Main page Chronicle and events

Talking Points of Report in Portugal Conference

Nationalism in Crimea

     Since the pre-ancient time the Crimean peninsular was one of the most favorable places for the developing mankind. The more the population of the planet increased, the more severe the fighting for this plot of land became. The first inhabitants of Crimea who left their offspring here were the Celts also referred to by the first Hellenic sailors and colonizers as the Taurs. Later on the Cimmerians invaded the peninsular. Then the Cimmerians were forced out by the Scythians. After that the Scythians were ousted by the Sarmatians. Meanwhile, the Byzantines and other Mediterranean peoples kept on colonizing Crimea’s coast, forced by the expansion of the mighty Roman Empire.
     At the same time the severe Ostrogoths made successful attempt to conquer the godsent Crimean land. One century later they were ousted into the Crimean Mountains by the fierce Huns. In ancient times and later on, in the Middle Ages the peninsular was inhabited by the Black Bulgarians, the Khazars, the Pincenates, the Kipchaks and the Mongol-Tatars that conquered the whole eastern Eurasia for many centuries and known as Tartaria. After the collapse of this powerful and huge empire two states were formed on its outskirts from the debris of the While (Golden) Horde: Moscow Kingdom and Crimea Khanate. These two new states kept on their military competition for Crimea. Only three centuries later in the 18th century the Russian tsarism could finally seize Crimea and destroy the Crimea Khanate. Since this moment the genocide of the Crimean Tatar population, formed into the nation back in the 15th century, began. Destroying the Crimean state the Russians set the goal to exterminate the people that were unable to take neither the rules, nor the way of life of the slaveholding Russia because of their mentality.
     The genocide initiated by the government of Catherine the Second resulted in an exodus of the Crimean Tatar nation from its homeland. The poet Maximilian Voloshin describes 150 years’ period of Russia’s rule over Crimea as follows: “The whole Mohammed’s paradise was completely ruined. Instead of the magnificent cities of the “Thousand and One Nights” the Russians built few miserable provincial towns and gave them pseudo classical names: Sebastopol, Simferopol, Yevpatoria.” En mass emigration of the Crimean Tatars affected 784 settlements, including 330 which depopulated totally.
     However the people’s oppression and extermination took their severest forms in the 20th century during the period of the domination of the Marxist-Leninist communism ideology in the Eurasia, implemented by the greatest criminal of all times and peoples – Stalin.
     Based on the slavish majority of the Russian people that made a coup in the Russian slaveholding empire Stalin first get rid of the intellectual part of the Russian nation, shooting and rotting in the concentration camps almost 50 million Russian “lords”. Then he started exterminating the whole peoples. The Crimean Tatars turned out to be the first whom Stalin decided to exterminate totally back in 1944 when he finally implemented his plan. The war 1941- 1944 just served as a pretext to realize his inhuman plan of total deportation of the Crimean Tatars from Crimea. The thing was that the Crimean Tatars’ mentality prevented them from being the bearers of the idea of Russian Soviet communism. According to Stalin it was the reason to get rid of them.
     He started realizing his plan back in mid 30’s of the 20th century arresting and executing first the most outstanding representatives of the Crimean Tatar people, then during the war he arrested the whole people young and old within one day and exiled them from Crimea in cattle wagons to die. The propaganda justified it simply - treason against the State. That was it. No proofs. The slavish majority of the Soviet people that was accustomed to slavish obedience needed nothing else to execute the order of the leader. In fact. all these accusations were pure invention and lie from start to finish.
     Only in May 1994 the secret data about the real participation of the Crimean Tatars in so called “Great Patriotic War” were finally made public. I give an extract from this article that was published in “Nezavisimaya Gazeta” newspaper below. The figures that were given there boggle the mind, especially taking into consideration that the number of the Crimean Tatars in Crimea according to 1939 population census comprised only 218.2 thousand people, it means that by the beginning of the war their number did not exceed 230 thousand people. Well:
     «All in all 25 of 32 heads of the underground organizations of Crimea were the Crimean Tatars. During the occupation the Nazis shot 12 thousand Crimean Tatars. The fascists burned down 127 Crimean villages for the relations with partisans, 105 of which were Crimean Tatar. There were 7 Heroes of the Soviet Union among the Crimean Tatars one of them was given this title twice. The Crimean Tatar Mr Adamanov became the Hero of Poland. During the war the Crimean Tatars had 4 generals, 85 colonels, 100 lieutenant colonels. 35 Crimean Tatars became the Knight of Glory, including 34 of the 3rd classes. Fifty thousand of the Crimean Tatars were awarded other state decorations during the war. The total number of the Crimean Tatars that died in war fronts, in partisan units and underground comprised 55 592 (68 thousand according to other data). Less then one per cent of the Crimean Tatars took the enemy’s side and it was typical for any nationality during the occupation.”
     All these data were concealed thoroughly by the communist regime. It is understandable. How could one declare the whole people a traitor when its ratio of heroes and Full Cavalier of the Order of Glory was higher than among the Russians – carriers of the communism? These secret data became public only as a result of the anti communist revolution in early 90’s. Today these documents were classified again. This fact unambiguously points out at the restoration of the former orders.
     Familiarizing oneself with the figures mentioned above one naturally asks another question: why the people that organically did not perceive the communistic way of life had so many brave defenders of this system the majority of which never returned from battle fields? This question bothered a lot of children of the perished fathers of the repressed Crimean Tatar people. Did our fathers were fooled by the communistic propaganda to such extent that they did not know what regime they defend? Not, of course! They knew it very well. However they were pushed to the wall by Stalin’s notorious inhuman order # 270 of August 16, 1941. Its final part is given below.


