Skip to main content

The Crimean Tatars are seeking autonomy within Russia in light of massive documented human rights violations since Russia annexed Crimea.

The 300,000-strong Muslim minority make up less than 15 percent of Crimea's population of 2 million and has so far been overwhelmingly opposed to Russia's annexation of the peninsula.

Crimean Tatars' assembly leader Refat Chubarov told more than 200 delegates: "In the life of every nation there comes a time when it must make decisions that will determine its future."

"I ask you to approve ... the start of political and legal procedures aimed at creating ethnic and territorial autonomy of the Crimean Tatars of their historic territory of Crimea."

The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization has taken their cause and has documented the following human rights violations:

--Homes being marked with crosses on their doors. This was also done prior to Stalin's mass deportations during World War II;
--Local authorities carrying out passport controls;
--Families keeping their children home from schools for fear of persecution;
--Women and children fleeing the area for either Turkey or Ukraine for fear of persecution;
--Three critical organizers kidnapped, threatened, and forced to leave the region;
--Journalist Ibrahima Umerova and a cameraman from the Crimean Tatar – run television channel ATR being taken hostage by unknown armed men in Simferopol on 18 March 2014;
--A Crimean man, Reshat Ametov, was kidnapped, tortured, and killed; his body was found two weeks later;
--Crimean Tatars were turned away at the polls when they tried to vote in the secession referendum;
--Crimean civil servants threatened with the loss of their jobs if they did not take part in the referendum.

The independence of Kosovo from Serbia following the NATO bombing campaign several years earlier to stop Serbia's military offensive in that area was recognized by most of the international community. However, the Russian government used that as leverage to wrest Crimea from Ukraine in the name of self-determination. But now that these are precedents, it is only fair that the Russian government respects the right of the Crimean Tatars to self-determination and the right to carry out their own domestic affairs. So far, we know of no acts of terrorism committed by these people. This was a move that was done by legal means through the framework of international law.

Putin can't have it both ways. He can't demand the right of ethnic Russians to have self-determination and then ignore the right of other people to that same self-determination that he insists for the people he is trying to protect. He can choose to ignore the Crimean Tatars. But then it will only be a matter of time before there is unrest and guerrilla warfare within the very area which he is trying to create as a showcase for his country.

We created this precedent in 1776 when we declared the right of peoples to revolt against tyrannical governments. If the ethnic Russians in Eastern Ukraine want to become part of Putin's Russia because of rampant rightwing violence by Ukrainian nationalists sometime down the road, fine. Let them. But what's good for the goose is good for the gander as well.

The alternative, as we see in countless other conflicts around the world, is perpetual warfare. Russia may still be a nuclear power, but there are limits even for that. The USSR bled itself to death trying in vain to prop up a friendly government in Afghanistan. There is a reason it is called the "graveyard of empires." If Russia chooses to bleed itself in a long war of attrition rather than respect basic human rights and follow the very standards that it sets for the rest of the world, then it will not be a matter of if, but when its present government will totter and fall into third world status or even get deposed as a result of a precipitous drop in living standards caused by billions of dollars worth of capital flight ($70 billion this year alone). And Saudi Arabia can always decide to turn on the oil spigots and flood the world with cheap oil, bankrupting the Russian oligarchs.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  what/where would a Tatar state be...and shouldn't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eternal Hope

    this be a decision using the Balkan history, after more of the big picture issues have been resolved

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:31:41 PM PDT

  •  it's only fair but Russia won't do it (4+ / 0-)

    because this isn't about self determination it's the land grab of a power mad shirtless wonder. And sadly I think he'll get away with it while being defended by people that should know better.

    Der Weg ist das Ziel

    by duhban on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:37:13 PM PDT

    •  For the time being. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      duhban, Timaeus

      But I'm afraid based on recent events that if Putin continues on the course that you think he will, that there will be guerrilla warfare, in which the Russian army will bleed to death trying to subdue the Crimean Tartars.

      "The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression." - W.E.B. Du Bois Be informed. Fight the Police State.

      by Eternal Hope on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 01:51:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why not? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Claudius Bombarnac

      An arrangement with the Crimean Tartars need not cost much of anything.  We're talking about a micropolitan around Bakhchisaray, a city of just over 10,000 which is three quarters Tatar.

      At some point, it would be nice if we stopped pretending that the Kremlin is operating on a single brain cell made of comic book villain meanness.

    •  This one's for you (0+ / 0-)
      The infantile diplomacy behind demonising Russia

      The self-righteousness of the West’s new Russia-bashers is astonishing.

