Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

March 23, 2014

Snapshots of Crimean Tatar history

Filed under: Crimean Tatars,national question,Russia,Stalinism — louisproyect @ 8:44 pm


Katherine the Great, Stalin and Putin: cut from the same cloth as far as the Crimean Tatars are concerned

Back in 1966 I signed up for group therapy with Louise Potts, an “art therapist” in her 70s who a number of Bard graduates had begun to see. I was in the same group as Daniel Pinkwater, an art major who became famous for his witty children’s books and NPR commentaries. Pinkwater lived in a loft next to my building in Hoboken and we used to spend a lot of time hanging out.

I stopped going to see Mrs. Potts after my post-Bard depression had lifted. When they said that the “real world” was different from Bard, they weren’t kidding. Breaking up with my girlfriend and facing the draft made the adjustment to living alone in NYC and studying philosophy at the New School an even bigger challenge.

I have vivid memories of the therapy sessions in which after scribbling something on a big sheet of paper you were expected to fill it in as recognizable drawing. Supposedly this was the equivalent of a waking dream (not that the interpretation of dreams ever made much difference in “curing” a neurotic.)

Daniel’s drawings always made mine look crude by comparison. Eventually he was eclipsed by another art major, a woman in her early 20s named Lily. She was a Crimean Tatar who had suffered the lot of a “displaced person” throughout the 50s after her parents had been expelled from her homeland. Mrs. Potts believed that Lily’s depression had a lot to do with her family situation even though it had stabilized after they moved to the USA.

Two years later I was in the SWP and reading about the suffering of the Tatars in Intercontinental Press, a magazine edited by Joe Hansen that covered the activities of Russian dissidents, including General Pyotr Grigorenko, a decorated WWII hero of Ukrainian descent. As punishment for his advocacy of Crimean Tatar rights, including repatriation into their homeland, he was stripped of his military rank, privileges and pension and then sent to a mental hospital for two years. In 1971, a Jewish psychiatrist Dr. Semyon Gluzman wrote a report finding Grigorenko sane and concluding that his hospitalization was a form of repression. For his efforts, Gluzman was rewarded with seven years in labor camp and then three years in Siberian exile. Unlike Joe Hansen and the SWP, most people on the Maoist left backed the Soviet bureaucrats for the same sorts of reasons so many “anti-imperialists” are backing Putin today. If imperialism was applauding Grigorenko’s efforts, that was reason enough to jail him in a mental hospital and to make any psychiatrist pay dearly for a report that deemed the General sane.

Mostly as a way of familiarizing myself with Tatar history, I speed read Alan Fisher’s “The Crimean Tatars”, one of the few authoritative books on the topic. As it turns out, the Tatars are a Turkic people—something that makes me even more sympathetic to them since I have a great affection for the average Turk as opposed to the problematic leadership they have endured for a hundred years or so.

The Tatars settled into the Crimean peninsula back in the fourteenth century under a so-called khanate. Their first great leader was a man named Haci Giray who created an independent state that relied heavily on Ottoman support. Giray was a descendant of Genghis Khan but was far more similar to the more settled and urban character of the Ottoman rulers than the Mongol Golden Horde of nomad conquerors. For example, Giray lived in a castle that was like a smaller version of the Topkapi rather than a tent.

As was the case in the Ottoman Empire proper, non-Muslims conducted business, trading, shipping, and personal finance under Tatar rule and paid a tax for these privileges. And as was typical as well, the non-Muslim enjoyed a level of freedom and tolerance that was remarkable for the age. Fisher reports that Karaim Jews spoke a Turkic language, lived according to Turkic traditions, and even sang purely Turkic songs.

This was by no means a paradise but life generally went well for the citizens for a couple of hundred years until Russia developed an interest in the region. Katherine the Great, a relatively enlightened Czarina, decided to annex Crimea in the same empire-building spirit that led her to launch incursions into the southern Caucasus territories. You can get an idea of the changes in Crimean demographics from this chart that appears in Wikipedia:

Screen shot 2014-03-23 at 3.13.06 PM

The Tatars are green, the Ukrainians yellow and the Russians red. So clearly what has happened from the time of Katherine the Great (the late 1700s) throughout the 19th century is a dramatic removal of the Tatars from their homeland. The slight uptick in green toward the far right of the graph reflects the repatriation victory won by the Crimean Tatars. The question, of course, is whether this was similar to Stalin’s wholesale expulsion or something less genocidal.

