Protest signs say: "Don't kill ATR!!!", "ATR's voice of freedom will not be strangled", #SaveATR" (Image: rfi.fr)
Because the Russian occupation authorities have refused to register it, the Crimean Tatar television channel ATR ended its broadcasts at midnight yesterday, its leaders unbowed, committed to continue, and proudly asserting that the Crimean Tatars will survive this just as they survived their deportation by Stalin in 1944.
ATR managers said that they would continue to seek registration and continue to broadcast while they do so, and Lilya Budzhurova, one of their number, pointedly said “Our people survived Stalin. Will they not survive these current problems?” Of course, they will and ultimately flourish.
The Crimean Tatars, who suffered incomparably more in the wake of their deportation, “will build their own home on their own land,” she said in signing off. “Yes, we today are ending our broadcasts, but we know that we will be returning. We will always return. And we will say again, ‘This is ATR television on the air.’”