      Are Western diplomats and media outlets being serious when they accuse the Russian government of launching a new Cold War? Do they really believe their own rhetoric when they say Putin has expansionary ambitions and wants to rebuild the Soviet Empire? Did Hillary Clinton, the former US secretary of state, mean it when she said Russia’s actions in Crimea are similar to ‘what Hitler did back in the 1930s’? Other anti-Russian observers have also claimed that Russia’s incorporation of Crimea is analogous to the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Do all these people sincerely believe this interpretation of current geopolitical events?
      ...
      After analysing the statements about Ukraine made by Western diplomats over the past two weeks, I have come to the uncomfortable conclusion that the motives behind the current campaign to demonise Russia are based on genuine convictions. Of course, there is a great deal of propaganda, wilful distortion and a significant element of fantasy in this campaign - but the outlook it expresses has been so firmly internalised by many in the West that it now constitutes their reality. And the fact that the West’s new breed of would-be Cold War crusaders have convinced themselves of their own rhetoric is likely to have far more destabilising consequences than if this campaign were simply a cynical example of old-fashioned realpolitik. At least realpolitik has the merit of being rooted in the real world; the current anti-Russian campaign, by contrast, is based on confusion and, even worse, on self-deception.
      ...

  •  The fact is, the 'self' in (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native, Louisiana 1976, mickT

    'self-determination' is always a historically and politically constructed reality.
    And there is no hard and fast rule for what counts as legit and what does not regarding independence and secessionist movements.

    These are all peoples/nations/movements for 'self-determination'.  Which are have legitimate claims and which do not, and why?

    Zomi
    Khalistan
    Cochinchina
    Kurdistan
    Texas Secession Movement
    Madheshi
    Palestine
    Tamil Eelam
    Crimean Tartars
    Alaska Independence Party

    There are good arguments for independence and there are bad ones.  To say that any of these movements should be granted independence because otherwise there will be "unrest and guerrilla warfare" or that they are asserting a 'right to revolt against tyrannical governments' is not a good way to determine the justness and legitimacy of any group's aims.  Otherwise every group ever that made a claim of independence would be legit.

    "Trust me... I've been right before." ~ Tea party patriot

    by Calvino Partigiani on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:56:46 PM PDT

  •  Once again (4+ / 0-)

    I find myself thanking you profusely for this great and informative diary.  Highlighting the abuses of Tatars is critical, especially for those pushing accusations that the Kyiv government is full of neonazis and thugs.   The same appears to be much more true of the Crimean authorities as seen by these campaigns (although it is possible it is paramilitary types doing this)

    It might worth adding the fact that although the Tartars are 19% of the population of Crimea now, they made up around 40-45% of the population before they were subject to mass deportations and Russian settlers were moved in through the policy of Russification.  

    I personally beleive that a claim to a right to rule a region is substantially weakened once a country has arrived out ethnic cleansing in the region. (Obviously I am unsympathetic to Serbian claims to Kosovo and Russian claims to Ukraine of this basis subject to the caveat that the KLA had its share of atrocities also)

  •  Could it be that persecution (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calvino Partigiani

    of Tatars (to the extent it is occurring now) is an extension of Russian/Ukrainian tensions, rather than being caused by intra-Crimean antipathy?

    •  Not really (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FarWestGirl

      the history of this interaction goes back over a century.  This is not something new.

      •  It goes back to the Mongol and Tatar conquests (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FarWestGirl

        The Tatars once had a Khanate in this region, which supported itself by capturing and selling slaves. As with Northern Ireland, Israel/Palestine, Hutus/Tutsis, one cannot settle current problems by litigating past wrongs. But the Tatar fear of Stalinist oppression is real, firstly due to Stalin deporting all Crimean Tatars to central Asia during World War II. They were only allowed to return under Perestroika. Secondly, there are still Stalinists and other ultranationalist racists among the Russian population in Ukraine.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 03:21:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It isn't that long ago (0+ / 0-)

          I am not sure it is so much a matter of litigating past wrongs as not allowing such crimes to bear fruit and also a sense that once a country has gone in for that sort of thing the risk remains of a repeat barring some solid reason to think attitude have changed. There certainly seem to be no reason to beleive a Russia sense of supremacy over its neighbor has lost all its former virulence

          •  The past wrongs are indeed real, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mindful Nature

            and some are indeed not so long ago, even though some go back 800 years. My point is that they are not solved by litigation and accusation. It is necessary for both sides to come together, as for example in the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission's work. This is not an enterprise that Russian ultranationalists have shown any appetite for, ever.

            Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

            by Mokurai on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 08:22:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No indeed (0+ / 0-)

              and actually that's a big difference between Russia and Germany.  Russia never had any purge or soul searching over the Soviet era, really, to my knowledge.

              INdeed, that kind of process is the best way forward.  But as you note, it ain't happening.  As a second best, getting as far away from them as possible seems wise.

              Good words though.

