By Marissa J. Smith
It is now a month since the start of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.
This post follows up from a previous one and relates events that have occurred in the last two weeks.
While the Mongolian government and Mongolian media continue to express “neutrality,” other Mongolian voices on social media contest these and have continued to identify Russia as the aggressor. Most lately, this past weekend demonstrators assembled at the Russian Embassy after the Russian Embassy’s twitter and Facebook accounts directly called out “attention!” (ankhaarlal) to the Mongolian Democratic Party and “other supporters of American liberal hegemony.”
In December 2019, former mayor of Ulaanbaatar and major longtime member of the Democratic Party, E. Bat-Uul, was sentenced to four years in prison related to his son’s company winning tenders for Bat-Uul’s signature ger district development projects. On March 19 his lawyer stated that Bat-Uul’s right to publish was being denied, and that Bat-Uul wished to publish an essay, “Is Putin is reviving colonialism?” stating “Moscow should never be allowed to direct Mongolia again.” The essay is now available on Baabar.mn.
Former president Elbegdorj, who demonstrated alongside Bat-Uul in 1989, tweeted a comparison of Bat-Uul and Navalny.
Энэ хоёр @_BatUul @navalny эрх чөлөөтэй бол. Иргэд олны эрх эрх чөлөө, хөгжил дэвшилд их тустай байхсан.✌️Баатрыг хорьж бардаггүй, алж дуусдаггүй юм. Учир нь баатрууд бол үзэл санаа бас юунд ч үл дийлдэх хүч. Баатрууд хоригдох цаг мөчийг хулгайч, алуурчид л овжин ашиглах юм????️ pic.twitter.com/lL2HmVUOgf
— Mongol Tsakhia ELBEGDORJ (@elbegdorj) March 20, 2022
The twitter account of the Russian Embassy to Mongolia tweets a TV interview of former Mongolian foreign minister L. Erdenechuluun broadcast on Facebook. In his 2017 Historical Dictionary of Mongolia, Alan Sanders notes that Erdenechuluun challenged the Mongolian policy of “permanent neutrality” architected by Elbegdorj 2015, writing in major daily Udriin Sonin that he “wondered whether the neutrality policy, amending the Mongolian defense and foreign policy guidelines, had been discussed with the Russian and Chinese leaders and what they thought of it” (pg. 625).
Mongolia abstains from a second UN vote condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Only Syria, DPRK, Belarus and Eritrea joined Russia in voting against Ukraine’s resolution.
Russia’s list of friends speaks for itself. pic.twitter.com/GCCFHasRj5
— UK at the UN ???????? (@UKUN_NewYork) March 24, 2022
The Russian Embassy of Mongolia tweets to “The Mongolian Democratic Party and other supporters of the American liberal hegemony” that “Trump’s advisor has spread the truth.” The linked Facebook post has been deleted, but context indicates it refers to Roger Stone’s claims that the US was funding “bio-labs” in Ukraine.
❗️ Монголын Ардчилсан Намын гишүүд болон АНУ-ын либерал ноёрхлыг дэмжигчдийн анхааралд:
✔️ Трампын зөвлөх асан Украины тухай үнэнийг дэлгэв
— Посольство России в Монголии ???????? (@RusEmbMNG) March 24, 2022
Conversations on Facebook about the low availability of foreign currency are also observed.
Demonstrators assemble at the Russian Embassy to Mongolia and call for the ambassador to leave Mongolia and “go home.”
— Дэнс.мн Шинэбаяр (@ShinebayarTny) March 26, 2022
Video on Facebook is also available here. In addition to the long yellow banner, “No War,” and other signs from earlier demonstrations, participants also carry the flag of Mongolia, as well as at least one flag of the Republic of Kalmykia, Republic of Buryatia, and (further behind) the Republic of Tuva.
The twitter and Facebook accounts of the Russian Embassy shared longer statements in Russian and Mongolian defending their comments (though the first Facebook post has been removed).
In addition to the physical demonstrations at the Embassy themselves, the tweet and the and the Facebook post have attracted many Mongolian replies.