Russia and the Crimean Tatars

Sir, – The article by Daniel McLaughlin "Crimean Tatars stand firm against Russian occupation of their homeland" (World News, March 2nd) is way off the mark as far as the life of Tatars goes. The main impression the author strives to create is that somehow the Crimean Tatars are being "suppressed by Kremlin", unsympathy towards Moscow among them is strong and they "fight for their rights".

That kind of picture has nothing to do with reality of Crimea. It is obvious that the source has been a small group of ultranationalist radical Tatars, who fled Crimea after the reunification of the peninsula with Russia in an attempt to avoid justice because of their criminal activities. The same group has indeed waged a fight against Crimean people by organising food and electric blockades, by blowing up electric supplying lines and calling for every possible acts of sabotage against Crimea.

The facts are entirely different. The vast majority of the Crimean Tatars took part in the referendum in 2014 with 96.57 per cent of population voting in favour of reunification with Russia. The rights of the Tatars are completely respected. One of the first presidential decrees (April 21st, 2014) recognised the Tatar language as one of the state languages of the Republic of Crimea (along with Russian and Ukrainian), which has never been the case previously. By the decree of the president of Russia, it was established that the Tatars were rehabilitated after the deportation of 1944. Further steps are being taken to preserve the identity of the Crimean Tatar people, to develop their culture and their language. Representatives of the Crimean Tatar civil society hold important posts in Crimean municipal and regional bodies. New mosques are being constructed on the territory of the peninsula, and the old ones are being reconstructed. NGOs and associations of Crimean Tatars are quite active.

The major factor for the Tatar and other Crimean communities is the state programme of the social and economic development of Crimea and Sevastopol until 2022. It is aimed to create conditions for balanced sustainable growth of the economy of the peninsula, providing the boost of entrepreneurial activity, the development of the infrastructure, free economic zone and road network, increasing energy efficiency and ensuring an affordable tourist environment.


All that is important for the Irish public to know in order to get away from the false stereotype of “Crimea occupied by Russia”. – Yours, etc,


Third Secretary,

Embassy of the Russian

Federation in Ireland,

Orwell Road,


Dublin 14.