  •  Autonomy. Not independence or union with Ukraine. (2+ / 0-)

    Interesting. They're accepting Russian sovereignty as a done deal, and working to be an autonomous region of Russia.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 01:19:29 PM PDT

  •  Russia is already turning on the spigots (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lepanto, Judgment at Nuremberg

    The US domestic frackers can also be hit real hard if the price of oil goes below $100. It would put a crimp on production rates in the US. The only reason for the fracking boom was the high price of oil.

    And Saudi Arabia can always decide to turn on the oil spigots and flood the world with cheap oil, bankrupting the Russian oligarchs.
    The Saudi's have no intentions of lowering the price of oil for the US. Don't forget, China is now the Saudi's largest partner in the oil business and a number of infrastructure investments. The Saudi's are looking closely at the yuan. The US is fast becoming the Saudi's competitor.

    BTW, Russian Lukoil, British BP and Dutch Shell would like to thank the US military for making these oil deals in Iraq possible. PetroChina also thanks US Exxon for selling it's Iraq shares.

    The markets are now global. Cutting off Russia's nose may end up smiting the US's face.

    Russia's Lukoil opens giant Iraq oil field, adding to crude glut
    Iraq's West Qurna-2 oilfield to transform oil markets as Baghdad targets daily output of 4m barrels this year

    29 Mar 2014

     Russia's Lukoil has opened a giant untapped oil field in Iraq that will play a major part in driving up production to new highs in the Middle Eastern country and potentially force down the price of crude.

    Spigots in the West Qurna-2 field, Iraq’s second-biggest, were opened officially over the weekend in a move that will release 120,000 barrels per day of crude oil onto international markets. The field in Southern Iraq near Basra will eventually pump out 1.2m barrels-per-day (bpd) of oil.

    Iraq’s oil minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi has said that West Qurna-2 will enable the country to hit its target of pumping 4m bpd by the end of the year. Already the second-largest producer in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) after Saudi Arabia according to Reuters, Iraq pumped 3.5m bpd last month.
    ...
     The official opening of West Qurna-2 will also see Lukoil , which owns a 75pc stake in the field, become a major international player in the industry outside Russia. British oil giants BP and Royal Dutch Shell are also poised to benefit from Iraq's ambitious production plans. Both companies are already managing two huge oil fields in southern Iraq which are vital if Baghdad is to achieve its goal.

    The field is “strategically important” said Lukoil’s chief executive Vagit Alekperov.
    ...

    •  But: (0+ / 0-)

      They hate the Russians even more than they do us. And there was an implied threat by Obama in visiting Saudi Arabia that he might get them to flood the oil markets like they did back in the 1980's, which contributed to the collapse of the USSR.

      "The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression." - W.E.B. Du Bois Be informed. Fight the Police State.

      by Eternal Hope on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 02:41:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Saudi's can't do it. They need at least $85 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Judgment at Nuremberg

        They've made some expensive commitments. I would venture to say (a bit CT) that if the price dropped too much, the Saudis would create more strife somewhere to boost the price.

        Saudi breakeven oil price crawls higher

        Bank of America Merrill Lynch says its preliminary spending projections for 2014 place Saudi Arabia’s fiscal breakeven oil price at $85 a barrel.

        “This is $5 higher than the floor we had previously anticipated policy-makers would be looking to defend,” the bank said in a report.
        ...
        “The Saudi government 2014 budget is the highest on record and should support economic activity but at a somewhat more moderate pace, in our view,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch said.

        They hate the Russians even more than they do us.
        Not when it comes to making money. This venture is for very expensive gas so they want a high market price to make it viable. The gas would go through Syria on the way to Europe. It will make for strange bedfellows indeed.
        Russia, Saudi in talks for multi-billion gas reserves development
        March 28th, 2014

        ABU DHABI — Russia and Saudi Arabia have been negotiating a multi-billion-dollar project to develop natural gas reserves in the Gulf Arab kingdom.
        ...
        Aramco said it was offering new models to gain the participation of LukOil, Russia’s second largest energy contractor.

        The officials said the negotiations with LukOil included an evaluation of gas reserves and the option to drill deep beneath the vast southeastern Saudi desert.

        “This would be a very expensive project and would require a major payback for any contractor,” an official said.
        March 28th, 2014

  •  Tatars are the Palestinians (0+ / 0-)

    of this story.  Maybe explains the Israeli abstention on the UN GA vote

  •  Interesting report from a Turkish perspective (3+ / 0-)
    Turkey also a loser in Crimea
    Fehim Taştekin

    The referendum decision of Crimea to return to the Russian fold, after Turkey lost it to the Russian Empire with the 1774 Treaty of Kucuk Kaynarcam, has spoiled Turkey’s strategic ambitions for the region. What kind of ambitions? Nothing to do with recovering Crimea geographically, but to bring back to life cultural and historical heritage of the Crimean Tatar Khanate.
    ...
    Russians gave what Turkey wanted

    Because of dearth of options, the focus has shifted from blocking the Russian designs for Crimea to protection of Tatars of Crimea. Russia, aware of the question of legitimacy that would arise unless there is the consent of Tatars, offered them guarantees far beyond Turkey’s expectations. Putin told Abduljamil, invited to Moscow, that he had issued directives for the protection of Tatars.

