Bitter joke in Ukraine: EU to lift sanctions if the Russians stop bombing Kyiv

Mustafa Cemilev, the longtime leader of the Crimean Tatar national movement

Mustafa Cemilev, the longtime leader of the Crimean Tatar national movement 

2015/02/05 • Crimea

Indeed, Cemilev says, some are beginning to joke bitterly that sometime in the future, the EU will issue a declaration promising to lift sanctions “if the Russians will stop bombing Kyiv.”

Mustafa Cemilev, the longtime leader of the Crimean Tatar national movement, says that since Putin’s Anschluss “a Soviet regime has returned to the occupied territory of Crimea,” something his nation recognizes because it struggled for several decades against it for the right to return to its homeland.

But in some ways, Cemilev tells Grani.ru’s Elena Vlasenko, the situation in Crimea now is even worse than in Soviet times. In Soviet times, the authorities followed certain procedures and people counted on them. Now, the occupation forces “simply can seize people and carry them off to who knows where.”

The new rulers began to conduct searches for arms and prohibited literature, the latter being something “completely new for citizens of independent Ukraine” who “had already forgotten that such a term could exist and that it was possible to prohibit one kind of literature or another.”

Moreover, in Soviet times, it was impossible to publish something that was prohibited, but now, because the occupation regime hasn’t fully taken control of the situation, “it is possible to print something but then [if officials don’t like it for one or another reason] you are arrested or face enormous fines.”

After the Moscow-orchestrated “referendum,” Cemilev says, the occupation authorities took under control all of the media. They shut off all Ukrainian television channels, replacing them with Russian ones. They banned all meetings and marches. And if three people met together, they “were considered participants in illegal demonstrations and fined.”

The new rulers began to conduct searches for arms and prohibited literature, the latter being something “completely new for citizens of independent Ukraine” who “had already forgotten that such a term could exist and that it was possible to prohibit one kind of literature or another.” And they did so in a crude way that insulted the dignity of Crimeans.

Under the new order, “one can speak only good things about Putin,” Cemilev says. “If one says something bad, then the next day interrogations and threats begin.” An “atmosphere of fear” has arisen, and people are afraid to speak on the telephone especially if they want to say something about Putin or Russia.

An “atmosphere of fear” has arisen, and people are afraid to speak on the telephone especially if they want to say something about Putin or Russia.

Cemilev says that it is especially distressing to recall that Ukraine did not actively resist the Russian occupation. When Putin moved, there were only 6,000 combat-ready troops in its army, while the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol alone had about 20,000 fighters. Indeed, in that city alone, there were almost four times more Russian military personnel than Ukrainian soldiers in all of Ukraine.

That is part of the explanation for Ukrainian passivity, the Crimean Tatar leader says, but there is more involved than that and much of it is disturbing. When Putin sent in his “little green men,” the Russian terrorists numbered only 110 – and it would not have taken much for the Ukrainian Alpha Unit to seize and stop them.

But that unit, formed to struggle with terrorism, he reports, never got the order to proceed, and Cemilev says that one of its officers told him that “in general, we were prepared for a struggle with Crimean Tatars” rather than for anything else. Moreover, the Ukrainian security police on the peninsula almost to a man went over to the Russian side.

“Our territory has been transformed into a military base which represents a threat not only to our people and not only to Ukraine but in general to the entire world.”

Crimea has no prospects as long as the occupation continues, Cemilev says. “Neither for the Crimean Tatars not for the Russian-speaking population.” The only growth industry is the Russian military, and there are no more than 40,000 Russian troops in Crimea, more than the total number of personnel in the Ukrainian army.

“Our territory has been transformed into a military base which represents a threat not only to our people and not only to Ukraine but in general to the entire world,” Cemilev says. “And therefore, the only way out is for the international community to do everything it can to achieve the most rapid liberation of Crimea and all territories seized by Russian soldiers in the eastern part of Ukraine.”

Because that is the case, he continues, many are now concerned that Europeans are saying they may lift or reduce sanctions if Russia will simply “stop advancing further in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and if Moscow will “observe the Minsk accords about a cease fire.”

