Thousands of Crimean Tatars Mark 70th Anniversary of Deportation

Source: Euromaidanpr

Despite a ban on any demonstrations by the Russian occupation authorities and a decision by the Milli Mejlis not to hold a mass commemoration lest it become the occasion for a Russian provocation, thousands of Crimean Tatars have assembled in their homeland today to mark the 70th anniversary of their deportation by Stalin.

Today (ed.-18th of May), all roads approaching Simferopol were under surveillance by the police and security forces, to make sure that Crimean Tatars weren’t able to get to their traditional May 18th rally in an organized manner. Most people decided to get to the rally separately. Russian security forces created artificial traffic jams on the main roads. So, many people ended up walking to the rally point at the Ak-Mosque/Kebir-Jami Mosque in pouring rain, leaving their cars behind. Moreover, there entire city was chock full of the ‘self-defense’ gangs with helicopters flying over. About 40 minutes after the the rally started, helicopters left and it stopped raining.

Despite all efforts to prevent the commemoration, several hundred people with Crimean Tatar national flags finally assembled in the Salgirka Park, and several hundred more met in the square in front of that city’s railroad station where the foundation has been laid for a future monument to the deportation which involved 200,000 Crimean Tatars, a large fraction of whom died as a result.

They were peaceful, did not use loudspeakers as in the past, and were surrounded by a heavy presence of Russian security officers. After brief meetings, they left in small groups via public transport and traveled to the predominantly Crimean Tatar Akmechet district away from the city center where they have joined more than 5,000 others

According to the Kryminform news agency, people from all parts of Simferopol as well as neighboring regions are at the meeting. They are carrying Crimean Tatar flags and slogans like “The Motherland! The People! Crimea!” And they are being addressed by longtime veterans of the Crimean Tatar national movement.

Also in attendance are representatives of the other peoples who were deported from the peninsula in 1944. In the air above the demonstration, Kryminform reports, there are two government helicopters. But as of this writing (0630 EDT in the United States), security officials have tried to enforce their regime’s ban on such meetings or reports of any clashes between them and the Crimean Tatars.

You can also read this photo report about commemoration in Simferopol: And Dmitry Tymchuk also writes about it here:

Meeting ‘Light a fire in your heart’ was held in Lviv (photos by Alim Aliev)



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Dnipropetrovsk also held a rally commemorating the deportation of Crimean Tatars on May 17. The Crimean national symbol ‘tamga’ was formed out of lit candles on the bank of the Dnieper river. Representatives of the Crimean Tatar community as well as Ukrainians and people of other nationalities participated in the gathering. The activists plan to ask the city authorities to grant them a flowerbed where volunteers will make a ‘tamga’ out of planted flowers.

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Commemoration in Dzhankoy: 

Beyond the borders of Crimea, there have been meetings and declarations of support for the Crimean Tatars and their cause from governments and public organizations around the world. The quiet courage the Crimean Tatars have displayed in coming out today in the face of a new wave of Russian repression will only gain them and their cause more support.

And consequently, while the number of Crimean Tatars taking part in this year’s round anniversary commemoration is smaller than the 30,000 who have typically gathered in recent years, the event this year has achieved even more for the Crimean Tatar cause and its fight for justice than did any previous meeting.

May 14, 2014 Lithuanian media round-up

On 14th of May Petras Vaitiekūnas, Lithuanian Ambassador in Ukraine, in a The News radio programme ‘Actual Hour‘ said that ‘the tense situation remains in a most Ukrainian Region. Armed mobs looting flats, shops and banks are raging in separatist’s occupied cities. They also take hostages and demand ransom from relatives, torture and murder families, priests and Ukrainian politics.’ (,,

On 14th of May Vytautas Leškevičius, Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Igor Senchar, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia condemned Russian aggression against Ukraine and agreed to continue to hold the position supporting Ukraine’s territorial integrity and non-recognition of the annexation of Crimea. (Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs information)

On 14th of May Sigmar Gabriel, German Vice Chancelor, said that ‘Europe is partly to blame for the crisis in Ukraine although this is no excuse for Russian behaviour towards the former Soviet republic.’ (

Clifford Gaddy, economist and Russia expert, in an interview to Deutsche Welle (DW) said that ‘the only solution to the dispute between Moscow and the West is a neutral Ukraine’ ( Read more in DW:

Timothy Snyder, American historian, in his fabulous article said that ‘Even as Europeans follow with alarm or fascination the spread of Russian special forces from Crimea through Donetsk and Luhansk, Vladimir Putin’s propagandists seek to draw Europeans into an alternative reality, an account of history rather different from what most Ukrainians think, or indeed what the evidence can bear. Ukraine has never existed in history, goes the claim, or if it has, only as part of a Russian empire. Ukrainians do not exist as a people; at most they are Little Russians. But if Ukraine and Ukrainians do not exist, then neither does Europe or Europeans. If Ukraine disappears from history, then so does the site of the greatest crimes of both the Nazi and Stalinist regimes. If Ukraine has no past, then Hitler never tried to make an empire, and Stalin never exercised terror by hunger.‘ (Lithuanian National Radio and Television). Read more in New Republic:


Information Resistance, DELTA Section: If Putin talks about peace, we must prepare for war.

Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

On May 7, Vladimir Putin called for armed separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions to abandon the idea of holding a referendum planned for May 11. Of course, one could have rejoiced at such a statement, and dreamed that “The Great Poo” was hanging the separatists out to dry—especially in the context of a communication intercepted by Ukrainian intelligence between the Donetsk separatist [leader of the unregistered organization “Orthodox Donbass”] D. Boytsov and his “spiritual advisor” A. Barkashov from Moscow. In the communication were threatening statements from the U.S. concerning their readiness to introduce new industry sanctions against Moscow.

But there it was. As we remember, Hitler once promised Stalin that he wouldn’t attack the Soviet Union. Before the occupation of Crimea, Russian politicians, pundits and media simultaneously shuddered over the failure of Muscovy’s [Ed. –author uses historic name here out for irony] policy in Ukraine, saying “they lost the Khokhols.” The Geneva meeting was promising in and of itself, but history shows that you can’t believe a single statement from the mouths of Russian politicians, just as you can’t rely on agreements signed with them.

Against this backdrop, a special operation by Russian special forces to destroy pro-Russian citizens of Ukraine at the Trades Union House [in Odessa] calls for serious concern. Now the theme of an “Odessa Khatyn,” allegedly hosted by Ukrainian authorities and the “Right Sector,” is being actively used by Russian media (with the help of foreign experts loyal to Muscovy and the mass media) to drum into the minds of Russian residents a thesis of the genocide of “Russian compatriots” in Ukraine, which must be urgently protected. It even reaches the point of absurdity–the Russian “experts” claim that during the fire at the Trades Union House, the most trained “Pravoseki” [“Right Sector” members] managed to rape females among the pro-Russian activists. Even without going into the details of the Odessa tragedy, it’s enough to ask, “who benefited from it?”

In recent days, the Russian media began to exaggerate the necessity of introducing “peacekeeping” troops from Muscovy to eastern Ukraine, while simultaneously denying the Kremlin’s interest in such a forceful development of events in our country. For Putin, the most favorable [development] is the introduction of “peacekeepers” under the pretext of protecting “compatriots,” since direct military aggression against Ukraine will turn Russia into North Korea, and the kids of Russian politicians and businessmen will quickly be shipped out of Europe and the United States back to Muscovy. Therefore, there is the remaining option of devising an excuse, with assistance from Russian mercenaries and separatists, for the introduction of “peacekeepers” in Ukraine.

Also noteworthy is the sudden upsurge in Russian media outreach activities aimed at spreading mistrust towards Ukrainian and Western media which allegedly discredit the events in Ukraine. Such facts were not observed during the operation of the annexation of Crimea. We can assume that the Russians are [currently] being prepared for a powerful disinformation [campaign], wherein their consciousness is programmed to block out alternative sources of information.

In addition, the Russian media are actively promoting “misinformation” about the shooting of local civilians by Ukrainian security forces during the ATO [anti-terrorist operation] (including women and children) and the bombardment of residential neighborhoods in Slavyansk and Kramatorsk from artillery and military aircraft. At the same time, the following labels are used to characterize the Ukrainian government and special forces: “punishers,” “terrorists,” “killers of civilians,” “neo-Nazis,” “Fascists.”

And suddenly, against this backdrop the “Chief Bear” crawls out from its lair–it had until recently nursed its paw after another round of lies to its people–and begins to roar at the separatists in both Luhansk and Donetsk. Although in fact this wasn’t the main point of Putin’s statement, it’s important that in his statement, he:

–did not recognize the legitimacy of current Ukrainian authorities;

–exhibited an interest in putting Ukrainian authorities at the negotiating table with separatist criminals;

–pretended to be concerned with the ATO initiated by Kiev;

–accused Ukrainian authorities of conducting “punitive operations;”

–confirmed his lack of interest in the Presidential elections in Ukraine.

Thus, in view of the presence of Russian troops along Ukrainian borders, and the occupiers’ military maneuvers in Crimea on the occasion of May 9th [Victory Day], Putin’s peaceful statements are worthless. The strengthening of anti-Ukrainian hysteria by the Russian media merely reinforces that the separatists and Russian intelligence services are stepping up their subversive activities in order to create an environment for the introduction of the Muscovan “peacekeeping” contingent in the East, followed by the transformation of that part of our country into a second Transnistria. Putin and the handful of criminals that he paid off can’t hold a referendum in eastern Ukraine and also provide minimal evidence of its legitimacy–this is not Crimea. Therefore, he will use the bought cannon fodder to the maximum extent in order to demonstrate the picture of the insidiousness of “Nazis” from the “Right Sector,” who leave Yarosh business cards “on the corpses of women and children,” to the West and to his own zombified citizens.

