Reclaiming Crimea: the path to restoration and unity

Дата: 24 October 2023 Автор: Refat Chubarov
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I’d like to express my gratitude to the national parliaments of the Crimea Platform and member states for their significant contribution and for supporting Ukraine very efficiently in its efforts to defend its independence and territorial integrity.

Refat Chubarov

When on February 27th, 2014, the first Russian military vehicles appeared on the roads of Crimea, spreading throughout the entire Crimean peninsula, it became clear to us that we would have to face new challenges. However, it wasn’t until later that we realized the severity of these challenges. Putin had decided to complete what Stalin and the Soviet regime hadn’t: the destruction of the Crimean Tatar people.

But only later we realised how tough these challenges would be because Mr decided that he would complete the destruction of the, which Stalin and the Soviet regime had not completed.

The Crimean Tatar people started to be persecuted, put in prison, and tortured. The Russian barbarians banned the activities of Mejlis as the only representative body of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people.

Presently, there are 189 Ukrainian citizens imprisoned in Crimea, 123 of whom are Crimean Tatars. Nariman Dzelyal, for example, is a political prisoner, the first deputy speaker of the Majlis of the Crimean Tatar people, and he was imprisoned for 17 years in prison.

The Russians attempted to completely obliterate the identity of the Crimean Tatars and chase the Crimean Tatars away from Crimea. That’s why they oppressed the Crimean Tatar people and tried to bring their citizens to Crimea and colonize the peninsula with Russian citizens. There are already over a million such colonists in Crimea.

Unfortunately, they’re convinced they will stay in Crimea, but we’re strong standing in our position: all foreigners or stateless persons who have settled in the occupied Crimea and other temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine have deliberately committed a crime and must immediately leave Crimea.

Dear friends, thanks to the Crimean Platform, which unites supporters of the Crimean Tatar people, the international community now recognizes that Russian aggression against Ukraine began in Crimea and must end there. Crimea must be liberated.

I express my deep gratitude to the Parliaments of Latvia, Lithuania, and Canada for adopting resolutions acknowledging the deportation of Crimean Tatars in 1944 as genocide. I’d like to ask and call on other parliaments of democratic countries to make a similar step and adopt similar resolutions or positions.

With the restoration of Ukraine’s state sovereignty, the stage of Crimea’s reintegration will come. At this stage, the legal conditions and mechanisms that will determine the future of Crimea, its indigenous peoples, and all Ukrainian citizens living on the peninsula will be very important.

The position of the Crimean Tatar people, crystallized and defended by it for many years, is open, and honest and is as follows:

The Crimean Peninsula is an integral part of Ukraine, and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol established on its territory are subject to transformation into a national-territorial autonomy that will exercise the powers defined by the Constitution of Ukraine and ensure:

  • The inviolability of the territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state;
  • The realization by the indigenous Crimean Tatar people of the right to self-determination;
  • Equal rights and freedoms of man and citizen;
  • Sustainable development of the Crimean Peninsula.

In conclusion, I would like to express my special gratitude to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, in whose units residents of Crimea of various ethnic origins also defend Ukraine with arms in their hands, and to express my hope for the continuation of our joint work within the Crimean Platform after the de-occupation of Crimea, which, of course, will become a powerful factor thanks to which we will be able to successfully pass the stage of restoration and arrangement of post-war Crimea.

Yaşasın Qırım!

Slava Ukraiyini!

The speech of Refat Chubarov, the Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, at the Second Parliamentary Summit of the Crimean Platform, Prague, Czech Republic, October 24, 2023.

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