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What do the Crimean Tatars face in Crimea?
Alexander Osipov
Flensburg: European Centre for Minority Issues
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The Issue Brief concerns further developments which the Crimean Tatars may experience after the Russian annexation of Crimea. The Crimean Tatars are the second largest minority in the Crimean peninsula, and they are represented by politically active movements with far-reaching claims concerning the status of Crimean Tatars and territorial self-determination. Within less than one month these people as well as their homeland have been transferred to another country with different political and legal systems and potentially a less friendly social environment. Since the contours of the future legal and institutional framework for the accommodation of Crimean Tatars are not fully clear, one can project the major organizational setups and patterns of Russian ethno-politics onto Crimea and tentatively assess their applicability. We can conclude that in a formal sense the Russian rule does not promise the Crimean Tatars much more than they already had in Ukraine, but puts them at risk of a strict police control and pressure. Such arrangements as territorial and non-territorial autonomy, power-sharing, 'rehabilitation' of the Crimean Tatars as victims of the past repressions may take place but they would have limited practical sense. Cultural programmes and recruitment of Crimean Tatars to the regional administration are unlikely to be legally guaranteed and will be fully dependent on the discretion of Russian and Crimean authorities.

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