    Moreover, Russia prepared a package that encourages the Crimean Tatars to return to their homeland and assuring their participation in governing it. Turkey’s priority is the return to their homeland of the Crimean Tatars exiled to Central Asia in 1944. Davutoglu noted: “In last 12 years, TIKA and Turkey entered the picture. For our brethren, we built hundreds of tenements, even bought houses from them. Today, the Tatar population in Crimea is slightly above 300,000. This is all because of Turkey’s support.”

    The decisions of the Crimean Parliament also were promising. It decided: “Tatars exiled in 1944 will be encouraged to return. Legal, material and property problems of the returnees will be solved. They will be offered financial assistance for five years. Primary, second and higher schools in the Tatar language will be opened. Historical and cultural relics will be restored. Tatar publications will be encouraged.” This decree also gave official status to Tatar language. Crimean Tatar National Assembly was given legal recognition. They were offered 20% representation in the national parliament. These were all rights Tatars could not obtain from the Ukrainian government. The only anxiety Turkey or Crimeans might express would to be say, “These promises can remain on paper.” But autonomy practices of Russia since the end of the Soviet era shows that at least when it comes to preservation of people’s language and cultures they have not a bad record.
    ...
    The desire of those fighting against Moscow-supported regime in Syria to settle accounts with Russia in Crimea scares Tatars who, like Abduljamil, prefer nonviolent resistance. A representative from the Tatar Crimean National Assembly said in our private chat: “Yes, there are Tatars fighting in Syria and they might come back. We are worried.”

    The Tatars know only too well that provocation, whether from Ukranian radical nationalists or nationalist Russians or a Chechnization scenario originating from Islamist Tatars who want to open a jihadist front, will bring to them only a new exile or genocide.

  •  Tatars, not Tartars (0+ / 0-)

    The youngsters are called Tatar Tots.

    Why can't Putin have it both ways?  Non-Russians, especially a dominated minority, especially a Muslim minority like the Tatars, are non-people.

  •  Putin will demand and ultimately get some Ukraine (0+ / 0-)

    land, so there is a land connection between Crimea and Russia.

    Putin is focused on transforming Russia into a world power.  The Russian economy cannot do this for the foreseeable future, but Putin thinks he can with a Russian military.  

    The other strategy is to help the US tie itself up in different parts of the world that do not involve Russia, to make the US relatively weaker.  This is why Russia does what it does in Iran, Syria, the UN, etc..

    The only principle that Putin respects, is that he will do what it takes for Putin to have his way.

    I don't like what Putin is doing, but this is what I expect.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 03:18:20 PM PDT

  •  Putin fears the Muslims as they are a significant (0+ / 0-)

    minority in territories which the Russians control and which border the territories Russians control.  The two Chechen wars are still raw in the memories of both sides and there continue to be terrorist acts against the Russian hegemony with neither side giving any sort of quarter.

    •  Putin does not "fear Muslims" just as Obama does (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Judgment at Nuremberg

      not. But both are concerned with Islamic jihadis. If anything, Muslims are much more accepted by Russians than they are by Americans.

      You've been reading too much of the garbage Daniel Pipes has been writing in the Washington Times.

      For your edification:

      Islam In Russia

       Part 1

      There are about 20 million indigenous Muslims living in the Russian Federation where the total population is over 140 million (about 15 percent of the total population). Unlike other Muslim minorities in Europe, Russian Muslims are not foreign immigrants. They are native citizens of the country in which they live in.

      Muslims are integral part of the Russian community For instance, during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Russian athletes won 23 gold medals, 10 of which were obtained by indigenous Muslim athletes.

      The majority of Russian Muslims live in the Volga-Ural region and the Northern Caucasus. Other parts of Russia including megacities, such as Moscow or Saint-Petersburg, also have significant Muslim populations.

      The ethnically Muslims are predominant in seven republics of the Russian Federation which are the Republics of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan in the Volga-Urals region, and the Republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia in the Northern Caucasus.

      •  I hardly read Pipes nor the Times (0+ / 0-)

        I do read Juan Cole and several other such blogs including Foreign Policy.  I repeat, Putin is looking to establish a regional hegemony at the very least and Muslims represent a different minority with different aspirations than his.  Tell me the number of Muslims who are in Putin's inner circle or are on the general staff of the Russian military and then we can talk social integration.

        http://www.worldpolicy.org/...
        http://www.wilsoncenter.org/...
        http://www.khilafah.com/...

        •  The links you gave do not really support your (0+ / 0-)

          comments. I'm not sure if you have actually read them.

