Tag Archives: Crimean Tatars

Crimean parliament formally applies to join Russia

Pro-Russian Crimeans celebrate in Sevastopol on March 16, 2014 after partial votes showed that about 95.5 percent of voters in Ukraine’s Crimea region supported union with Russia.

Crimea declares independence, seeks UN recognition

The Republic of Crimea has addressed the UN seeking recognition as a sovereign state and called on Russia to integrate it into the Russian Federation. 96.77 percent of the Crimean population voted ‘for’ the integration in a referendum.

“The Republic of Crimea intends to build its relations with other states on the basis of equality, peace, mutual neighborly cooperation, and other generally agreed principles of political, economic and cultural cooperation between states,” the legislation says.

Crimea was declared an independent sovereign state, the Republic of Crimea, on Monday, the autonomous Ukrainian regional parliament’s website stated. The Supreme Council of Crimea unanimously voted to integrate of the region into Russia.

Ukrainian military units on Crimean territory are to be disbanded, with the military personnel allowed to stay and live on the peninsula, Interfax reported Crimean Supreme Council chairman Vladimir Konstantinov as saying.

“Those who, according to their beliefs, don’t accept the Crimean independence and stay true to the Ukrainian state won’t be persecuted,” the head of Crimea’s parliament Vladimir Konstantinov said, as quoted by ITAR-TASS. He added that the same principle will apply to government employees and security workers who took the oath of allegiance to Ukraine.

His comments came after more than 500 troops left Sevastopol to register at temporary checkpoints.

Pro-Russian Crimeans celebrate in Sevastopol on March 16, 2014 after partial showed that about 95.5 percent of voters in Ukraine’s Crimea region supported union with Russia.

The Crimean Parliament also ruled that Ukrainian state property in the peninsula will become the property of the Republic of Crimea, Kryminform news agency reported.

The Crimean Parliament will remain the supreme legislative body of the republic until September 2015, or until a decision is made to integrate Crimea into the Russian Federation.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s coup-imposed President Aleksandr Turchinov called the referendum “a great farce,” saying it will never be recognized either by Ukraine or by the civilized world,” AFP reported.

It’s after the announcement of the official results: 96.77 percent of the Crimean population has voted ‘for’ integration of the region into the Russian Federation. The turnout was 83.1 per cent.

The referendum saw a massive turnout, with 81.3 percent of the eligible voting population participating, the head of the Crimean parliament’s commission on the referendum, Mikhail Malyshev, said.

There were 1,233,002 votes ‘for’ integration, with the total number of those who voted standing at 1,274,096 people.

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The referendum commission has not received any complaints, Malyshev stressed.

On Sunday evening, in Simferopol, the capital of the republic, at least 15,000 people have gathered to celebrate the referendum’s results in the central Lenin square, waving Russian and Crimean flags.

Next week, Crimea will officially introduce the ruble as a second official currency along with Ukrainian hryvna, Crimea’s Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov told Interfax. The dual currency is to be established in about six months.

Overall, the republic’s integration into Russia will take up to a year, the premier said. However, it wants to maintain relations with “economic entities, including Ukraine,” rather than burn bridges.

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Putin : Crimeans expressed their will in full accordance with intl law, UN Charter

The referendum in Crimea was fully consistent with international law and UN Charter, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Barack Obama, after the overwhelming majority of Crimeans expressed their willingness to join Russia.

The citizens of the peninsula have been given an opportunity to freely express their will and exercise their right to self-determination, the Russian president said in a phone conversation with his US counterpart, according to Kremlin’s press service.

With a record-breaking turnout of over 80 percent, according to preliminary results, over 95 percent of the Crimean population said ‘yes’ to the reunion of the republic with Russia. International observers have not reported any violations or anything resembling any kind of pressure during the vote.

However, the Unites States and the “international community” will not recognise the results of the referendum “administered under threats of violence and intimidation,” the White House spokesman said as cited by Reuters.

Despite the existing differences in the assessment of the situation in Ukraine, the leaders of Russia and US have agreed that they must jointly seek to help stabilize the situation in the country, the Kremlin said.

“Putin drew attention to the inability and unwillingness of the current Kiev authorities to curb rampant ultra-nationalist and radical groups, destabilizing and terrorizing civilians, including Russian-speaking population, and our fellow citizens,” Kremlin statement reads.

In this context, the possibility of sending an OSCE monitoring mission to Ukraine was discussed, the press office reported. The Russian President believes such a mission should be extended to all Ukrainian regions.

A woman with her face painted in the colours of the Russian national flag waits for the announcement of preliminary results of today’s referendum on Lenin Square in the Crimean capital of Simferopol March 16, 2014

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Thousands of Russians stage rally in support of Crimea residents

Participants in the “We Are Together” rally and concert to support the residents of the Crimea, at Vasilyevsky Slope, Moscow on March 7, 2014.

Over 65,000 people gathered on Friday for a demonstration in central Moscow to support residents of Ukraine’s Autonomous Republic of Crimea. The mostly Russian-speaking region has become a major stumbling block in Moscow-Kiev relations.

The ‘We are together!’ rally was held in front of the Kremlin walls and attracted more than 65,000 people, according to police. Many waved Russian flags and carried placards which read, “Crimea is Russian land!” and “Fascism will not pass,” as well as “We don’t swap our people for money.”

The demonstrators – activists of political parties, youth movements, and public organizations – adopted a petition urging the Russian government to back Crimea’s parliamentary decision to reunite with Russia.

