Russian election boycotted by Crimean Tatars

DAILY SABAH
Istanbul
Published

Crimean Tatar Mejlis leader Refat Chubarov stated that the Crimean Tatars have boycotted the Russian parliamentary elections which Russia held in the annexed Crimean peninsula.

After the Duma election ended, Chubarov, on his social media account, noted that Crimean Tatars did not take part in Sunday's election saying, "Long live our people. We thank all of those who save our honor."

The electoral turnout in places where the majority of people are Crimean Tatars were "extremely low," said Chubarov, pointing out that in Fontana, where 90 percent of the population are Crimean Tatars, turnout remained at only around 9 percent.

Before the State Duma elections, Ukraine asked the international community, by a parliamentary resolution, to join Ukraine in not recognizing the elections in Crimea. The Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stressed that Ukraine does not recognize the legitimacy of Russian elections in the occupied territory.

Following the Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula in March 2014, the fall of Crimea into the hands of Putin's Russia was interpreted as a frightening reality for Crimean Tatars, as it would signal an end to the freedom they enjoyed within Ukrainian territory with regard to Russian provocations against the Crimean Tatar minority in the annexed territory. Amid mounting pressure from Russia, Crimean Tatar leaders Mustafa Dzhemilev and Refat Chubarov refused to give up their rights while resisting the Russian annexation in the Crimean peninsula. Russians are the vast majority in Crimea, with 5 million ethnic Russians residing in the Ukrainian part of Novorossiya. The mass deportation of Crimean Tatars in 1944 also led many to fear Russian policies.

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