It was less genocidal but by no means benign. How could emigration ever be benign, after all? As is so often the case, the Russians opted to bring Crimea under its control by using a puppet, in this instance a khan named Sahin Giray. After instituting some reforms intended to “Westernize” the khanate, and deeply unpopular with the masses—including being subject to the Russian military draft—Giray was put under house arrest in St. Petersburg.

Once Crimea was annexed, Katherine began colonizing the region with non-Muslims. This was partly responsible for the demographic changes. There were also reasons for the Tatars to flee, particularly in the period following the Crimean war when Russia was defeated by a coalition of armies including the Ottomans and the British. Despite Russia’s loss, many Tatars fled, especially the elites, because of a fear that there would be reprisals against them even though many fought courageously for the Czardom.

Just as would happen in the Middle East under Zionist colonization, non-Tatars were lured into settling in Crimea with cash awards and the mass expulsions of Tatar peasants.

By 1917, the Tatars constituted only 30 percent of the Crimean peninsula. Despite the fact that the Bolsheviks claimed that it favored the self-determination of oppressed nationalities, the tumult of the civil war made it difficult to put this into practice.

In 1921 Lenin wrote a comrade:

In all autonomous republics, the Tatar Republic in this case, there are two clearly distinct trends (groupings) among the native Communists (Tatars): one of them takes the standpoint of class struggle and works for further class differentiation of the sections of the native population, and the other has a shade of petty-bourgeois nationalism….

The petty-bourgeois nationalism is an obvious reference to the preference for SR and Menshevik politicians among the Tatars, a most unfortunate choice given the polarization following October 1917.

Celebi Cihan was one such “petty bourgeois nationalist”. As leader of the Milli Farka Party, he spoke for its key demands: nationalization of the church and private property, opposition to the conservative clergy, breaking off contacts with the Russian liberals, and closer cooperation with the Russian social democracy.

Despite these sympathies, the Milli Farka was considered an enemy of Soviet power. In February 1918, the Chekha arrested Cehin and put him in front of a firing squad. Afterwards they threw his body into the Black Sea. And this was during the “heroic” period of Communist rule. It should be mentioned that the Bolshevik heading up such repression was none other than Bela Kuhn, the man who also helped to sabotage the German revolution.

It was such actions that led some of the Tatars to collaborate with the German contingent that was part of the invasion force fighting alongside the White Army, just as they would collaborate with the Nazis during WWII.

In a bold attempt to reverse the disastrous policies being pursued by Bela Kuhn, the Soviet Union created an autonomous socialist republic for the Crimean Tatars in 1923 and had the good sense to put Veli Ibramihov in charge. Ibramihov had been a member of the left wing of the Milli Farka and had evolved toward Bolshevik politics. Ibramihov followed a number of enlightened policies:

  • Crimean Tatars were elevated into responsible positions in the autonomous republic’s government.
  • “War Communism” policies that severely affected Tatar peasants were reversed.
  • Tatarization would be implemented on all levels, including the reopening of Tatar-language schools, scientific institutes, museums, libraries and theaters.

Despite Ibramihov’s nationalist leanings, he never for one minute displayed secessionist tendencies. He and the Crimean Tatar people had the misfortune to have encountered Stalin’s Great Russian chauvinism just a few years after these policies were adopted. In 1927 Stalin decided to create an autonomous Jewish republic in the south of Crimea that would be seeded with 3500 “colonists” who would displace the Tatars. (I have written with some pleasure about this kind of project in another part of the USSR. At the time I had not considered the possible collateral damage to the indigenous population.)

After Ibramihov wrote a letter to Stalin complaining about the abridgement of Tatar rights, he was arrested on the charge of being a “bourgeois nationalist” and executed on May 9, 1928.

In my view, there is a red thread that runs from Katherine the Great’s annexation of Crimea, to Kuhn and Stalin’s repression, to Putin’s annexation once again of Crimea. He is basically reprising Katherine’s colonizing tendencies while justifying it in the name of “anti-imperialism” in faux Bolshevik style.

Long-time British Trotskyist (but of a very benign nature) Murray Smith has written a useful article (http://links.org.au/node/3773) that makes the Putin/Romanov connection (Katherine the Great was of course a Romanov). It is about Putin’s desire to reconstitute the traditional Great Russian hegemony over that part of the world even if it has to be realized over the dead bodies of lesser nationalities. Here is Smith:

In 1913, the third centenary of the dynasty of the Romanovs was celebrated with great pomp. Four years later, revolution had thrown them into history’s garbage bin. Definitively, so it seemed. But no. After the fall of the USSR, they were exhumed, literally and figuratively. In 2000, Tsar Nicolas II, known in his time as Bloody Nicolas and a great lover of anti-Jewish pogroms, was canonised.

And, in 2013, Russia celebrated the fourth centenary of the Romanovs. What was showcased and taught to schoolchildren, with supporting interactive maps, was the role of this dynasty in the expansion of the Russian empire. And it’s true: under the Romanovs, from Ukraine to the Baltic countries, from Central Asia to the Caucasus, Russia built up its empire by methods no less barbaric than those used by the British, French and other imperialists all over the world.

When he came to power in 2000, Putin was preoccupied by the decline of Russia and swore to restore the authority of the state, something he has largely achieved. This translates into “guided democracy”, growing control of the mass media, suppression of any serious dissidence and a policy of rearmament.

The whole against a backdrop of Great Russian chauvinism — that ideology which Lenin so detested and against which he fought tirelessly. And which today is broadly shared in the Russian political universe, from the extreme right of Zhirinovsky to the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF).



  1. The entire history of humanity is about one group pushing out the next, or a new group blending in with someone who has been there longer to create something different. I don’t think you can construct a political movement around criticizing settlers, since most people have settlers in their not to distant past. That also goes for American Indian tribes who where constantly in territorial flux. And as you note, the Crimeans came to the Peninsula in the 14th century.

    Comment by jeff — March 24, 2014 @ 8:13 am

  2. “I have written with some pleasure about this project but at the time had no idea that it was a blow to Tatar rights.”

    No, you’ve written about the Jewish Autonomous Oblast of Birobidjan, which is in the Russian Far East, on the Amur River.

    The Crimean proposal was different:

    “In the early 1920s, the new Soviet government once again turned its attention to the peninsula. Concerned that the Crimean Tatars, Ukrainians, and Germans who mostly populated the region were anti-Communist, officials in Moscow were eager to buy the loyalty of new recruits with land grants and promises of autonomy in the agriculturally rich peninsula. When the American agronomist and communal activist Joseph A. Rosen suggested providing financial support through the Joint Distribution Committee to resettle Jewish victims of the pogroms in the region, the Kremlin jumped at the opportunity. In 1923, the Politburo accepted a proposal for establishing a Jewish Autonomous Region in the Crimea, before reversing itself a few months later.

    Nevertheless, from 1924 until 1938, the Joint Distribution Committee, through its subsidiary American Jewish Joint Agricultural Corporation and with the financial support of American Jewish philanthropists like Julius Rosenwald, supported Jewish agricultural settlements in Soviet Crimea. Numerous Jewish collective farms and even whole Jewish districts sprouted over the next few years. The dream of building a Jewish republic in the Crimea remained alive until the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. Most of the Jewish colonists in the Crimea fled east to seek safety far from the front; entire collective farms fled together, traveling in convoys eastward, just ahead of the German troops, all the way to Kazakhstan or Uzbekistan.”


    Comment by prianikoff — March 24, 2014 @ 9:43 am

  3. That also goes for American Indian tribes who where constantly in territorial flux. And as you note, the Crimeans came to the Peninsula in the 14th century.


    This kind of relativism is something I have encountered frequently in the past. It has been used to excuse Spanish colonialism because the Aztecs and Incas “did it” also. Pretty fucking disgusting. The Khanate is ancient history. The Ottoman Empire died a hundred years ago. But the Romanov Empire is still a reality for the same people who were victimized by it 250 years ago. Just ask a Chechen.

    Comment by louisproyect — March 24, 2014 @ 2:08 pm

  4. It’s amazing how are neo-Stalinist friends have adopted the argumentation of the Zionists. `Crimea is historically Russia’s anyway.’ `Why pick on Russia particularly when others do equally bad things.’ As if the annexation of Crimea was justified by the daily annexation of more and more of Palestine.

