak of interethnic tension in society.

According to Russian state statistics, nearly a million citizens of Tajikistan were registered in Russia last year as labor migrants.

A food business manager in Moscow, where Tajiks work, told the NYT that the sentiments resemble those of the 2000s when Muslims from the Caucasus faced widespread discrimination after terrorist attacks and the war in Chechnya. Tajiks in Moscow are so scared that they hardly go out at all, she said.

They fear not only deportation but also being involved in the war in Ukraine, said 25-year-old Saidanvar, a Tajik human rights activist who recently left Moscow.

"Tajiks are really afraid that the Russian authorities will start sending Tajiks to the front en masse to fight as a sort of revenge against our Tajik people," he said.

Terrorist attack near Moscow

In the evening on Friday, March 22, in the city of Krasnogorsk in the Moscow region, several armed men in camouflage started shooting at the concert hall Crocus City Hall. According to the latest Russian reports, 143 people were killed in the attack.

Russian security forces detained four men, whom they called the perpetrators of the attack. Russian dictator Vladimir Putin claimed that they allegedly intended to flee to Ukraine, where a window was prepared for them. A few days later, Alexander Lukashenko made a statement suggesting that the attackers initially planned to cross the border between Russia and Belarus.

The responsibility for the terrorist attack was claimed by the group Islamic State. In the US and several other Western countries, there is confirmed information about ISIS involvement and rejection of involvement in events in Ukraine.

The Basmanny Court in Moscow arrested four suspects in the attack. They allegedly confessed to committing the terrorist act. The men were brought to court beaten, one of them was on a stretcher accompanied by doctors. They were subjected to torture.

The US State Department believes that Russia is trying to justify the war against Ukraine through the terrorist attack.