     1. Commanders and political workers who tear off their rank badges during the battle, desert to the rear or yield themselves prisoner to be considered a malicious deserter whose FAMILIES to be arrested as families of the deserters who violated an oath and betrayed their state.

     2. Families of the soldiers of the Red Army, yielding themselves prisoner to be deprived of the government allowance and support…
     Every Crimean Tatar considers his family as being the most sacred thing in his life. Every man could stand any hardships for the wellbeing of one’s family. It is the law for every Crimean Tatar without exclusions. That is why the Crimean Tatars had to risk their lives defending in a deadly battle the hateful system that held hostage their families.
     Taking advantage of the martial rule, Stalin implemented his criminal plans, based on the fawning majority of the population of the country. The Crimean Tatars and more twelve repressed peoples of the Soviet Union were not among the fawning ones. Their little number helped Stan to make short work with them. As far as the Ukrainians concerns, their large number saved them from repressions, though Stalin dreamed of finishing with the Ukrainians, with all of them, not only with OUN (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) and URA (Ukrainian Rebel Army) that fought against the Bolshevism in Ukraine up to 1954.
     Stalin’s death in March 1953 became the beginning of the end of the communist obscurantism in the Soviet Union. Though the agony of the communist system has been lasting for too long – the communism is still alive and it still has enough supporters in Russia. Nevertheless, after the revolution of the 90’s the majority of the repressed peoples returned to their native lands. However, the Crimean Tatars were banned from returning (as well as the Volga Germans and Meskhetian Turk). Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of people left their places of exile and returned en mass to Crimea. But they were prohibited from getting back to their homeland legally, because their houses and lands were occupied by the Russian settlers from Russia who gave a hostile reception to “public enemies”. Then the Crimean Tatars started squatting empty lands and build houses.
     Presently, the Crimean Tatars that self-willingly returned from the deportation live in the new settlements, surrounded by the hostile Russian population. It is a common knowledge that after the deportation of the indigenous population Stalin inhabited Crimea with communists-Stalinists. That is why the new masters of Crimea who moved into Crimean Tatars’ houses after their deportation preserved the traditions of Stalin’s genocide and now the Russian settlers are the bearers of these traditions. So, nothing has changed in Crimea after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The national policy remained the same. No hastily approved decisions helped. In addition, Crimea belonged to the new state – Ukraine. In the beginning of its foundation Ukraine did not give much care to the peoples that were subjected to the repressions in the Soviet Union. It focused mainly on foundation and establishment of the Ukrainian nation. The result of such careless national policy was the ethnic confrontation between three main nations of Crimea: the Russians, the Ukrainians and the Crimean Tatars.
     The Russians comprised 65%, the Ukrainians - 23% and the Crimean Tatars - 12%. Formally the Russians were considered to be the national minority in Ukraine and Ukrainians were the state forming nation. In fact, the Russians had all power in Crimea. At that period the Ukrainians were not masters in Crimea, but were rather in the position of a “poor relation”. They did not take an active part in the national confrontation between the Russians and the Crimean Tatars, saying: “We did not repress you, so it is not our responsibility to restore your rights”. The Ukrainian communists opposed this process more than others. Only the representatives of Rukh Party (Western Ukrainians) defended recklessly the rights of the Crimean Tatars and even made two representatives of the Crimean Tatars into the members of the Ukrainian Parliament.
