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Thread: Did Russia move 1 mil ppl into Crimea?

  1. #1
    Banned Camp
    Jul 2011


    Did Russia move 1 mil ppl into Crimea?

    Mustafa Dzhemilev

    Russia has relocated up to 1 million people to the annexed Ukrainian region of Crimea, according to Mustafa Dzhemilev, the longtime leader of the Crimean Tatars and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's envoy for Crimean Tatar affairs.

    Dzhemilev told Ukrinform on May 27 that Moscow was bringing "large numbers" of people from various regions of Russia to Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.

    "But this is held as a military secret because they know perfectly well that it is a crime," Dzhemilev said.

    He estimated that the total number of Russians brought into the disputed region was between 850,000 and 1 million.

    Dzhemilev, a dissident during Soviet times and longtime activist for Crimean Tatar causes, did not say what sources he had used to make his estimate.

    Crimea had a population of some 2.24 million people in 2014, the year that Russia illegally occupied the Ukrainian peninsula.

    "Russia is now roughly repeating the same strategy that was used during the first occupation [of Crimea] under [Empress] Catherine [the Great]," he said. "At that time it wasn't possible to deport people since there were no railroads. So they simply created impossible living conditions for people in order to force them to migrate. As a result, Crimean Tatars very quickly became a minority people."

    Russia has announced steps increasing the number of military personnel in Crimea but exact numbers on the amount of personnel moved to Crimea have not been made public by Moscow.

    Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 in an action that was overwhelmingly condemned by the international community and the UN General Assembly.

    The annexation as well as Russian support for separatists in eastern Ukraine prompted the United States, the European Union, and several other countries to impose targeted sanctions against selected Russian individuals and companies.
    Ukraine Claims Moscow Brought 1 Million Russians Into Crimea

    Well, it is true that Dzemilev's people, Crimean Tatars, many of them, at least, have had it rough in Crimea under Russian rule.

    Under Ukraine, they were more or less supported by Kiev, as a counterweight to the Russian population, and had freedom to march and demonstrate and stage events and whatnot.

    Now, whenever they gather, they are under watchful eyes of riot police

    Any Tatar who steps out of line is arrested. Police and FSB can often be seen searching homes and businesses of Tatars too. Local cops and FSB agents are especially aggressive, more so than transplants from mainland Russia. Most of them are former Ukrainian police and SBU, now trying to prove their loyalty to Russia, and many didn't exactly like the Tatars either, to begin with, and now - their hands are untied. Some Tatars have reported local law enforcement personnel barking at them that Crimea is Russian land now, and they better keep their heads down or get the hell out if know what is good for them...

    Not all Tatars get mistreated, of course. Some even got cushy government jobs.

    For example, Ruslan Balbek, who had supported Russia for a long time, and was even arrested by the Ukrainians in 2011 for pro-Russian activities in Crimea, is now a lawmaker, in the Duma, Russian parliament, with Putin's United Russia

    Among others. Deputy Speaker of the Crimean regional legislature is also a pro-Russian Tatar, for instance. Etc.

    But, yeah, many Tatars have left Crimea because of the persecution, over the recent years since 2014, went to mainland Ukraine, like this lady and her child

    Some went to Turkey too, I believe.

    Overall, up to 70,000 people, even up to 100,000 by some Ukrainian estimates, have left Crimea since the annexation. Majority of them - Tatars; but also ethnic Ukrainians; and even some ethnic Russians who did not want to live under Putin's rule, like this guy, who took part in pro-Kiev protests in Simferopol, and later fled to Kiev and even fought for Ukraine with a volunteer battalion in Donbass

    Meanwhile, others arrived to Crimea to take their place.

    Thousands of refugees from Donbass, like this woman and her baby

    Tens of thousands military, police, and FSB personnel from mainland Russia, including many officers who brought their families with them

    Nobody knows for sure how many of them, because that information is not publicly available, but I've seen reports that as many as 30,000 apartments were built for military and FSB families. More probably for families of police officers. And more for other civilian officials from the mainland as well.

