‘Don’t Mention Crimean Tatar Mejlis Because We Say It Doesn’t Exist,’ Russian Occupiers Tell Ukrainian Peninsula’s Media
September 23 – Russian occupation officials have sent a letter to Crimean and
Sevastopol media outlets suggesting that they not mention the Mejlis of the
Crimean Tatar people because no such organization has received official
registration. It thus “doesn’t exist” and therefore should not be mentioned.
appears likely that the occupation authorities have issued this demand in
response to the Crimean Tatar-led blockade of Crimea that is depriving the
Russian-occupied area of food from the rest of Ukraine. In the past, 80 percent
of food for Crimea came from other parts of the country.
makes this action especially disturbing is that over the last year and a half,
Vladimir Putin has used Russian-occupied Crimea as a testing ground for steps
he subsequently has introduced in Russia. Banning references to things that exist
but that Moscow doesn’t like could thus spread.
both the current ban on references to the Crimean Tatar Mejlis and the
likelihood it will be extended highlight the need for Ukraine and other Western
countries to step up international broadcasting, including not only Internet
operations but direct-to-home television and shortwave radio, to both occupied
Crimea and Putin’s Russia.
to contest such actions not only by official diplomatic protests but by expanded
international broadcasting will give Putin and his minions an uncontested
victory they do not deserve and that neither Ukraine, Russia, or the world can