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Ukraine Won’t Stop Putin From Taking Crimea

From the Agence France Presse:

Ukraine won’t intervene in Crimea, president says

March 11, 2014

Kiev (AFP) – Ukraine’s acting president said the country would not use its army to stop Crimea from seceding, the latest sign that a Russian annexation of the strategic peninsula may be imminent.

Oleksandr Turchynov’s comments came after the Crimean parliament voted for independence ahead of a Sunday referendum on joining Russia, while Washington and Moscow locked horns in one of their fiercest clashes since the Cold War.

The interim leader said intervening on the southeastern Black Sea peninsula, where Kremlin-backed forces have seized de facto control, would leave Ukraine exposed on its eastern border, close to Russia.

"We cannot launch a military operation in Crimea, as we would expose the eastern border and Ukraine would not be protected," Turchynov told AFP….

So it’s all over but the shouting. The Ukrainians are going to let Putin have Crimea.

Meanwhile, we have this from the Associated Press:

Crimean Tatars fear return of Russian rule

By YURAS KARMANAU March 10, 2014

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (AP) — The arrival of Russian troops in Crimea has opened old wounds among the Crimean Tatars, who were deported during World War II. Fearing that once again they will be unwelcome in their homeland, some are organizing community-watch patrols to protect their families and homes in a place they strongly feel should remain part of Ukraine.

Tensions have grown with preparations to hold a referendum on Sunday on whether Crimea should stay in Ukraine or join Russia…

The Tatars, a Turkic ethnic group, now make up 12 percent of the population, but they ruled Crimea from the 15th century until the Russians conquered the peninsula in the 18th century…

In May 1944, shortly after Soviet troops drove out the Nazi German troops that had occupied Crimea for much of World War II, Soviet dictator Josef Stalin ordered the deportation of the entire population of Tatars, accusing them of having collaborated with the enemy. The Tatars, who numbered about 250,000, were shipped in freight trains to Central Asia, where more than 40 percent of them died of hunger and disease…

In the years before the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, Tatars began to return to Crimea, which then became part of an independent Ukraine. They have embraced their new country…

It’s amazing that the AP has finally gotten around to mentioning the Tatars. But, naturally, they sugarcoat what the Communists in the Soviet Union actually did to the Tatars and other non-Russians in Crimea over the years. The actual history is far more grim.

In fact, as half of the Crimean Tatars were either killed or deported to the gulag by the Russians between 1917 and 1933. Nonetheless, when World War II broke out in 1939, an estimated 20,000 Crimean Tatar men joined the Red Army, out of a total surviving population of 218,000.

But despite that, Stalin officially charged the entire ethnic group with treason against the USSR, and ordered the deportation of all surviving Crimean Tatars to Central Asia on May 18, 1944. Families were given 30 minutes to gather their belongings, then NKVD troops herded them at bayonet point onto cattle-cars.

The trip took three weeks, and the authorities only opened the train car doors every few days to remove the bodies of those who died along the way.

The largest group, approximately two-thirds of the Tatars, were sent to Uzbekistan. Others ended up in Russian gulags or in Kazakhstan. Local authorities were not notified that the deportees were coming, so had no food or housing prepared for them. Homeless and starving in a harsh environment, about 46% of the deportees died of malnutrition or disease.

In fact, all told up to a million non-Russians were either executed or deported from Crimea by Stalin. Including Greeks, Armenians, and Bulgarians other from the area. But the Tatars suffered the most. Crimean Tatars call their deportation ‘the Surgunlik.’ In reality it was ethnic cleaning, genocide.

The Tatars were not allowed to return to the Crimean Peninsula until after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Today, they are about 250,000 Tartars living in Crimea. They are concentrated in the less-desirable areas of Crimea, while ethnic Ukrainians and Russians dominate the prime Black Sea coast lands.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, March 12th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Ukraine Won’t Stop Putin From Taking Crimea”

  1. Piffle .. this was all agreed upon in advance. Fake upheaval to distract us from something else. What? .. is the question. It’s my long held opinion that when something like this happens, look on the other side of the globe to see what’s going on ‘they’ are trying to hide.

    I wonder what’s happening at Subic Bay these days ..




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