          Especially www.khilafah.com

          http://www.khilafah.com/...

          The Pentagon is a conveyor belt for hatred and enmity towards Islam

          Failing to conduct root and branch revision of the educational curriculums for the US military and indeed for many of America's institutions will only reinforce the impression in Muslim minds that America is hell bent on the destruction of Islam. It will also enable a small cabal of neo-conservatives (the extremists) to perpetrate new crimes in the name of the American people (the moderate majority). America ns like to use labels such as extremists and moderates to describe the Muslim world, yet they are oblivious to the fact that they are being held hostage by a small faction of extremists, who are unwavering in their determination to terrorise another civilisation in their name.

          http://www.khilafah.com/...
          Five Myths about Ukraine

          1. The Crimea Referendum was Illegal

          In reality the referendum being illegal is the West stating their position that they do not like the outcome and for thus for this reason it is illegal.

          2. The uprisings in Ukraine are due to a desire for Western Democracy

          The Orange revolution in 2005 was meant to usher in a new era for Ukraine but the pro-West leaders only made matters worse. The arrival of a pro-Russian autocrat in 2013 – Victor Yanukovych changed little and that's why he was overthrown, again. This myth has become the moral justification for western interference.

          3. The sanctions by the West shows their support for the people of Ukraine?

          The current sanctions regime is largely symbolic and despite the rhetoric, does not hurt Russia in any way. If the West really cared for the Ukrainian people it would place an embargo on Russia energy imports!

          4. The world is on the verge of World War three

          Any war would also seriously cripple Russia economy. The US is currently reorienting its position in the Middle East and the subcontinent after a decade of war that has bleed the US dry, the US and its public have no appetite for another war that could see a protracted struggle.

          5. The Tatars?

          The plight of the Tatars has thus been projected to aid European public opinion against Russia and not out of any concern for the Tartar Muslims.

          http://www.worldpolicy.org/...
          RADICALISM RISING

          Radical Muslims belong to a variety of sects that oppose Hanafi Islam, or “Russian Islam” as it is colloquially known. Hanafi combines moderate Islamic teachings with traditional Tatar heritage, recognizing female clerics and Russian holidays. The pragmatic nature of Hanafi and its flexibility around Western culture has brought disdain from Salafists who view it as impure and overly influenced by Russia’s secular leadership.

          The arrival of the more conservative Islam began in the post-Soviet vacuum when demand for Muslim teachers outweighed supply. Students started going abroad for study, particularly to Saudi Arabia. At the same time, many clerics from Arabia and Turkey arrived in the region. The Tatar population adhering to more conservative forms of Islam remains small, but their presence is growing. Salafists are the most notable fundamentalist group, and are often labeled “Wahhabis” referring to Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the cleric central to the formation of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and on whose principles Salafism is based.

          Even though Salafism took root in Tatarstan in the mid-1990s, it is not associated with a recognized clergy and has no official presence. The ability of Salafism to endure has been aided by migration from the North Caucasus and wealthy Saudis who fund madrasses, religious schools, which preach adherence to sharia law. Confined to the margins, Salafists regard themselves as a separate entity, distinct from Orthodox Russians and Hanafi Tatars, viewing the establishment as anti-Islamic persecutors.

          http://www.wilsoncenter.org/...

          The activities of Muslim missionaries have fueled fears of the radicalization of Russian Muslims. Even more troubling, to many people, has been the fear of radical Islamic ideology spreading from Chechnya. However, Malashenko argued that Chechen separatism was based in secular nationalism rather than Islam. Chechen leaders later began espousing political Islamic ideology because it served as a "very convenient slogan" to rally people in support of the separatist movement. He maintained that "the idea was never supported by the majority of the society."

          John Dunlop of the Hoover Institution emphasized that most Chechens do not want an Islamic state and do not see their struggle with Russia as a holy war. He nevertheless cautioned that the common perception of the Chechen war as a conflict between Russians and Muslims could lead to increasing instability in Russia's other heavily Muslim regions.

          Overall, however, speakers believed that Russia has the potential to succeed in integrating its diverse religious communities, including Muslims. According to Hunter: "[A] prosperous Russia, and an open Russia that allows the legitimate expressions of ethnic or cultural distinctiveness...is going to be very, very attractive, and nobody is going to want to be divorced from that."

          •  just pointing out there are other viewpoints out (0+ / 0-)

            there, an entire spectrum of viewpoints and I am not afraid to read and consider all of them.  This means I may read someone as ridiculous as Pipes or the Times.

            I note you did not answer the primary question as to how many Muslims are in Putin's inner circle or among the military general staff.  Let us begin by answering that basic question since your premise appears to be that Muslims are well integrated in Russian society despite the rise of the RW there in the last decade or so

            •  I have no idea of the religious makeup of the (0+ / 0-)

              Russian federal government. Do you know if there are any in Obama's government?