    And other Russians have also been moving there, like this young couple from Siberia

    The government does encourage this, and, yes, the goal is to demographically marginalise the Tatars and any other remaining pro-Ukrainian elements in Crimea. Crimea is literally becoming more Russian, ethnically, as well as politically, every day, week, month, and year, and it will only intensify, now that the Kerch-Taman Crimea Bridge highway segment is completed, now any Russians wanting to resettle to Crimea can simply drive right over there


    It is already having an effect. For example, before 2014, there were almost 20 schools in Crimea which taught in Ukrainian. The last of these closed last year. Not because of some government ban on the language, as Kiev may tell you. Because, simply, there are no families left who would want their children to learn Ukrainian... Crimea has changed and continues to, that's a fact.

    But, I think a MILLION is an exaggeration. Dzhemilev is an old enemy of Russia. This guy spent time in Soviet GULag camps for his activism in the old days to bring the Tatars back to Crimea. I respect the dude, for all this; but that doesn't mean I fully trust what he says about current issues in Crimea. He does tend to exaggerate. It is his job, his life's work, in fact, to make Russia look bad hehe

  2. #2
    Banned Camp
    Jul 2011

    An important but widely overlooked demographic transformation has been under way in the Ukrainian region of Crimea since it was annexed by Russia in 2014.

    Ukrainian officials and analysts say hundreds of thousands of people from across Russia have been brought into the disputed region in an effort by Moscow to transform the composition of its population.

    "Since 2014 there has been a mass movement of people from Siberia," Sergei, who moved to Crimea from St. Petersburg and who blogs under the name Yan Laros, told RFE/RL in March. "At first they went to Krasnodar, but now they have actively begun settling Crimea. Sometimes you get the impression that half of Siberia has suddenly decided to move here."

    According to official Russian statistics, some 247,000 Russians have moved to Crimea since annexation. At the same time, about 140,000 people have left, mostly Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars who moved to the Ukrainian mainland.

    Ukrainian officials, however, say the real numbers are much greater -- by hundreds of thousands. The population of the peninsula according to the Ukrainian census of 2001 was 2.4 million, of which about 60 percent were ethnic Russians, 24 percent were Ukrainians, and 10 percent were Crimean Tatars. A Russian census in 2014 put the population at 2.285 million, with 65 percent identifying as Russian, 15 percent as Ukrainian, and 12 percent as Crimean Tatar.

    "We can say with certainty that we are talking about hundreds of thousands of people," Borys Babin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's permanent representative on Crimea, told RFE/RL. "An enormous number of bureaucrats are moving in with their families, and those family members are looking for work. In addition, there is a large number of guest workers -- people who come to Crimea for major construction projects that are being carried out in the military sphere."

    Babin added that about 40,000 Crimeans registered as displaced persons on mainland Ukraine, adding that tens of thousands more have also left Crimea but have not yet registered as displaced.

    Demographic 'War Crime'

    On May 27, longtime Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev, Poroshenko's envoy for Crimean Tatar affairs, gave a shocking interview to Ukrinform in which he estimated the number of people migrating to Crimea from Russia at between 850,000 and 1 million.

    "But this is held as a military secret because they know perfectly well that it is a crime," he added, saying that his estimate came from his sources among the Crimean Tatar community still on the peninsula.

    "Forcibly shifting the demographic composition of an occupied territory is a war crime under the 1949 Geneva Conventions," Dzhemilev said. "Therefore information about how many people they have brought in is carefully guarded."

    Article 49 of the fourth Geneva Convention states that "The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies."

    Refat Chubarov, another Crimean Tatar leader who is a deputy in the Ukrainian parliament, said it was impossible to pin down the exact numbers of newcomers arriving from Russia.

    "We are talking about military personnel and workers in the security organs, as well as their families," he told RFE/RL. "We are talking about the mass influx of bureaucrats. And a significant number of people have been drawn to Crimea from various regions of Russia thinking that they will live better there."

