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Authorities Threaten to 'Liquidate' Crimean Tatar Council

Published: May 5, 2014 (Issue # 1808)



  • Crimea's prosecutor Natalya Poklonskaya has threatened to outlaw Crimean Tatars' main self-governing body.
    Photo: Ancrimeaua / Youtube

Crimea's prosecutor has threatened to outlaw Crimean Tatars' main self-governing body for "extremist" activities, reading out a warning to their leader in Russian despite his repeated appeals for a translation into the official language of their autonomy.

The Sunday admonition by prosecutor Natalya Poklonskaya to Mejlis leader Refat Chubarov was seen by some as an ominous sign for the Crimean Tatars, whose former head Mustafa Dzhemilev was banned from entering the Black Sea peninsula the previous day.

In a video posted on YouTube, prosecutor Natalya Poklonskaya described the massive rallies by Crimean Tatars against the ban on Dzhemilev's entry as "illegal" gatherings marked by "violence and threats of violence,"

"I am warning Refar Abdurakhmanovich Chubarov, the chairman of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, about the unacceptability of carrying out extremist activities, I demand an immediate secession of extremist activity," Poklonskaya said.

Chubarov attempted to cut in: "I am having much trouble catching on the meaning," he said. "Please, in Crimean Tatar, in an official language, or at least in Ukrainian."

Poklonskaya plowed on, raising her voice to drown out the protests.

If the "violations noted above are not eliminated," the "Crimean Tatar Mejlis will be liquidated" and "its activity on the territory of the Russian Federation will be banned," she said.

"You have violated my rights," Chubarov said told Crimea's prosecutor by reading out her warning "not in my native language, not in the official language."

A reader on the Ekho Moskvy website said Sunday that the "repressions" constituted "nothing new" for Russia, but that repressing the "Crimean Tatars, who have already survived the horror of the purges, may backfire for the regime — and it will."

Crimean Tatars, whose members were persecuted and exiled from their homeland under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, have opposed Russia's annexation of Crimea, though Moscow has sought to appease any protests by promising to grant Crimean Tatars the same kind of self-governing and linguistic autonomy they enjoyed in Ukraine.

In a televised appearance last month, Putin said he had signed a decree to "rehabilitate" the Crimean Tatars and other ethnic minorities on the peninsula — "all those who suffered during Stalin's repressions."

The decree, published on the Kremlin website, also said it aimed to "restore historical justice and remove the consequences of the illegal deportation" and to "foster the creation and development of national-cultural autonomies."





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Oct. 22


English teachers can expect to receive a few useful pointers today from Evgeny Kalashnikov, the British Council regional teacher, during the EFL Seminar this afternoon hosted by the British Book Center. The topic of today’s seminar is “Grammar Practice.”


Young Petersburgers will get the chance to jumpstart their careers at “Professional Growth,” a job fair and forum featuring more than 40 major Russian and international companies vying for potential candidates for future positions. The forum not only is a chance to network but also to learn more about the modern business world and to understand what it takes to get the job you want.



Thursday, Oct. 23


AmCham’s Public Relations Committee meeting is scheduled to meet this morning at 9 a.m. in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center.


Sportsmen get their chance to stock up on all kinds of gear at the Hunting and Fishing 2014 exhibition starting today at Lenexpo. Everything from rods and reels to boats, motorcycles and equipment for underwater hunting will be on sale so that any avid outdoorsman can always be prepared.



Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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