              We need to look at actions over a significant period of time.

              Here is a list of Putin's meetings with the Muslim community over the years. I can think of no other leader of Western countries that has shown such deference and respect to the Muslim faith. If Obama did this he would be demonized by the American right (and many on the left). He certainly would not have been elected for a second term.

              http://eng.news.kremlin.ru/...

              PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN:
              Good afternoon, I think it’s important that we meet regularly and discuss issues that interest Russian Muslims, holders of other faiths, and all the citizens of our country in general.

              Try doing "Muslims - the pride of America" in Washington:
              Moscow shows "Muslims - pride of Russia".

               By Jamal Fulani | Assalam | 04 Dec 2012

              Production Center Art-films and "Tvorog - Media Group" launched a movie project "Muslims - the pride of Russia" to portray outstanding contribution by contemporary Russian Muslims. Presentation of the first two films took place last weekend at the Moscow Government House of public organizations.

              The project authored by Ahmad Makarov and directed by Abdullah Issa is financially supported by Islamic culture, science and education development foundation.

              Central Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Russia.

              Central Muslim Spiritual Board of Russia (CMSB Russia) - a centralized religious organization of Muslims, uniting under his command regional Spiritual Administration of Muslims and the local Muslim religious institutions (mosques and communities) of Russia from Kaliningrad to Khabarovsk.
              ...
              Currently CDUM Russia unites more than 1,500 communities.

              The composition CDUM Russia canonically and administrative includes Regional Spiritual Board of Muslims of the republics (RDUM): Bashkortostan, Mari El, Mordovia, Chuvashia, Udmurtia, and Astrakhan, Vladimir, Volgograd, Kurgan, Kirov, Omsk and Novosibirsk (Siberia), Orenburg, Penza , Rostov, Samara, Sverdlovsk, Ulyanovsk and Chelyabinsk region, Khanty-Mansi and Yamal-Nenets  Autonomous District, North-West (St. Petersburg).

              Regional leaders of Muslims in Russia are appointed CDUM clergy "Mufti" indefinitely for submission to the Bureau RDUM.

              When RDUM formed ahunstva and muhtasibats created for operational control and coordination of the parishes. Local Muslim religious communities led imam-khatib. The heads of these departments are also appointed on the proposal of Russia CDUM RDUM regions in the spiritual title "imam Akhund", "Imam mukhtasib" "imam-khatib" indefinitely. At the same time in three years is recertified. Chairman CDUM in spiritual rank "Sheikh-ul-Islam, the Grand Mufti " elected according to the Shariah, Congress indefinitely Majlis CDUM Russia.

              Under the leadership of CDUM Russia during the years that have elapsed since the collapse of the Soviet Union, built over a thousand mosques. Also, the grand mosque in Ufa, the capital of Bashkortostan, Neftekamsk, Salavat, Naberezhnye Chelny, Nizhnekamsk, Almetyevsk, Bugulma, Rostov, Cheboksary, Samara, Yoshkar-Ola, Ulyanovsk, Salekhard, Surgut, Tyumen and other cities.
              ...

            •  If you listen to Daniel Pipes, the Russian (0+ / 0-)

              military will be mostly Muslim by 2020.

              Oh no! The Russian hoards are being replaced by the Mongol-Tatar Golden Horde. Grab your guns and hide your women.

              Try the following in New York city. Some Americans shit their pants if the Muslims want to build a drop-in center. Can you imagine the American response to something like this in a major US city?

              http://zyalt.livejournal.com/...
              (picture essay)

              [trans] Today Eid al-Fitr, the first day after the end of the post - one of the major holidays in Islam. Tens of thousands of Muslims come to the morning prayer in the mosque to Vypolzov Lane, near Prospekt Mira. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin signed a decree on holding mass in two Muslim holidays - Eid al-Adha today and Kurban Bayram, Feast of Sacrifice, which will be held on November 6. About what happened at the mosque in Moscow, in today's reportage ...

  •  A history lesson of Russia, Ukraine and Crimea (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Judgment at Nuremberg, whizdom
    Viewing the Ukraine Crisis From Russia’s Perspective

    Events in Ukraine are moving fast and faster.  Dangers of economic paralysis in Ukraine and of wider war with Russia are very real.  This essay will argue that we all need to notice our historical biases in perceiving and misperceiving events.
    ...
    James Joyce’s famous statement that “history is a nightmare” from which we should try to awake, aptly describes current events in the Ukraine.  All nations involved in these events are biased by the remembered, misremembered, forgotten, and mythologized history they carry in their heads.  Chaos in Maidan Square, neo-fascists in positions of  power in Kiev, Russia annexing Crimea, these are inkblots that everyone sees differently depending on the historical visions that dominate their minds.  Our national memories have the passion and power to drive us blindly to hatreds and to war.  The histories we believe set us up for easy manipulations and disastrous actions.
    ...
     Clinton said, “We can learn from this tactic that has been used before.”  That is good advice if we consider this tactic of

    a) personifying a nation by its leader’s personal name and

    b) then labelling that leader “Hitler.”

