Staunton, January 31 – The Russian occupation authorities are treating the Crimean Tatars in a manner which fully corresponds to “the Nazi spirit” because the authorities define them as “’a lesser race’” that “’the country doesn’t need,’” according to Ayder Muzhdabayev, a member of the Union of Crimean Tatars and a Russian journalist.
In a Facebook page that has been widely reposted, Muzhdabayev says that he “wants to say that the attitude which the authorities in Crimea are displaying toward the Crimean Tatars is Nazi in spirit” (obozrevatel.com/politics/39728-tataryi-oschuschayut-sebya-v-kryimu-kak-evrei-v-dovoennoj-germanii-rossijskij-zhurnalist.htm).
What is on display in occupied Crimea, he says, is “the attitude of ‘a higher race’ to a lesser’ one. In unofficial conversations, this is no longer being concealed,” he continues, and Russian officials openly say: “’You are a small people the country doesn’t need. It would be better if you didn’t exist. You must subordinate yourselves to our orders and keep quiet.”
Muzhdabayev says that he wants the world to know that “the Crimean Tatars feel themselves in Crimea [today] just the way Jews in Germany felt during the period of the establishment of the Nazi system: as people without rights who have been clearly given to understand that anything can be done to them depending on what the authorities want.”
The limits on that, he says, “are constantly broadening and apparently will broaden still further.” The appeals of Crimean Tatars to the international community concerning the arbitrary actions of the occupation authorities and “the armed nationalists connected with them” have remained “without a response.”
“I never thought,” Muzhdabayev says, “that the Crimean Tatars both those [he] knows and those [he] doesn’t, would write and phone him to say: ‘This is becoming impossible to bear,’ ‘they don’t consider us to be people,’ and even ‘it is better to die than to suffer such indignities.’”
It may seem “horrific,” he continues, but he feels compelled to say that he is “happy that [his] grandmother, grandfather, and many other older relatives who were repressed by Stalin in 1944 did not live to this present time.”
Everyone around the world must recognize that “what is going on with the Crimean Tatars and their representatives and social structures in Crimea is systematic mass intimidation and persecution on the basis of nationality, a moral genocide, accompanied with threats to personal security, health and life, baseless judicial and extra-judicial repressions.”
Refat Chubarov, the head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, echoed Muzhdabayev’s words. Speaking in Kyiv yesterday, he said that the great horrors of the 20th century – the Holocaust, the Terror Famine and the deportation of peoples – all begin with lesser horrors “to which the world did not react” (nr2.com.ua/hots/Okkupacija_Kryma/Glava-Medzhlisa-My-stoim-pered-dvermi-za-kotorymi-39-y-god-ili-Gaagskiy-tribunal-89459.html).
Insisting that he is not “dramatizing” the situation, Chubarov said that in Russia, there is now “no good sense. Putin is the Hitler of today, and if his own society does not stop him, then the next step will be the construction of camps in the vastness of Siberia and the dispatch there of all those who on the territories he controls who are inclined against him.”
That the Crimean Tatars are being subjected to an intensified campaign of persecution has been documented by the SOVA human rights organization in a new report (sova-center.ru/misuse/news/persecution/2015/01/d31163/). And that no one has yet come to their aid is becoming the occasion for ever more anger.
In remarks in Kyiv yesterday, Valeriya Lutkovskaya, the Verkhovna Rada’s plenipotentiary for human rights, said that “without the participation of international organizations, Ukraine will not be able to defend its citizens on the territory of Ukraine” and that so far, they have been anything but active (qha.com.ua/lutkovskaya-mi-ne-smojem-zaschitit-krimchan-bez-mejdunarodnih-missii-142744.html).
She said that she had called on the OSCE to organize a mission to Crimea but had not yet received an answer. And when she asked the Council of Europe to do so, officials there said that “if the Russian side in Crimea would be ready to accept such a mission, then [the Council of Europe] would be ready to send one. However, there is still no answer from the Russian side.”