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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid