Crimean Tatars leader: ‘We are doing our best to avoid bloodshed’ (video)

Ukraine’s MP Mustafa Dzhemilev who is banned from entering Crimea, grants an interview to Belsat TV.

Mustafa Dzhemilev, the leader of the Crimean Tatar people, is the first winner of the Polish award Solidarność (Solidarity) for his involvement in defending democratic principles and human rights.

The award providing € 250,000 has been established on the occassion of the 25th anniversary of the round table which paved the way to democratic change in Poland. The award is to be given to Mr Dzhemilev during the dinner which Barack Obama and other politicians will attend.

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‘It is not uncommon that Crimean Tatar children may be beaten at schools because they speak their native language. ‘You are in Russia!’ they say. Their so-called cossacks ang gangs considering themselves as ‘self-defence groups’ gross people out; the impression is that they have run out of their masters’ control. We can’t say there will be no ethnic conflicts, although we are doing our best to avoid it. We don’t need bloodshed, it will bring us to deadlock. But no one can guarantee we will manage to cope with the situation,’ Mr Dzemilev said.

Watch the talk today at 7 pm on Belsat TV and online immediately upon the news bulletin.


Mustafa Dzhemilev is former Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People and a member of the Ukrainian Parliament since 1998. He is a recognized leader of the Crimean Tatar National Movement, a former Soviet dissident and human rights defender.

In Stalin’s times Crimean Tatars were deported to Siberia, Kazakhstan, Central Asia. Later, when Khrushchov came to power, they were allowed to come back, but there were no place to return – their homes were occupied by Russians.

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