Tajik opposition activists have sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin asking him to help resolve the military conflict in eastern Tajikistan that has left over 200 people dead, Russian RBC daily reported on Thursday, citing Tajik opposition activist Ikbolsho Muborakshoyev.
Russia is “the only authoritative force that can influence the situation and call the opposing sides to dialogue,” Muborakshoyev told a press conference on Thursday.
“Unfortunately, the official position recently announced by the Foreign Ministry is unacceptable for us since it supports the government’s actions,” he said, adding that the talks between the government and opposition have little chance of success because the government is pressuring the opposition.
Muborakshoyev charged that the military operation near the eastern Tajik city of Khorog, officially targeting the suspected killers of a top security official, was actually an attempt by President Emomali Rakhmon to suppress the opposition, which is traditionally influential in this part of the country.
Tajik security officials reported on Tuesday that 30 militants, including eight Afghan citizens, were killed and 40 were detained during a special operation in Tajikistan’s southern Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region against a mafia-style group believed to be behind the murder of Abdullo Nazarov, chief of the Tajikistan National Security Committee, who was killed on July 21.
Dushanbe denies any casualties among civilians, but the opposition media reported about over 200 dead, including security officers and civilians.
Putin has yet to respond to the appeal.