Archive for August 21st, 2014


Meanwhile down in occupied Crimea…..

August 21, 2014

It has been a while since anything was written here about occurrences in occupied Crimea.

It appears the repression of the Crimean Tatar continues not only with one expulsion after another of leading Tatar by the de facto Russian authorities, but also by way of continued denial of basic human rights regarding freedom of expression and association.

The latest ban on Tatar gatherings relates to the annual commemoration on 23rd August of the European Day of Remembrance of Stalinism and Nazism.  A day the Tatar have good cause to commemorate.

The reason given by the de facto authorities for denying the commemoration was the hot weather and that it would adversely effect the health of some participants in the gathering.

The question posed in the above tweet is therefore poignant.  Not a single commemorative date significant to the Tatar has officially been allowed to be commemorated since the illegal annexation of the peninsula by The Russian Federation.

Will that change?  How to try and change that?  At what point, if ever, will the de facto authorities feel brave enough to allow a Tatar rally?

Teyfuk Gafarov, until recently the head of the Legal Department of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis,  has left his post and accepted a position of Vice-Mayor of Simferopol.


He intends to remain a member of the Crimean Mejlis, and its seems the executive and members of the Mejlis are not currently going to seek his removal from the organisation.  That would imply – for the time being – that the Mejlis see some merit it trying to change matters for the better from the inside, via Mr Gafarov, rather than throwing him out of the Meljis labeled a “turncoat”.

There is certainly something to be said for trying to change things from the inside, rather than being ineffective whilst permanently on the outside.

That the position was offered to Mr Gafarov by the de facto authorities may well be nothing more than an entirely hollow gesture – or it may indicate some form of willingness to slacken the very tight parameters they have currently placed around the Tatar.  Time will tell.

In the meantime it appears that it is steadily becoming “business as usual” at the Crimean ports, despite European sanctions and statements regarding the non-recognition of Crimea.  There are no shortage of European flagged or owned vessels still operating at Crimean ports and presumably accepting Russian Federation documentation there – despite in doing committing a criminal offence under Article 332-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, a nation whose sovereignty over the peninsula is underlined by international non-recognition of Russian annexation.

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