    The task of revolutionaries is to stand with the revolution not to pick sides in an inter-imperialist sphere-of-influence bun fight. We must work with the revolution to elucidate policies that will suppress the gangster capitalists which ever way they lean and which will unite East and West Ukraine under a revolutionary democracy able to defend itself against fascist agression and imperialist provocation from which ever quarter it comes. Whether it be Svoboda or the far more dangerous Putin sponsored Russian-Ukrainian irregular fascist militias, the EU locusts or the immediateoly menacing Russian armour.

    Comment by David Ellis — March 25, 2014 @ 10:30 am

  5. I don’t see how pointing out that Crimea was part of Russia from the 1783 until 1954, and the part of the effectively Russian USSR until 1991, and was never previously part of Ukraine has anything in common with the Zionist argument that Palestine was Jewish before the Roman Empire invaded (when Crimea, I think was part of the lands of the Scythians, for what it’s worth).
    For the record, Crimean Tatars did not migrate into the region in the fourteenth century. The Crimean Tatar ethnicity (not to be confused with other groups called Tatar, which is a general European term for Turko-Mongol peoples) was forged by the Crimean Khanate, a state created in the 1440s when the local elite gained independence with Ottoman help from the coloufully named western Mongol state, the Khanate of the Golden Horde. Crimean Tatar language and culture has a Kipchak base (prior to Mongol invasion in the early 1200s, Crimea was part of the Kipchak-Cuman state) with an overlay of Islamised Mongol culture and Ottoman influence.
    None of this matters.
    Given the treatment Crimean Tatars have received at Russian hands it is hardly surprising that they prefer not to be part of Russia. And with Russian and Ukrainian ethnonationalism on the rise, things are looking bleak for this minority.
    However, should this mean that the ethnic Russian majority in Crimea should not have the right of self-determination? In 1783, when the Russian colonisation of Crimea began, only part of what is today the USA and Canada and none of what is today Australia had been colonised. By the beginning of the 20th century Crimean Tatars had, like the indigenous people of North America and Australia over the same time period, become a minority, for much the same reasons (settlement and ethnic cleansing). Leftists outside the region should condemn all Russian attacks on Crimean Tatar national rights but I’m not convinced that this should include calling for disenfranchising the majority of people living in Crimea. I don’t hear any of the North American and Australian leftists arguing that the Crimean vote to join Russia is illegitimate on the basis of it being historically Tatar land arguing that they themselves should be disenfranchised.

    Comment by Tony Iltis — March 26, 2014 @ 6:02 am

  6. Crimea was illegally annexed by a foreign imperialist power. Palestine is daily annexed by an imperialist backed proxy. If you don’t condemn both you cannot condemn either.

    Give Putin a free pass on this and the Zionist settler shock troops in the West Bank get one too.

    Comment by David Ellis — March 26, 2014 @ 11:30 am

  7. Leftists outside the region should condemn all Russian attacks on Crimean Tatar national rights but I’m not convinced that this should include calling for disenfranchising the majority of people living in Crimea. I don’t hear any of the North American and Australian leftists arguing that the Crimean vote to join Russia is illegitimate on the basis of it being historically Tatar land arguing that they themselves should be disenfranchised.

    Apparently you do not agree with Murray Smith who views what just happened in Crimea as an expression of Russian imperialism. I use the term not in the sense of monopoly capitalism forced to expand to find new markets and investment opportunities but more like what Katherine the Great was trying to do. In fact to bring up the right of Russian self-determination in Crimea right now is like bringing up the right of South Ossetians and Abkhazia to be part of Russia. Putin has an empire-building agenda. He is a Great Russian chauvinist. He says he feels threatened by NATO. The best defense against NATO is not the creation of “buffer states”, which in the epoch of remote-control warfare is rather antiquated. It is in the creation of a network of states that are mutually respectful. That is what the Boiivarian revolution has been aspiring to even if the Venezuelans have totally fucked up ideas about Russian prerogatives. The architect of Putin’s Eurasian Trade Bloc is a thoroughly reactionary pig as Timothy Snyder pointed out in a NYR article. I don’t care for Snyder’s anti-Communism but he has this right:


    The Eurasian ideology draws an entirely different lesson from the twentieth century. Founded around 2001 by the Russian political scientist Aleksandr Dugin, it proposes the realization of National Bolshevism. Rather than rejecting totalitarian ideologies, Eurasianism calls upon politicians of the twenty-first century to draw what is useful from both fascism and Stalinism. Dugin’s major work, The Foundations of Geopolitics, published in 1997, follows closely the ideas of Carl Schmitt, the leading Nazi political theorist. Eurasianism is not only the ideological source of the Eurasian Union, it is also the creed of a number of people in the Putin administration, and the moving force of a rather active far-right Russian youth movement. For years Dugin has openly supported the division and colonization of Ukraine.

