Ukrainian parliament declares 1944 Soviet deportation of Crimean Tatars an act of genocide

Russian FSB secret police and paramilitaries suppress any open dissent in Crimea and actively search for any hidden resistance to the occupation. Beside using the judicial system to enforce the Russian occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula, they employ secret abductions and extrajudicial killings of Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian activists. (Image: GordonUA.com)

Russian FSB secret police and paramilitaries suppress any open dissent in Crimea and actively search for any hidden resistance to the occupation. Beside using the judicial system to enforce the Russian occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula, they employ secret abductions and extrajudicial killings of Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian activists. (Image: GordonUA.com) 

2015/11/13 • Analysis & Opinion, Crimea, Russia

Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada today declared the Soviet deportation of the Crimean Tatars an act of genocide and announced that henceforth Ukrainians will mark May 18th, the anniversary of that deportation, as the Day of Memory of the Victims of the Genocide of the Crimean Tatar People.

Reshat Ametov was abducted by military-clad men during a peaceful protest on March 3, 2014. His body was recovered in two weeks in 60 kilometers (40 miles) from the place of his abduction. It had signs of torture. He was killed with a knife thrust through an eye. (Image: GordonUA.com

Reshat Ametov was abducted by military-clad men during a peaceful protest on March 3, 2014. His body was recovered in two weeks in 60 kilometers (40 miles) from the place of his abduction. It had signs of torture. He was killed with a knife thrust through an eye. (Image: GordonUA.com

That action is important both because the Russian occupiers have banned any commemoration of the May 18th date and because Moscow continues acts of genocide against the Crimean Tatars by killing or expelling many of them and by destroying or transferring to Russia their national monuments.

The last is especially important because many do not understand that such actions are defined as acts of genocide under international law. Two days ago, Lyudmyla Denysova, head of the Verkhovna Rada delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, pointed that out at a meeting of the PABSEC in Tirana.

Two friends Timur Shaymardanov and Seyran Zinedinov, Crimean Tatars and activists of the Ukrainian Home organization opposed to the Russian occupation,  disappeared in the end of May 2015. Shaymardanov never arrived to work after he left home in the morning of May 25. Zinedinov actively searched for his friend and himself disappeared five days later after a conversation with his friend's wife where he mentioned that the Russian paramilitaries might be connected to her husband's abduction. He called to tell his wife he is about to leave Shaymardanovs' house and is going directly home, but never arrived there. They are still not found.

Two friends Timur Shaymardanov and Seyran Zinedinov, Crimean Tatars and activists of the Ukrainian Home organization opposed to the Russian occupation, disappeared in the end of May 2015. Shaymardanov never arrived to work after he left home in the morning of May 25. Zinedinov actively searched for his friend and himself disappeared five days later after a conversation with his friend’s wife where he mentioned that the Russian paramilitaries might be connected to her husband’s abduction. He called to tell his wife he is about to leave Shaymardanovs’ house and is going directly home, but never arrived there. They are still not found.

She said the occupiers have been illegally removing museum collections from Crimea to St. Petersburg and noted that such actions are “a direct violation” not only of Ukraine’s rights but also of “the norms and principles of international humanitarian law,” a reference to the Genocide Convention.

Moscow clearly has not thought this through; indeed, Duma deputy Dmitry Gudkov says that the Kremlin’s entire approach to Crimea has been improvised as it has gone along. He says that initially there was no plan to annex Crimea but rather to use “the Abkhaz variant.”

Two cousins Jevdet Islyamov (23 y.o.) and Islyam Jepparov (18 y.o.) disappeared in the end of September 2015. They were last seen being abducted by a group of men in black military uniforms in the street. They were searched, forced into a light-blue van and driven away. They have not been found. (Image: crim.sledcom.ru)

Two cousins Jevdet Islyamov (23 y.o.) and Islyam Jepparov (18 y.o.) disappeared in the end of September 2015. They were last seen being abducted by a group of men in black military uniforms in the street. They were searched, forced into a light-blue van and driven away. They have not been found. (Image: crim.sledcom.ru)

He says the Kremlin decided to annex Crimea in order to boost Putin’s rating, noting that the annexation is “the single popular theme among the people.” But Gudkov suggests that such popularity has proved short-lived because the authorities “did not calculate either the economic or the geopolitical consequences” of their action.

And while Gudkov does not mention it, those around Putin clearly did not and do not understand that by their actions in occupied Crimea now, they are in violation of the Genocide Convention. Kyiv, by its actions, has reminded the world of this sad reality.

Edited by: A. N.

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  • Vlad Pufagtinenko

    Another genocide to add to the list…quelle surprise.