“We, the participants of the demonstration, support the historic choice of residents of Crimea and Sevastopol, their determination to themselves decide on their future, and their aspiration to restore justice and reunite with Russia,” the document reads, as quoted by ITAR-TASS.

Participants in the “We Are Together” rally and concert to support the residents of the Crimea, at Vasilyevsky Slope, Moscow on March 7, 2014.

The petition also calls on the Russian parliament to “immediately” hold a session and start the procedure of officially accepting Crimea into the Russian Federation.

That’s what both the citizens of Russia and Crimea expect,” the document states. “[The] Future of Crimea and Sevastopol is in unity with Russia. We are together forever!”

A lawmaker from the Moscow City Duma, Evgeny Gerasimov, addressed the crowd from the stage, saying that Ukrainian radical nationalists are seeking to “trample” Crimea. He then added that the republic – which was given to Ukraine by Nikita Khruschev in 1954 – has the chance to correct the “mistake made by Soviet” government, stating that Russia should support the Crimeans.

Earlier this week, the Crimean parliament voted in favor of joining Russia. The decision will only come into force if it is approved by the peninsula residents at a referendum which will be held on March 16. Many Western powers – including the US – and Kiev’s self-imposed government have already declared the upcoming popular vote illegitimate.

Crimea, the ethnic Russian-majority region, has refused to recognize the new coup-imposed Ukrainian leadership.

Participants in the “We Are Together” rally and concert to support the residents of the Crimea, at Vasilyevsky Slope, Moscow on March 7, 2014.

We think the current government in Kiev is illegitimate; so we won’t work with them. If tomorrow a new legitimate government is elected in Ukraine, we will gladly cooperate,” Crimea’s prime minister, Sergey Aksyonov, told RT.

Following the overthrow of Viktor Yanukovich‘s government, the epicenter of Ukraine’s turmoil has shifted to Crimea, where thousands have staged protests against the new government and asked Russia for help and protection.

According to Aksyonov, Crimeans have repeatedly asked lawmakers to hold a referendum on the status of the republic’s autonomy.

In various regions of Crimea, the members of our parliament hold regular meetings with the voters, who have frequently asked to make the ultimate decision given the current situation in Ukraine: either to seek full autonomy – meaning an ability to adopt our own state laws – or to opt for secession, since the situation in Kiev has been spinning out of control,” Aksyonov said. The Prime Minister is almost certain that the Crimeans will vote for the second option.

Participants in the “We Are Together” rally and concert to support the residents of the Crimea, at Vasilyevsky Slope, Moscow on March 7, 2014.

Participants in the “We Are Together” rally and concert to support the residents of the Crimea, at Vasilyevsky Slope, Moscow on March 7, 2014.

Participants in the “We Are Together” rally and concert to support the residents of the Crimea, at Vasilyevsky Slope, Moscow on March 7, 2014.

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Crimea forms its own fleet as Ukraine Navy chief sides with region

Denis Berezovsky

Rear admiral Denis Berezovsky, appointed as head of Ukraine’s Navy forces just two days ago, has sworn allegiance to the people of Crimea. Taking his oath, regional Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov announced creating Crimea’s Navy.

Facts you need to know about Crimea and why it is in turmoil

“I, Berezovsky Denis, swear allegiance to the Crimean people and pledge to protect it, as required by the [army] regulations. I swear to take orders of Crimea and Sevastopol‘s Supreme Commander,” Berezovsky said as seen in video footage

The region’s Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov announced the creation of Crimea’s Navy forces and appointed Berezovsky its head.

The Republic will have its own navy, which will be commanded by rear admiral Berezovsky,” Aksyonov told the journalists Sunday.

“Subsequently, this day will be considered the birthday of the naval forces of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea,” he added.

All Navy troops dislocated in Sevastopol are ordered to disregard any commands coming from Ukraine’s new self-proclaimed authorities,” the PM also declared. “Do not take any orders of using arms till my personal instructions.”

Aksyonov promised that “all soldiers, who’ll swear allegiance to the Crimean people, will retain their allowance, health and social benefits, military rank and position.”

As for those, who wouldn’t want to join the Crimean navy, they have the full right “to retire” and “won’t be prosecuted” afterwards, the PM stressed.

Berezovsky was appointed Ukraine’s Navy chief on February 28, but following Sunday developments the country’s Security Council dismissed him and launched a case for “treason” and for surrendering his headquarters in the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

The prosecutor’s office has opened a criminal case against Denis Berezovsky under statute 111: state treason,” said Viktoria Syumar, deputy secretary of the Security Council. Another admiral, Sergey Hayduk, was placed in charge of the navy.

Earlier in the day, Ukrainian armed forces dispatched to Crimea were said to have switched to the side of local authorities.

Today the majority of the Ukrainian armed forces deployed in Crimea passed to the side of the authorities of the Crimean autonomous region. The transition was absolutely peaceful, without a single shot fired either by the military or by the forces of self-defense,” a source told RIA Novosti news agency.

A Russian media report on Saturday also claimed that Ukraine’s Navy flagship, the Hetman Sahaidachny frigate has refused to follow orders from Kiev, came over to Russia’s side and was returning home from the Gulf of Aden flying the Russian naval flag.

Crimeans began protesting after the new self-imposed government in Kiev introduced a law abolishing the use of other languages for official documents in Ukraine. More than half the Crimean population are Russian and use only this language for their communication. The residents have announced they are going to hold a referendum on March 30 to determine the fate of the Ukrainian autonomous region.

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