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Crimean Tatars after Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula 30 juin 2014

Posted by Acturca in Russia / Russie.
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OSW Commentary (Centre for Eastern Studies) No. 141, 30 June 2014

Tadeusz A. Olszański *

After Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Crimean Tatars face the necessity of working out a modus vivendi to cope with the difficult situation which now confronts them. On the one hand, the desire to remain in their homeland, which they regained after exile in Soviet times, is an imperative encouraging them to accept the status quo, while on the other, the fear of Russia and the strong relations of Crimean Tatar elites with Kyiv would favour opposing the present state of affairs. Another fact pointing in favour of an agreement with Moscow is that Kyiv has not attempted to defend Crimea and has not been active in demanding its return to Ukraine, which has undermined Kyiv’s authority in the eyes of the Tatars. Therefore, the leaders of the Mejlis of Crimean Tatars (the national self-government) act carefully, trying to avoid actions which could be seen as provocative and thus liable to incite retribution. It could be expected that this course of action will continue, although it faces ever greater difficulties in the context of the Russian authorities’ adoption of a strongly anti-Tatar policy, which is likely to evoke more radical attitudes among the Crimean Tatars.

* Tadeusz A. Olszański. Senior Fellow. Department for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova.

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