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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

Thursday, Nov. 27


The Customs and Transportation Committee for AmCham meets this morning at 9 a.m. in their office on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.


Tickets are still available for local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg’s showdown with Siberian club Metallurg Novokuznetsk tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Ice Palace outside the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. Tickets can be purchased on the team’s website, at the arena box office or in their merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.


Celebrate one of Russian literature’s most tragic figures during Blok Days, a two-day celebration of the 134th anniversary of the poet’s birthday. The tragic tenor’s work, which led to writer Maxim Gorky to hail him as Russia’s greatest living poet before his death in 1921, will be recited and meetings and discussions about his contributions to the Silver Age of literature in St. Petersburg will be discussed in the confines of his former residence.



Friday, Nov. 28


Join table game aficionados at the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test one’s intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only man’s best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during today’s reenactment titled “Winter War: How it Was.” More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie “Black Cat, White Cat,” as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of “Takoy Festival,” a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonight’s festival finale is “Fathers and Sons,” a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenev’s classic about familial relations.



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