     However, this triple confrontation reached its climax only after Russia seized Crimea in the beginning of 2014. As a result the national issue in Crimea has escalated sharply and became one of the main one.
     During the rule of the Ukrainian state in Crimea the confrontation between the Russians and Ukrainians, as well as the Russians and the Crimean Tatars was suppressed by the state bodies that prohibited an open confrontation. But since Russia’s annexation of Crimea the Russian nationalists started expressing their intolerance openly and forwardly both against the Crimean Tatar people and the Ukrainians. At this the new Russian authorities of Crimea started changing the citizenship of all Crimean residents hastily and at the same time prohibiting a double citizenship.
     Briefly speaking, the Russian population of the peninsular declared themselves a hegemon and started dictating its national supremacy over the rest nations populating Crimea. Becoming a state forming nation after the seizure of Crimea, the Russians started an open dictate over the rest national minorities and especially the indigenous people of Crimea – the Crimean Tatars. In particular, this was manifested in a ban on celebration of the traditional meeting timed to the anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatar people. Such prohibition never existed when the Crimea was in Ukraine. Ukraine took with understanding the tragedy of the indigenous people that was deported from their homeland by the communist regime. Prohibiting the traditional meeting the Russians confirmed one again that they were the bearers of the ideas of the criminal communist regime.
     Thus, after Russia annexed Crimea the nationalism in today’s Crimea acquired the distinctive features of the biased communistic intolerance not only to all dissenting, but to other nations in general. The irreconcilable xenophobia is still firmly preserves in the depth of the Russian population of Crimea, passed from generation to generation and asserting the supremacy of the Russians over the rest of the population of the country. At this, if before the annexation of Crimea the Russians manifested their intolerance to the Crimean Tatars, ignoring the laws on the restoration of their rights, after Russia annexed Crimea, the Russian population turned its anger against the Ukrainians who officially declared about their disagreement with the illegal actions of the Russian state concerning Russia’s seizure of Crimea. In addition, there was Kremlin’s decision signed by Putin that recognized the deportation of the Crimean Tatar people, committed by the Soviet regime as illegal with the following process of the restoration of the rights of the repressed people.
     Issuing this act Kremlin intended to bring on its side the unflavored indigenous people that refused to take part in the referendum, justifying Russia’s seizure of Crimea. However, this Kremlin’s trick did not have the desired effect. The Crimean Tatars did not show any delight and did not believe any word of Russian president, because their rights had to be restored as far back as 50 years ago. Why did they recall it today? They just needed an urgent support of the whole population of Crimea to the illegal seizure of Crimea. Unlike the Russians, the Crimean Tatars did not obey subserviently the orders from top without much thinking. They have another mentality. Only Russians used to live when a lord or “dear leader and teacher” like Stalin thinks for them. The life forced the Crimean Tatars to think themselves and take actions themselves. Stalin did not like the Crimean Tatars for this – for their independence and freedom of thinking.
     So, today Kremlin does not promise the Crimean Tatars any fastest and unreserved restoration of their rights. It decided to turn from carrot to stick approach. Consequently, everything resumes its normal course after Russia’s seizure of Crimea and the Crimean Tatars should not wait any good things now after the transfer under the wing of the double-eagle.
     Erik Kudusov,
     on behalf and by order of Association of Crimean Tatars

 Main page Chronicle and events