    The point man for Eurasian and Ukrainian policy in the Kremlin is Sergei Glazyev, an economist who like Dugin tends to combine radical nationalism with nostalgia for Bolshevism. He was a member of the Communist Party and a Communist deputy in the Russian parliament before cofounding a far-right party called Rodina, or Motherland. In 2005 some of its deputies signed a petition to the Russian prosecutor general asking that all Jewish organizations be banned from Russia.

    Later that year Motherland was banned from taking part in further elections after complaints that its advertisements incited racial hatred. The most notorious showed dark-skinned people eating watermelon and throwing the rinds to the ground, then called for Russians to clean up their cities. Glazyev’s book Genocide: Russia and the New World Order claims that the sinister forces of the “new world order” conspired against Russia in the 1990s to bring about economic policies that amounted to “genocide.” This book was published in English by Lyndon LaRouche’s magazine Executive Intelligence Review with a preface by LaRouche. Today Executive Intelligence Review echoes Kremlin propaganda, spreading the word in English that Ukrainian protesters have carried out a Nazi coup and started a civil war.

    Comment by louisproyect — March 26, 2014 @ 12:39 pm

  8. #6 Did you read my comment? Crimea was colonised by Russia in 1783 and the indigenous Crimean Tatar people have been a minority since before the end of the 19th century. This makes it more like Australia than Palestine. (Ukrainians have only ever been a minority in Crimea).

    #7 This is what I’ve written about the current Ukraine conflict so far: https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/55984 https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/56028 https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/56125 which is not entirely in agreement or disagreement with what Murray Smith writes in his article.

    I find which other socialists I agree and disagree with varies from issue to issue. This includes with members of my own party (Socialist Alliance, Australia) which doesn’t see the need to have a line on every conflict in the world and which even when it does have a line doesn’t prohibit members from expressing different viewpoints, including in our own publications.The way we’ve evolved means we don’t have tendancies or permanant factions which means I might disagree with a particular comrade on Libya but agree with them on Ukraine or visa versa. Having got used to working in such an environment means that whether I see eye-to-eye with any particular socialist in another country on a particular situation in a place where neither of us live isn’t something I worry about too much.

    I’m quite aware of the differences between post-Soviet Russia and Bolivarian Venezuela. I’m also aware that Russian ethnic nationalists can be just as fascistic as Ukrainian ethnic nationalists and I’ve noted this in my articles. However, I don’t think this invalidates Crimea’s right to self-determination any more than the presence of Svoboda in the new Ukrainian government or Right Sector in Maidan invalidate’s Ukraine’s right to self-dertermination. Incidentally I also support the right to self determination of South Ossetia and Abkazia, although that situation is different as the Georgian government lost control of these territories in the immediate aftermath of the breakup of the Soviet Union — these are a couple of articles I wrote at the time of the 2008 war https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/40126 https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/40154

    Furthermore, while Putin has an empire-building agenda which extendes to some of the former Soviet Union, the US and its Western allies has an agenda of world domination and I don’t think Western socialists should be naïve about this. The West didn’t instigate the protests that overthrew Yanukovich but they did intervene in them and the government that emerged after Yanukovich’s flight appears to have been stiched together by Nuland and other US diplomats. Where I most disagree with Smith is that I do see Putin’s moves as being reactive — deciding to secure the Black Sea Fleet’s Sevastopol base before waiting to see if a future pro-Western government brings Ukraine into NATO.