    He noted that several Russian military bases on the peninsula have been created or expanded since the 2014 annexation.

    "There is no doubt that the saturation of Crimea with troops and security personnel is being done intentionally with a view to creating a management regime that demands not just loyal, but tested, people," Chubarov added. "These people are selected in Russia."

    Andriy Klimenko, editor in chief of the BlackSeaNews website, wrote about the demographic manipulations in June 2017. "The demographic situation in Crimea is viewed by Russia exclusively in the context of forming...a loyal population that is optimized in terms of the cost of maintaining it and is not capable of civic protests or other forms of independent political activity," he wrote.

    Carpetbaggers Take Over

    Anton Luchezarov says he moved to Crimea from Novosibirsk on his own initiative. "Maybe I am the product of propaganda and did it unconsciously," he quips. "[President Vladimir] Putin is doing a good job."

    Likewise, Andrei Novikov came from the central Russian city of Ivanovo to retire in Crimea, which locals say is a common phenomenon. "I considered Thailand, India, Vietnam, and others," he says. "Then the right political moment appeared when Crimea joined Russia and the question of moving abroad was moot. We decided to move to Crimea."

    Ukraine and its 44 million people would almost certainly disagree with Novikov's characterization of Russia's land grab -- launched by unmarked troops, buttressed by a dubious referendum under occupation, and effectuated in March 2014, when Putin declared that "Crimea has always been an inseparable part of Russia" -- as "Crimea joining Russia." Weeks later, the UN overwhelmingly rejected Moscow's claim in a declaration on the "territorial integrity of Ukraine."

    Analyst Igar Tyshkevich, of the Ukrainian Institute for the Future, says the Russian government has a program aimed at resettling pensioners from the Far North and other regions where it is expensive to maintain them. There are other programs offering incentives to teachers and health-care workers to move to Crimea.

    "I worked in medicine for 25 years," says one Sevastopol woman who asks to be identified only as Antonina. "Now only arrivals from Russia are working in medicine. I can understand why they come here -- the sea, and all. But they are pushing out the locals."

    In many cases, the influx of Russians has produced tensions and conflicts with the locals, political analyst Yevhen Horyunov says. "[Newcomers] get specific preferences regarding kindergartens and schools," he tells RFE/RL. "This is, everything that Russia can give them to settle in is provided. Meanwhile, local Crimeans stand in line for places in kindergartens and they sometimes even have to turn to the courts to get them."

    "I can't even recognize Sevastopol," one local resident who gives her name only as Margarita says. "The government is all newcomers and they aren't very good. They don't even try to find a common language with the locals and are always doing their own thing."

    "We need our own people," she concludes, "to run our own city."

    History Of Forced Migrations

    At a unique geographical crossroads, Crimea has seen similar demographic manipulations many times in the past. In his interview with Ukrinform, Crimean Tatar leader Dzhemilev compared the current situation with what happened after Catherine the Great conquered the region in the 18th century.

    "They simply created impossible living conditions for people in order to force them to migrate," he says. "As a result, Crimean Tatars very quickly became a minority people."

    Irina Pribytkova, a sociologist with the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, notes that after Soviet dictator Josef Stalin forcibly deported the Crimean Tatars and other ethnic groups from the peninsula in 1944, the Soviet government brought in ethnic Russian collective farmers from across Russia.

    "After [the collapse of the Soviet Union], a large number of Crimean Tatars, Armenians, Bulgarians, Greeks, and others took advantage of the liberal political situation to return to Crimea," Pribytkova says. "Now something similar is being played out, only this time with Russians."

    "Since 2014, I think, it is possible to talk about the intentional replacement of the population," she adds.

    "A demographic process is under way," Pribytkova says, "and it needs to be included in the constant monitoring that Ukraine carries out in order to understand the results of these changes. Crimean Tatars will be constantly provoked so that they leave Crimea or accept Russian citizenship. The disobedient will be imprisoned with the goal of intimidating the others."
    Shifting Loyalty: Moscow Accused Of Reshaping Annexed Crimea's Demographics

    I have been researching this thing more.

