Justyna Prus, Konrad Zasztowt
[text originally published in: "Nowy Prometeusz" nr 7, kwiecień 2015, ss. 23-37]
On 18 March 2014 Russian Federation annexed Crimea, part of Ukraine, after illegally taking military control of its territory and organising an unrecognized referendum on independence of the region. This article’s goal is to analyse how the annexation and following Russification of the political, social and legal system affected the minority of Crimean Tatars and its relations with Russia. Crimean Tatars, in their majority opposing the annexation and Russian policy, have faced political repressions, civil rights abuses and intimidation. Russian policy towards the minority aims at forcing them to accept the ‘new reality’ without granting them freedom of political activities and right to cultivate their cultural heritage, when it’s inconsistent with Russian policy and ideology. The question of Crimea as de facto part of Russia is treated briefly in this article, while its primary goal is to show the developments and complexity of Crimean Tatar-Russian relations.