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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Zulfira Khaibullina: We must not forget that our grandfathers fought against a common enemy Fox News

Unfortunately, the reason for the conversation with her was an extremely disturbing incident. A campaign has been launched against Zulfira Khaibullina by a fairly large group of citizens who are disgusted by her belief that in Kyrgyzstan it is necessary to carefully preserve the memory of the Great Patriotic War and educate children in patriotism, love for the homeland and common history.

  • I did not imagine that something like this could be the reason for an interview in Kyrgyzstan.

Zulfira Khaibullina: And it’s scary. I can’t imagine where all these people are coming from and where there is so much hatred in them… On the other hand, this whole situation has convinced me that we still have a lot more good people. After what happened, I received many messages with words of support. People, completely unknown to each other, united, because they realized that it was impossible to close their eyes to what was happening. I believe that together we will win!

  • There are versions that what happened to you is nothing more than an attempt to disrupt the preparations for the march of the Immortal Regiment.

Zulfira Khaibullina: I think that’s most likely the case. I do not exclude that external forces could be behind all this. It is known that a lot of funds have been directed to various actions in Central Asian countries from abroad.

  • Why and who might need it?
    Zulfira Khaibullina: Those who want us to betray our common memory, to forget our history, seek to hijack us. Only those who wish no one would remember that our grandfathers fought together care.

  • How, in your opinion, did this become possible in a country that at one time sent almost every man capable of holding weapons to the front?

Zulfira Khaibullina: It seems to me that it is a complex problem. On the one hand, there was an omission on the part of the state. For a long time, the authorities did not think about the need to instill patriotism in the younger generation. In the school curriculum, the time allocated to the study of the Great Patriotic War has been reduced. Only two hours are allotted for this. And then there is the factor of labor migration. Adults go to work and hardly anyone cares about raising children. This is why the new generation is so sensitive to the propaganda of artificial values ​​imposed from outside.

  • But what makes people of our generation change their outlook on the common past? After all, we studied in the same schools on the same programs.

Zulfira Khaibullina: This is the most difficult question for me, and I don’t know the answer. Perhaps many years of propaganda from abroad played a part. For many years they tried to inculcate other values ​​in our people. Other benchmarks were set in their heads.

  • By the way, what prompted you to accept the idea of ​​the “Immortal Regiment”, to become one of the organizers of popular action?

Zulfira Khaibullina: Maybe the recent past has had some influence on me as well. I have always been distinguished by an active position, since my school years I have participated in various events. My father led the veterans’ council at the company where he worked. We helped participants in the war, took care of memorials. At home there was always a lot of literature on relevant topics.

For the first time, the march of the Immortal Regiment in Kyrgyzstan, if you remember, took place in Osh. I saw this news and I wondered: why is such an action not taking place in Bishkek? We can say that it was an impulse of the soul, the desire to protect our common memory. Indeed, in almost every family there were those who went to the front during the Great Patriotic War.
With the help of journalists, I managed to contact the organizers of the march in Osh. It turned out that the initiative came from below, from social activists. And then I took over the organization of the same action in the capital.

The first years, frankly, were very difficult. We can say that we encountered a certain type of resistance. Maybe someone would like to retain a monopoly on organizing such events. Or he was afraid that we took all the laurels for ourselves. Fortunately, the misunderstanding was overcome.

  • What do you think of the fact that great officials and even presidents join the procession of the “Immortal Regiment”?

Zulfira Khaibullina: With all understanding. It should be understood that the officials participate in the procession not as persons invested with power and authority, but as ordinary citizens, they go to the march of the “Immortal Regiment” not to gain political points. There were participants of the Great Patriotic War in their families, and they are proud of them, they want to honor the memory of their ancestors.

  • Aren’t you afraid of provocations during the next procession of the “Immortal Regiment”?

Zulfira Khaibullina: I have such fears every year. Fortunately, there are competent authorities who can intervene to prevent provocations. Although on the ground, they sometimes try to play it safe. Last year, for example, the office of the mayor of Bishkek did not give a clear answer for a long time whether the city authorities would be able to authorize the procession. I assume that the officials were afraid of possible provocations in connection with the events in Ukraine. But in the end, we got permission.

Of course, we would very much like the political aspect not to influence the possibility of holding a popular action. Including the international situation. But, unfortunately, this cannot be completely avoided. But I think Kyrgyzstan will overcome this, the situation should return to normal. Good people, I repeat, more.

key question

  • In your opinion, why did the volunteer movement appear and develop so powerfully in Kyrgyzstan?

Zulfira Khaibullina: Because we have good, sincere people, they always respond to someone else’s misfortune. No one thinks of benefits or rewards. Help comes at the request of the soul. Our society reacts acutely to tragic events, be it a plane crash, a border dispute or riots.
The volunteer movement, one might say, has become massive since the events of 2010, when a conflict broke out in southern Kyrgyzstan, during which a large number of citizens suffered. The human tragedy could not leave people indifferent. We announced the collection of humanitarian aid, then we sent it to the south. These are the exact same volunteers who, without the involvement of officials, accepted it on their own, delivered it to places and distributed it to people in need.

What we managed to do then impressed many of our fellow citizens. People believed that in our society there are many caring people who are ready to selflessly support those who are in trouble. And most importantly – that volunteering brings real results and help really reaches those who need it.

Or take, for example, the latest happenings in the Batken region. A large number of fellow citizens volunteered to help the victims. And when they come together, you can feel that special spirit that gives you new strength. This feeling cannot be compared to anything.

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