Copyright © 2021

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Occupation powers seek to destroy Crimean Tatar Mejlis by registering it

Sign on the Crimea Tatar Mejlis building
Sign on the Crimea Tatar Mejlis building
Occupation powers seek to destroy Crimean Tatar Mejlis by registering it
Edited by: A. N.

Since the Anschluss, Russia’s occupation authorities have tried a variety of means to shut down the Crimea Tatar Mejlis, the most important organization of the group that has most consistently opposed Moscow’s illegal annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula.

The authorities have banned Mejlis leaders like Mustafa Dzemilev and Refat Chubarov from returning to their homeland. They have harassed its members, raided its headquarters, and waged a vicious propaganda war against the organization. And they have created an alternative pocket group, the “Kyrym,” in order to confuse people about who speaks for the Crimean Tatars.

Now, they have come up with a new strategy, one superficially legitimate but clearly intended to destroy the Mejlis and thus geld the Crimean Tatar nation. It was announced yesterday by Kyrym whose leaders said they intend to register the Mejlis as a NGO as defined by Russian law.*

Refat Derdarov, deputy head of Kyrym and chairman of the Bakchisarai district council, said that with such registration, the Mejlis will work in a legal framework because a social organization which declares itself as such and which represents the interests of the people … must be registered” if it is to deal with the authorities.

What is needed, he continued, is for the delegates of the Kurultay – the assembly of Crimean Tatars which chooses the Mejlis – to “assemble and evaluate the work of the Mejlis which at present is practically frozen. Certain members of the Mejlis today are responsible for this and try to conduct meetings “from the mainland via Skype.”

“For us,” Derdarov said, “this is unacceptable. We consider that a leader must be with his own people.” He added that he was confident he had the numbers to assemble a Kurultay and thus preserve it and the Mejlis but under new leadership. And he said he sees as the new leader Remzi Ilyasov who is willing to work with the Russian authorities in Crimea.

It is unlikely that Kyrym does, at least if it accurately reflects the views of most Crimean Tatars for whom the Mejlis is not an NGO but rather the expression of their desire to organize the life of their nation on the peninsula and within the boundaries of Ukraine. But Kyrym clearly doesn’t care about that and like the occupiers wants to destroy the Mejlis by registering it.

Edited by: A. N.
You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here

    Related Posts