News / Europe

Crimean Tatars Worry About Future Under Russian Rule

Crimean Tatars Worry About Future Under Russian Rulei
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
Daniel Schearf
March 14, 2014 7:49 PM
Tatar minorities from Crimea are worrying about their possible future under Russian rule, as the region prepares for a Moscow-backed referendum on breaking away from Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Crimean Tatars Worry About Future Under Russian Rule
Daniel Schearf
Tatar minorities from Crimea are worrying about their possible future under Russian rule, as the region prepares for a Moscow-backed referendum on breaking away from Ukraine.

The mood is somber at the Crimea, a Tatar restaurant in Kyiv's Independence Square. Months of anti-government protests and recent violence have slowed business, and now the Tatar minority employees worry about their families and the future of Crimea.

Tatar waitress Linara Smiliava said all her relatives are in Crimea, where the Muslim group was once expelled by Joseph Stalin during the Soviet era. "I'm concerned very much with the fate of our homeland. As you know the Crimean Tatars have returned to their homeland very recently. And to lose our homeland a second time... that we simply cannot do," she said.

Smiliava said customers voice their support for Tatars and against the Moscow-backed referendum for Crimea to break away from Ukraine.

Ukrainian public relations worker Olessa notes Crimeans are given only two options by the coup-installed regional parliament -- become independent or join Russia.

“They haven't had a chance to have access to the Ukrainian TV, it was switched off. They haven't had a chance to talk to Ukrainians, which were trying to get inside, everything is blocked off. So, do you think it's a free choice or it's a democratic way of putting the referendum?  I don't know how you can even call it the referendum,” said Olessa.

Activist Alim Aliyev is with Crimea S.O.S., a Tatar rights group helping people in Crimea and those who want to leave.

"Crimean Tatars now are probably the most afraid, they worry the most, because they already have experience living within Russian borders,” said Aliyev.

  • Trucks drive out of Russian landing craft Yamal 156 near the Crimean port of Sevastopol, March 14, 2014.
  • Members of a self defense volunteer group chat as they guard a barricade in Kyiv's Independence Square, March 14, 2014.
  • Police officers escort a wounded participant of an anti-war rally during clashes with pro-Russia demonstrators in Donetsk, Ukraine, March 13, 2014.
  • Wounded participants in a pro-Russia rally gesture during clashes with anti-war rally demonstrators in Donetsk, Ukraine, March 13, 2014.
  • Pro-Ukrainian activists hold a huge yellow-and-blue Ukrainian flag during a rally in support of Ukraine's territorial integrity in the eastern city of Kharkiv, Ukraine, March 13, 2014.
  • A member of a pro-Russian self defence unit swears an oath to the pro-Russia Crimea regional government in Simferopol, March 13, 2014.
  • Ballot boxes with the coat of arms of Crimea are seen at a polling station in Dobroe, near Simferopol, Ukraine, March 13, 2014.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Srebrenica Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs countermeasure at UN More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs