Thursday, March 20, 2014

The ethnic cleansing begins again

It appears the removal of the Crimean Tatars from lands they are currently living on in Crimea is official policy of the new Russian occupation authority in the peninsula. This of course will not be the first ethnic cleansing of the Crimean Tatars. But, it is amazing to me how rapidly things have deteriorated in Crimea since the Russians began their initial military operations to amputate the peninsula from the Ukrainian state. Even the wording isn't new. The 1944 deportation order also talked about providing them with other land in compensation for the loss of their native homeland. In reality the Soviet government confiscated most of the property of the Crimean Tatars without any kind of compensation and sent them to the deserts of Uzbekistan and wet forests of the Urals to perform hard labor and die by the tens of thousands. I don't think that the current Russian government will exactly repeat the actions of the Stalin regime. But, the actions taken so far are bad enough and it looks like it is only going to get worse.


Katrina Voll-Taylor said...

This is being so underreported in mass media, & it's utterly horrifying to anyone who understands the history of all the displaced & dispossessed peoples from Crimea

Anonymous said...

Any chance the Crimean Tartars might relocate to some part of unoccupied Ukraine? (That seems like a safer bet than staying under Russian rule.)

J. Otto Pohl said...


No, the Crimean Tatars are staying put unless forcibly removed again.

Unknown said...

I found Stalin's May 1944 decree on the Crimean Tatar expulsion to be quite interesting. I guess the majority went to Uzbekistan, where my aunt spent the bulk of WW2. Others went to other Central asian SSR's like Kyrgyzstan.

While it's somewhat off-topic it appears that Putin is transforming Kyrgyzstan from a Russian-Chinese buffer state into what's effectively a new Moscow ruled oblast. According to Nikkei Asian Review, Russia is buying up the entire Kyrgyz oil business while screwing Chinese investors. Here's the URL for the article:

Do you still have sources in Bishkek who knows what's going on and how accurate is the Nikkei report?

J. Otto Pohl said...

Those Crimean Tatars not sent to Uzbekistan were largely sent to the Mari ASSR. Not many came to Kyrgyzstan and those that did migrated mostly after the end of the special settlement regime. A number were transferred from Uzbekistan to Tajikistan, however.

The Russian domination of the entire Kyrgyz energy sector is not at all new. It was basically accomplished back under Bakiev in 2008-2009. I don't think Kyrgyzstan was ever a Russian-Chinese buffer state rather than being in the Russian sphere of political influence.