    A lot of new housing has been built in Crimea since 2014.

    Here is a whole new "micro-raion", as they call them in Russia, an entire brand new neighborhood, put in the Crimean capital, Simferopol

    And, yes, it ain't local Crimeans who buy these apartments, for the most part.

    There are lots of transplants from the mainland, these days. You may think Crimeans and Siberians can't tell each other apart, both are white Slavic Russians lol

    But, they can, actually - Siberia and Crimea/the South speak Russian differently, in fact, every historical region, including central Russia, such as Ivanovo that is mention there, each have own accent, "govor", and some also even own particular lingo, words only used in that region. For example, Shawarma, the food, would be called "Shaurma" by people in Moscow, with emphasis on the last "a"; but in St. Petersburg, it is "Shaverma", with emphasis on "e" lol

    Likewise, Crimeans and other Southerners tend to pronounce "g" sounds as more of a "h", because their Russian has heavy Ukrainian influences, in which MOST "g" sounds are replaced with "h". Look up a video of Gorbachev speaking, he was from the South, Stavropol, he talked like that too. Siberians, meanwhile, extend their vowels, especially "o" sounds

    Crimeans are used to hearing a lot of non-local govors around them in summer, when all the tourists come. But, these days, it is year round, apparently. Indeed, lots of new folks are moving in. I read a blog of this guy, a musician, who sings at a restaurant/bar in Yalta, says he lately had to change his repertoire: used to be lots of old local sailors, ex-Navy pensioners, made up the patrons there, and he had to do lots of Soviet sea marches and such lol Now - lots of Siberians indeed moved to the neighborhood, and they occupy the bar now too, and they demand "blatnyak", the "prison songs" of the criminal world, understandable, since lots of them come from places full of prison camps, and plenty may well even have own experience in that regard... He doesn't mind, he is a talented fella and gonna sing you whatever you want, as long as you tip generously haha

    But, point is, yeah, demographics are indeed being changed there. And this is as questionable, in terms of international law, as those settlements Israel puts up in West Bank and such...

  3. #3
    Banned Camp
    Jul 2011

    SIMFEROPOL / AQMESCIT (QHA) - The Russian invaders seek to deport Crimean residents who did not accept Russian citizenship, Crimean Human Rights Group analyst Oleksandr Sedov informed.

    According to him, Crimean residents without family ties on the peninsula fall under such decision most often. He noted that the occupation "courts" had already rendered at least 180 decisions on deportation.

    "In total, human rights activists checked about 500 court decisions out of 2,500 issued by Russian courts in connection with the lack of documents necessary for residing on the territory of the Russian Federation," he said.

    Crimea residents - citizens of Ukraine, who did not receive Russian passports and did not write applications for the renunciation of Russian citizenship are prosecuted as well as those who wrote such a statement. Human rights activists explained, that such people can be fined, as they are required to be check in each year (in the migration service) about where they are, what they are doing.

    "If you miss the date, a protocol is drawn up against you, you are summoned to court, and in the court you are fined from 2 to 5 thousand rubles usually," he said.

    In September 2015, Deputy Head of the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation Anatoly Fomenko said that following the annexation of the Crimea, the residents of the peninsula were issued more than 2 million Russian passports.