    It’s fine to declare [David Ellis #4] “We must work with the revolution to elucidate policies that will suppress the gangster capitalists which ever way they lean and which will unite East and West Ukraine under a revolutionary democracy able to defend itself against fascist agression and imperialist provocation from which ever quarter it comes.” but the reality is a bit messier. The revolution (if you want to use that term) against Yanukovich was not anti-capitalist despite the fact that people mobilised against manifestations of capitalism. Who exactly is going to create this “revolutionary democracy” to unite East and West Ukraine? A hitherto unknown Ukrainian Trotskyist party?

    Democracy does not mean people in far away places will necesarily vote in a way that pleases Western socialists. But that’s no reason to oppose it. At the same time, as socialists recognise the limits of bourgeois democracy, if people decide to overthrow a government they previously elected (as was the case with the overthrow of the democratically elected Yanukovich regime), we shouldn’t get too hung up on bourgeois legality.

    I believe that Crimea does have a right to self-determination. However, I also support the rights of the Crimean Tatar minority. And the unfortunate reality is that respecting Crimean Tatar national rights might not be uppermost in the considerations of the majority of Crimeans.

    So what should Western socialists do? We could call, Healyite-style, for a socialist federation of Ukraine and Crimea, or a socialist federation of the whole of Europe and Asia or a socialist federation of the entire world. It might make us feel good but I don’t feel I need to point out exactly how much impact these calls will have. On a more practical level, I agree with Murray Smith when he writes “The Ukrainian people must be able to solve the considerable problems they face without any foreign interference whatsoever.” but I don’t support the inviobility of arbitrarily drawn borders. (As a by the way, the independent Ukrainian regimes that emerged after 1917 claimed much larger territory than they ever controlled and their aspirational maps of Ukraine included territory that is outside Ukraine’s current borders, but never included Crimea).

    Both the West and Russia are encouraging ethnic nationalism and creating the risk of a 1990s Yugoslavia-style ethnic war. So we should oppose outside inteference from all directions. For Russian socialists it is logical that they direct their fire at the Russian regime and it’s inteference. There are some good Russian socialists doing this. But it would be a cop-out for Western socialist to quote them in such a a way as to suggest that our main enemy is the Russian regime. Old fashioned as this seems, I believe Western socialists should be directing our fire at the Western regimes and their interference.

    Comment by Tony Iltis — March 26, 2014 @ 4:07 pm

  9. Incidentally I also support the right to self determination of South Ossetia and Abkazia, although that situation is different as the Georgian government lost control of these territories in the immediate aftermath of the breakup of the Soviet Union — these are a couple of articles I wrote at the time of the 2008 war https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/40126 https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/40154

    Hah! I guessed right.

    Comment by louisproyect — March 26, 2014 @ 4:11 pm

  10. For the record, I’ve also written articles supporting self-determination for Tibet and East Turkestan (Xinjiang), drawing ire from the type of anti-imperialist you like polemicising against, not to mention Western Sahara, Azawad, Tamil Eelam, Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Mindanao, West Papua, Kurdistan and Palestine.

    Comment by Tony Iltis — March 26, 2014 @ 4:51 pm

  11. In the UK last night there was a televised/radio debate between the Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and the proto-fascist leader of UKIP Nigel Farage who is flying high in the pre-Euro election polls at the moment. He explicitly blocked with Putin against the EU which he blamed for provoking the Ukrainian revolution. He had no criticism of the illegal annexation of Crimea by Putin but thought it justified.

    Comment by David Ellis — March 27, 2014 @ 10:40 am

  12. The Sürgünlik – the deportation of the Crimean Tatar population in 1944 was an unjust collective punishment, ordered by Stalin, for the actions of 9,225 Tatar males, who had joined auxillary units of the SS during the Nazi invasion of the USSR.

    It also represented the dissolution of the Crimean Autonomous Republic, set up by the Soviet government in 1921.

    Besides Crimean Tatars, members of other ethnic groups were deported, including Russians and Ukrainians suspected of collaboration, or even tolerance, towards the Nazi occupation.


    Armenians 9,900/ 589
    Bulgarians 14,000/ 855
    Crimean Tatars 200,000/ 265,985
    Germans 62,000/ 884 (deportated in 1941)
    Greeks 15,000/ 2,579

    Y.M. Biluha and O.I Vlasenko, State Statistics Committee of Ukraine, “All Ukrainian population census 2001

    The new settlers came from the central provinces of the RSFSR; whole villages together with their individual and kolkhoz property and thousands of homeless people evacuated during the war.
    These facts don’t support the idea the Crimea is “Ukrainian”.
    If anything, the Tatars historically impeded the formation of a modern state in Ukraine, by acting as slave raiders for the Ottomans in the “Wild Fields”- the steppe lands north of the Black Sea, which became a refuge for runaway peasants and serfs. These made up the core of the Cossack bands which challenged the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Muscovy and the Ottomans.