    This is sure way to activate a demon in the American national memory and to mobilize the United States to again fight evil personified by the new Hitler.  John Kerry said Assad is Hitler.  John McCain said Castro is Hitler.  George Bush said Saddam was Hitler.  Donald Rumsfeld said Chavez was Hitler.  The list of leaders the US has targeted as Hitler includes  Allende (Chile), Noriega (Panama), Ortega (Nicaragua), Milosevic (Serbia), Arafat (Palestine), Gaddafi (Libya), Ahmadinejad (Iran), and Kim (North Korea).

    Hitler, in fact, was defeated by the USSR more than by the USA.  After the Battle of Stalingrad in February 1943 and the Battle of Kursk in August 1943, Germany had effectively lost WWII.  D-Day was a year later, in June 1944.  Soviet armies caused more than 90% of total German casualties.  Nevertheless, Americans remember that it was they who defeated Hitler.
    ...
    Just as the Alamo is an iconic historic site for Americans, so, too, is the Crimean fortress of Sevastopol an iconic historic site for Russians.  Both symbolize steadfast courage and sacrifice in the face of overwhelming force. The Siege of the Alamo in 1836 lasted 13 days, with 1,500 Mexican soldiers overwhelming 250 Americans who died heroically defending liberty and independence.  The first Siege of Sevastopol in 1854, lasted two years, with 175,000 British, French, Turkish, German, Italian, Polish and Swiss soldiers overwhelming 35,000 Russian soldiers heroically defending Russian Crimea.  The second Siege of Sevastopol in 1941 lasted one year, with more than 200,000 German, Romanian, Italian and Bulgarian forces overwhelming 106,000 Soviet soldiers heroically defending Russian Crimea. When Americans feel emotional remembering the Alamo, they can begin to imagine the depth of emotion Russians must feel remembering Sevastopol.
    ...
    The USA has not suffered invasions because it is bounded by large oceans east and west, and by powerless, peaceful nations north and south. Russia has no protective natural barriers, and has had aggressive neighbors on three sides.  Although they may forget or deny this history, Turks, Poles, Swedes, French, Germans, British, and Japanese have each invaded Russia more than once.
    ...
    The Ottoman Super-power: At the height of its power in the 1600s, the Ottoman Empire controlled half of the Mediterranean world and all of the Black Sea and Red Sea regions.  The Crimean Tatars supplied the Ottoman slave trade by “harvesting the steppe”, taking an estimated 2 million captives between 1500 and 1700. For example, in 1571, a combined Crimean and Ottoman force of 120,000 invaded Russia, burned Moscow, killed an estimated 80,000 Russians, and took 150,000 captives to slave markets in Crimea.  Historians  count more than 50 Tatar attacks.  The last “harvest” of Russians was in 1769.  In the 7th Russo-Turkish War, Russians conquered Crimea and finally freed themselves from Tatar attacks and slavery.  In 1783, Russia annexed Crimea.  This is the same time in history that the American colonies finally freed themselves from oppressive British taxation.
    ...

    There is considerably more and is well worth the read.
  •  VID-Neo-nazi Crimean PM Sergei Aksenov + followers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eternal Hope

    demolishing a Tatar settlement in the middle of the night near Simferopol.

    Putin handpicked Aksenov to lead the government of breakaway Crimea. Aksenov is the head of the Crimean branch of Russian National Unity, the far-right  neo-nazi political party in Russia. You can google on your own for its website (in Russian) but the swastikas need no translation.

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 05:46:29 PM PDT

    •  Wrong. You are conflating the Russian National (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Judgment at Nuremberg, whizdom

      Unity movement with the Crimean Russian Unity Party. The RNE has long been banned by the Kremlin and is listed as a terrorist group.

      Primorye Bans RNE

      VLADIVOSTOK, Far East -- A district court on Tuesday banned the Russian National Unity movement, a prominent neo-Nazi group, from the Far Eastern region of Primorye.

      Members of the movement had tried repeatedly to register with authorities, but were refused. In its ruling, the court noted that the movement had been operating illegally, since it was not registered, and that it was aimed at inciting ethnic hatred.

      Russian National Unity, led by Alexander Barkashov, is Russia's most vocal and active neo-Nazi group. Its members sport swastika-like symbols and black uniforms, raise their hands in a Nazi-like salute, and call liberal reforms a Western plot to destroy Russia.

      Putin handpicked Aksenov to lead the government of breakaway Crimea.
      http://www.upi.com/...

      Aksyonov also said Ukrainian would cease to be an official language if Crimea joined Russia.