    Earlier, the mufti of the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Aider Rustamov, reported that arrests in Crimea are conducted on ethnic grounds. According to him, the Crimean Tatars are persecuted, and this can be seen with the naked eye.
    Those who refused Russian citizenship to be deported from Crimea - Human rights activist | Crimean News Agency

    Something I would like to point out, which, of course, this pro-Ukraine article won't, deliberately, clarify: Aider Rustamov, the so-called "mufti of the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea"

    is not actually IN Crimea, he is, in fact, in Kiev, among other exiled pro-Ukraine Tatars, where he leads this organization, which is itself an exiled alternative to the "Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of the Republic of Crimea" (without "Autonomous"), led by mufti Emirali Ablaev, who was mufti of Crimea under Ukraine, and then stayed there and is cooperating with the new Russian-installed authorities (with post-2014 Governor of Republic of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov)

    For this, the Tatar exiles in Ukraine have branded him a traitor, even claiming that he (being himself a former high-ranking member) turned over the names of other prominent members of the Tatar Mejlis in Crimea to the Russian security services, who then arrested plenty of them, aside from those who, like Ablaev, agreed to support Russian rule.

    Remzi Ilyasov, the Deputy Speaker of the regional legislature, whom I mentioned in the original post in this thread, shown here meeting a delegation from the African country of Benin at his office in February

    was not just a member, but the Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis. before the Russian takeover. Other high-rankers who switched sides are now mayors of various towns; and one is the regional minister for ethnic minority affairs. So, yeah, they got massive loyalty issues, the pro-Kiev Mejlis did... lol

    Anyhow, FYI, Ukraine actually maintains a whole government in exile of "Autonomous Republic of Crimea"; they even have a "Crimea Prosecutor's Office", recently formed a "Crimea Police", which patrols some districts of nearby Kherson region of Ukraine (clearly not terribly effectively, as I am reading reports that pro-Russian agitator groups are very active there, and that, according to some activists, the Ukrainian government has completely lost control of the situation in some towns right next to Crimea, like Genichesk, where there will be another 2014, if nothing is done, those activists are warning online...), and there is even an official representative of the Ukrainian President Poroshenko to the "Autonomous Republic", Boris Babin

    Truth be told, it is all kind of stupid, all that money going to fund useless agencies and department "governing" an non-existent region. In a very poor country, btw. Even some Ukrainians are starting to grumble about it online. It's nice to maintain this claim over Crimea. But, people want to eat too, at the end of the day...

    But, anyway, yeah, most Crimeans quickly got Russian passports, after the annexation

    Various measures were taken to quickly passportize the population.

    For example, here, graduating students at a Simferopol high school in June of 2014, were all awarded new Russian passports with their diplomas

    And, from 2014 to now, every year, on August 22nd, Russian Flag Day, Governor Aksyonov personally hands out their first passports to 14 year old Crimeans

    (that's when you get your first passport in Russia, at 14)

    Crimeans mostly were happy to become Russians, the majority, that is a fact, people rushed for those red passports...

    Some, especially former Ukrainian military switching sides, were literally burning their Ukrainian passports, in 2014, to celebrate getting Russian ones...

    But, there were those stubborn holdouts, Ukrainian patriots or whatever else, who refused to switch citizenship, and while many of those have already left Crimea into the exile, some still remain, and still refuse to switch passports. These folks are living as no second, I would say even third class citizens in their own home republic. Without a Russian passports, most services are off limits to them. Can't get their kids into a school or kindergarten. Can't receive any pensions or disability benefits from Russia. Can't vote, obviously. Not to mention, whether or not you actually are such or made any statements at all against Russia or Russian government, if you are still, to this day, not applying for a Russian passport, you are assumed to be disloyal, some sort of a Ukrainian nationalist radical, and now live under surveillance by the authorities, subject to arrest on the spot at any time...

    Now - fines and possible deportation on top of all that... You may think it is better for such people to be deported to Ukraine than live like this in Crimea, but plenty of them have no support networks there, don't know anyone, don't speak Ukrainian (well, truthfully, most in Ukraine know Russian anyway, so this one is NOT such an issue), and won't have any pace to live there, would be stuck in some temporary housing with other Crimean refugees, in quite miserable conditions...

    I pity these people, really do. Even if plenty of them got themselves into this mess, in fairness. It really isn't that difficult to walk over to the nearest bloody police station and apply for a bloody passport... But, I suppose their patriotic principles were worth THIS much to them...

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