Indeed, Cemilev says, some are beginning to joke bitterly that sometime in the future, the EU will issue a declaration promising to lift sanctions “if the Russians will stop bombing Kyiv.”

Edited by: A. N.

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  • Czech Friend

    It is like the worst of Nazis, Fascist, Commies and Csarists blend together Russian mafia style and there is a super evil in the World.

    Calling on all free world: We must kill Putin or there will be no peace!

  • sandy miller

    Unfortunately, the putler trolls are winning in America. Their stuff gets printed in mass media. nothing from Ukrainians. Don’t know if Ukrainians aren’t writing or if media isnt printing.

    • disqus_aJpixObjG7

      Media is not printing.
      God bless you Sandy for your heart that beats for justice for Ukraine. After the Jewish people no other nation has suffered as much as Ukraine…, what is going on is that UKRAINE has always, ALWAYS, been ANATHEMA in the Western press, which by default follows the russian point of view of its owners.
      All that is good about UKRAINE is consistently called “russian” Only what is bad about Ukraine is called Ukrainian.
      Until Maidan, All that Americans knew about Ukraine was the smear that “Ukrainians were all vicious nazi guards at Auschwitz” nothing else.
      Nothing else at all.
      See 60 Minutes, see Wolf Blitzer et al. denounce all Ukrainians as “nazis” etc etc etc This smear has been going on & on since long before 1917. Ukrainians have lived under this barrage, this smear all their lives. The media in Europe are far worse than in the USA. It is not surprising to Ukrainians that the Western media in Europe fully proclaim the russian scenario.
      For one tiny example: this story will get zero coverage in Western media: Kremlin Proxies call Kremlin’s ’Kyiv Junta’ “Pathetic Jews”http://khpg.org/index.php?id=1…
      But BBC’s David Stern will continue with his still ongoing series of articles about Ukraine being flooded with Nazis and antisemites!
      MEANWHILE neither he nor NYT nor any other Western media will mention the glaring FACT that 78% of ALL members of the russian parliament are neo nazi. And so it continues on and on.
      However Ukraine will prevail in spite of all those who hate Ukraine, the cowards, traitors, russophiles, putinophiles, the vast 5th column and fellow travellers with putin, the segals the oliver stones etc etc

  • Dirk Smith

    The bitter joke is the Asperger dwarf who lost Ukraine and will soon lose Russia.

    • evanlarkspur

      But only after he is allowed to kill tens of thousands more people.

      • DejaVu

        Millions if not billions with nuclear weapons. Only then will he lose Russia and the world will be lost.

  • Brent

    and yet Emperor Obama, Queen Merkl and their court jester Hollande are all trying to convince Ukraine to negotiate a settlement with Russia….under Lord knows what terms, with terrorist regime such as Putin’s. I guess Merkl and Hollande want to recommence supply OFFENSIVE weapons to Russia.

    Obama won’t even provide Ukraine with weapons to DEFEND itself from Russia’s invasion, just so he doesn’t antagonize the schizoid pedophile with Asperger’s. NATO is useless with no desire to get involved to stop Russian aggression…which was the reason they were formed to begin with. Disband NATO. Let those countries with like minded reasons for standing up to Russia form their own alliance that is not dependent on catering to ‘useful idiots’ like Victor Orban, Marine Le Pen, the Syriza government of Greece and the sums they soul their souls to Putin for.

  • DejaVu

    The bitter joke and dark humor in this is that in the West there is alot of Russian sympathizers and also Russian lackey’s and cronies. Just look at the Czech President or the Hungarian administration. That’s not even mentioning Hollande and Merkel. That’s four traitorous snakes that deserve what is coming to them.

    Obama and his presidential administration are up on the list as well and they will soon find that their passiveness is rewarded with war.

    The reality is that both East and West are either in pre-collapse or collapse stages due to a variety of factors including economic. This also indicates as history has dictated that rising and declining powers come into conflict militarily more than 90% of the time.