from Russia with bias

Options for Crimean Tatars

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I wish I could witness this conversation: Putin vs Mustafa Cemilev. The mastermind of KGB revival vs celebrated dissident who spent 15 years in Soviet prisons.

Crimean Tatars are in a dire situation and Ukraine is not able to help them. But Putin is also risking – an ethnic conflict in the region that may soon become Russia is something he can’t afford.

I think the bargain will revolve around the lands grabbed by Crimean Tatars after their return from Stalin’s deportation. PM Aksyonov represents those forces in Crimea that want to claim these lands back and clamp down on Tatar-controlled businesses.

Putin may offer two options.

1. Crimean Tatars guarantee that they don’t start an armed insurrection. In that case, Putin can safely incorporate Crimea into Russia, giving the Tatars full protection from local Slavic mafias and most importantly ensuring the preservation of status quo as per the land grabs. He may also suggest that Tatars (Volga+Crimean) will enjoy some special status as the second largest ethnic group in Russia.

2. Crimean Tatars reserve their right to armed struggle. In that case, it will be wise for Putin to keep Crimea as a quasi-independent state until the fight is over. That will allow him to put down the insurrection using his Crimean proxies, who will not have any qualms about Geneva convention. Of course, in this case the Tatars will lose most lands and many will become refugees.

Of course Turkey (and to some extent Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan) may also have a way of influencing Russia, but its options are limited.

Written by fullofbias

March 11, 2014 at 8:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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