To prepare for the future battles and political turmoil ahead, Mr Gabbasov and his supporters are forming their own army.
Russia is careening towards a bloody civil war and nationalist uprisings that could lead to the breakup of the country and the emergence of 30 to 40 new states, according to a Bashkir independence leader.
Vladimir Putin’s ill-fated decision to invade Ukraine has poured fuel onto the flames of separatist causes throughout Russia, particularly in the country’s national republics. Russia’s population is made up of a complex tapestry of numerous nationalities and ethnic minorities – a legacy of its imperial past.
Currently there are almost 200 ethnic groups living within the borders of the existing Russian state, many of whom live in one of the 22 national republics that form part of the territorial framework of the country.
These republics on paper boast a degree of autonomy and have their own constitutions and legislatures. However, their leaders are appointed and closely controlled by the Kremlin and are expected to implement Moscow’s political agendas.
Growing anger at the Kremlin’s heavy handed assimilation policies, which seek to suppress and wipe out local cultures and national identities, has seen the emergence of a new generation of nationalist activists in the republics, who are increasingly calling for full independence from Russia.