      "We use two languages on a daily basis -- Russian and Crimean Tatar," Aksyonov said. "It's certain that the republic [of Crimea] will have two languages."

      •  The truth hurts. Do some research. (0+ / 0-)

        There is no existence without doubt.

        by Mark Lippman on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:14:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK. That video appears to be two different videos (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Judgment at Nuremberg

          stitched together. It dates from 2012. The description is wrong. Sergey Aksenov is not deputy of the Supreme Soviet of Crimea. It also has nothing to do with the Russian National Unity movement as you inferred.

          Responsible for the demolition of about 100 illegally constructed buildings on the site of self-trapping in the village near Simferopol youth took over the party "Russian unity." According to the party leader, deputy of the Supreme Soviet of Crimea Sergey Aksenov, action on the night of November 30 to December 1, which was attended by activists of the "Russian Unity" and the Cossacks, was aimed at restoring the rights of local residents, to prove in court their right to the land. ..
          NR2.ru: http://nr2.ru/...
          There is no Supreme Soviet of Crimea. The Supreme Council of Crimea is the parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea since 1998. Sergey Aksyonov was deputy at that time.

          So, yes, that video is a work of fantasy as is your added comments.

          If you wish to understand the problems of "land squatting" I suggest you read the following report by Swiss based Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

          The integration of formerly deported people in Crimea, Ukraine: Needs assessment [pdf]

          Land squatting

          Within Ukraine, the unauthorized seizure of land known as “land squatting” is a phenomenon specific to Crimea and is a consequence of both the unmanaged return process and the real or perceived injustices in land allocation outlined above. The number of individuals and land involved is significant: according to official data from the Republican Land Resource Committee (Reskomzem), approximately 2,000 hectares are occupied by 56 unauthorized settlements, involving an estimated 8,000 to 15,000 people.29

          Even though all FDPs face difficulties regarding access to land for individual construction and agriculture, only Crimean Tatars have actively engaged in land squatting. Other FDP groups, such as Armenians, Bulgarians, Germans and Greeks, have responded differently, although they also claim to have received only piecemeal assistance from the authorities. In addition, the vast majority of these groups have resettled outside Crimea as part of assistance programmes by their “kin-States” (see Table 1). Therefore, this section focuses on the specific situation of land squatting by Crimean Tatars, as well as counter-squatting movements by Russian-speaking and Ukrainian communities.
          ...
          Actors and conflicting views on the land issue

          There are numerous conflicting interpretations of the causes and possible solutions to the land disputes. The Crimean authorities claim that data from the Reskomzem shows that Crimean Tatars are actually favoured by the land allocation process, receiving more than their proportional share, and that the squatting movements are organized by businessmen with economic motives. The Crimean Tatars argue that the Reskomzem counts land that was seized in the earlier phases of squatting, and that it disregards qualitative differences. The Crimean Tatar community itself is divided over the strategy to follow, ranging from collective civil disobedience to engagement with the authorities.
          ...

        •  No, you do it (0+ / 0-)

          you WANT the truth to fit your narrative, but it doesn't

      •  Sergei Aksenov (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Claudius Bombarnac

        Maybe he means this guy-
        http://isteve.blogspot.com/...

        But the NBP is more associated with Western Ukranian rightists who are pro Maidanists

        Aksyonov is likely not a good guy, and his party didn't seem to have much support in Crimean or Ukranian elections, but I can't find anything to link him to the banned Russian national Unity party, and it would make sense for Putin to nominate someone with that background

    •  Are you sure? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Claudius Bombarnac

      We know Aksyonov is the party leader of the Ukranian Russian Unity party, (which polled around 3% in the Crimean parliamentary elections), but we are not aware of any connections he has to the banned RNE.  
      That would be important, if true.  Do you have a link?

    •  I can't find anything to support this claim (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Claudius Bombarnac

      can you help?

      Aksenov is the head of the Crimean branch of Russian National Unity, the far-right  neo-nazi political party in Russia.
  •  pretty much (0+ / 0-)

    rehearsing US government propaganda but without any tangible facts on persecution of Tatars, only case of murder probably had criminal origin

    while Russian authorities not only guaranteed 20% (more than share of Tatars in Crimea 12%) of MPs and government jobs for them, national cultural autonomy (in support of traditional culture and occupations), federal funding of national schools where children will be taught in Tatar language which was declared one of three official languages in Crimea, etc etc etc, and all is not much different from what Russian national autonomous republics enjoy.

    Under Kyiv rule Tatars didn't get anything of this sort, even their language was not recognized by Kyiv let alone funding for ethnic schools or guaranteed government jobs and parliamentarian constituencies.

    Overall disinformation of Russia and Russian affairs in today's US is akin to demonization of Soviet Russia in Hitlerite Germany which shows only nature of American system.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site