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.’”
17 minutes before the channel shutdown, an online poll shows 99.2% of respondents said “Yes” to a question “Do you need ATR TV channel?” (Image: @CrimeaUA1 on Twitter.com)
The countdown on the ATR TV channel’s website: “Until the end of broadcast: 0 days 00:00:00” (Image: Social media)
ATR employees took a group photo a few seconds before the TV channel’s shut-down (Image: Facebook / Zair Akadyrov)
Lilya Budzhurova (Image: krymr.org)
Edited by: A. N.
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Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. He has served as director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy, vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn, and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. Earlier he has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Euromaidan Press republishes the work of Paul Goble with permission from his blog Windows on Eurasia.
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