Gabrielius Landsbergis: Russia must be stopped by force

Gabrielius Landsbergis

Gabrielius Landsbergis

Gabrielius Landsbergis, Lithuania

In the 2nd century B.C. Cato the Elder, veteran of the Punic Wars, was aware of the rapidly rising Carthage and was trying to convince other romans to do the ultimate trip to Africa.

To emphasize the importance of defeating Carthage, Cato used the phrase “Carthago delenda est” (English: “Carthage must be destroyed”) to finish most of his speeches.

Maybe it is not be absolutely correct to use this phase straightforwardly for today’s situation but based on the idea of the Roman senator, I declare that Russia must be defeated – stopped by force because it is not going to stop and its aggression is going to continue.

Politicians and analysts are discussing about possible scenarios of conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Both scenarios, one where Russia falls back and starts negotiations, or the one where part of Eastern Ukraine will be annexed by Russia, are essentially the same. Russia’s history and its imperial logic dictates one thing – Russia’s expansion goes on until it is stopped by some natural barriers or geopolitical forces. Russia was always focused on expansion, e.g. the Second partition of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Stalin’s plans to march to Pyrenees, etc.

Current government in Russia, that considers the collapse of Soviet Union as a geopolitical catastrophe, is thinking about Russia in the same way – Russia must expand its territory. In the Western world we were to believe that after Cold War history of this kind is over. Unfortunately, occupation of parts of Georgia in 2008, was a cold shower for this belief. And those that were not convinced that Russia has serious plans to expand its territory, annexation of Crimea was a crystal clear proof that they were wrong.

Illusion of the End of History and Last Man by Francis Fukuyama was offering an opinion that the era of the conventional war is over – there will be no more territorial attacks, no front lines, declarations of war, ceasefires, and defeats. The end of the Cold War created an interesting situation where the winner was obvious – there were no doubts that USA was the winner, but there were no loser declared. Modern world, guided by the dogmatic idealism, decided that it is not fair to humiliate the loser, it would be wrong to force him to sign the act of peace treaty, or to force to recognize its criminal past and crimes against humanity.

This was a paradoxical situation in which the loser was not a loser. The closest comparison would be with Germany after WWI. This Germany was humiliated but it was not defeated. It was the key which let Hitler to spread the revenge ideology: Germany was never defeated, because such great force as Kaiser Germany cannot be defeated, and only temporal weakness was the reason for the humiliation. Isn’t it the same basic idea behind Putin’s claims on Yeltsin’s government? Yeltsin was weak therefore the mighty Russia was humiliated and had the economic chaos, etc. There are way more similarities between nazi Germany and Putin’s Russia.

There is a good reason why winners of WWII in 1945 didn’t want to take risks – all Germany was divided into 4 parts. Its capital Berlin was also divided into 4 parts. USA, Great Britain, and France didn’t want any compromises – total disarmament, Nuremberg trials, and division of the country were executed to make sure that there will be no debates on who have won the war. And only when winners decide that Germany is ready, the sovereignty will be returned.

I had a neighbor whose father was nazi soldier and after the war was sent to prison. Today this man is one of many german seniors living in Southern Germany. My neighbor told me that talking about his father is very painful because it forces to feel the shame and guilt. The man also said that it is hard for him to understand motives behind German citizens that were following Hitlers, and therefore killed millions. Nowadays, Germans are very peaceful, therefore completely different from Germans that were cheering Hitler in 1938.

Can we expect such a story from a russian person, when 50% of russians are supporting sending troops not only to Ukraine but also to Baltic states? In my opinion, “soft measures” taken against Russia will only give the feeling for russian people that someone is not completely fair with them. A common russian person who is strongly affected by governmental propaganda has an idea that Russia  was only giving a helping hand for Russian speaking people in Crimea, and was punished without a reason. He thinks that Russia needs to defend itself and to prove that Russia is strong and Western countries need to show some respect.

Unfortunately, history is still here and it’s not going anywhere. This is an era of realpolitik and geopolitics. Therefore, Russia must be defeated, otherwise it is not going to stop itself. If it is not stopped in Crimea, then it must be stopped in Eastern Ukraine or Transnistria, or Baltic states, or Poland, or… Sooner or later Russia will be forced to recognize the defeat and to face the reality. Defeat for Russia is going to be extremely painful – loss of territories, trials for the elite, confiscation of property, maybe even the collapse of the whole country. But only then we’ll be able to talk about the real Russian Spring.

Russia must be stopped for its own good. If Cato’s call seems too old, we can remember George Kennan. His policy on Russia finally was accepted as the right one. He was stating that “soviet force has no concrete plans and it takes no risks. It is not using arguments but it obeys logic of power. Due to this reason it falls back and frequently does it when faces serious resistance.” Now we, the Western world, need to follow Kennan idea, we need to enforce an effective strategy against Russia that would lead to the essential renewal of its mindset.