    Moving to current demographics:-

    Many Crimean Tatars have returned since the 1990’s.

    “since the late 1980s, approximately 266,000 Crimean Tatars and thousands of other people deported en masse from Crimea ….by the “Soviet regime” (sic) in the 1940s (Armenians, Bulgarians, Germans and Greeks) have returned to an economically depressed region”

    Source: “The Integration of formerly deported peoples in Crimea Ukraine, OSCE 2013)

    CrimeanTatars currently form around 10% of the total population of Crimea, while
    300,000 people who speak the Crimean Tatar language still live in Uzbekistan and Turkey.

    By comparison:-
    The Russian population of Crimea is 1,450,000 (58.5%)
    The Ukrainian population of Crimea is 577,000 (24.0%)

    In short:-

    (1) Analogies between Crimean history and the European colonisation of India, Africa and the Americas, or the British colonisation of Ireland are seriously strained.
    (2) the Crimean Tatar question is not a clincher for deciding the “ownership” of Crimea.
    (3) The rights of all sections of the population need to be taken into account.
    (4) Nationalist politicians can’t provide a solution to such issues, particularly given the competition for land and housing involved.
    (5) A socialist Federation, with equal rights for all ethnic groups is the way forward.

    Comment by prianikoff — March 29, 2014 @ 11:33 am

  13. Besides Crimean Tatars, members of other ethnic groups were deported, including Russians and Ukrainians suspected of collaboration, or even tolerance, towards the Nazi occupation.


    This is a dead giveaway as to Prianikoff’s crypto-Stalinist, STWC, George Galloway politics. There might have been “members” of other groups deported but the Tatars were deported *as a people*. I wonder where he learned to be so slippery.

    Comment by louisproyect — March 29, 2014 @ 12:24 pm

  14. above Table – The Tatars are green, the Ukrainians yellow and the Russians red 1700-1800 made by full LIARS !!! OSCE is full LIARS !!!
    Crimean Tatar approx 50 % in 1783! (source – archive of taxation in Istanbul )

    Crimean Tatar NOT PAID ANY TAX, only NOT MUSLIM (Armenians, Greeks, Russian, Ukrainian etc.) paid tax in Crimea from 1450 till 1783 !!!

    No one Crimean Tatar was in Crimea before 1223 !!!
    Start only from 1223 as mongolo-tatars warriors in Crimea.
    First settlers tatar in Crimea approx 1350-1450!

    XVI century Moscow was committed 48 raids of Crimean Tatars. During the first half of the XVII century future “victims of Stalin’s tyranny” hijacked in full more than 200 thousand Russian prisoners is 4% of the population. Even more affected Ukrainian land, From 1605 to 1644 have been at least 75 Tatar raids. Only for the years 1654-1657 from Ukraine enslaved more than 50 thousand people.

    Russia unlike the “civilized” British or French, Russia is not was a colonial state . Among its elite could meet representatives of almost all nationalities, often are annexed to the Empire aliens receive more rights than Russians . No exception and Crimean Tatars . Decree of Catherine II February 22 (March 4) 1784 local nobility were granted all the rights and privileges of the Russian nobility . Guarantee the inviolability of religion, mullahs and other representatives of the Muslim clergy were exempt from taxes. Crimean Tatars were exempt from conscription.

    …Bad STALIN is creator of autonomous socialist republic for the Crimean Tatars in 1921-1923

    Comment by Crimean Settler — March 30, 2014 @ 12:49 pm

  15. Fucking Christ!!!! This makes me want to scream!! To complain about Russia taking back the Crimea is like complaining about France taking back Alsace-Lorraine after 1918!!! Big deal that Crimea had been Tartar or Turk or even Persian before it was Russian Alsace-Lorraine had been Roman before it was French and it had been Celtic before it was Roman. So lets give Alsace-Lorraine back to the Irish!

    Comment by Curt Kastens — March 23, 2017 @ 7:42 pm

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