"Crimean Tatars do not accept the ultimatum and do not want to be with Russia," - Imam

"Crimean Tatars do not accept the ultimatum and do not want to be with Russia," - Imam - фото 1
Many Crimean Tatars fled the war to mainland Ukraine from the occupied Crimea back in 2014. Others are still leaving the peninsula due to persecution by the Russian authorities.

Journalists of the T.V. channel "present time", created by Radio Svoboda (Liberty) with the participation of "voice of America", visited the village of Novooleksiyivka, Kherson region, which is located 20 kilometers from the administrative border with Crimea, and talked with Crimean Tatars who were forced to leave their home due to the occupation.

About seven thousand kyrymly people now live in Novooleksiyivka.
"After the annexation of Crimea, we had a very strong influx. Panic broke out. A lot of people came and went. The station is teeming. People had nowhere to stay. There was nowhere to sleep. And we have a little room here. Near the mosque. It's cozy. Many people came and stayed," says Imam Usein Tokhlu.

Due to the persecution by the Crimean pro-Russian authorities, Tatars still continue to leave the occupied peninsula, the imam says. But even after arriving on the mainland of Ukraine, many people can not feel completely safe, so they refuse to be interviewed.

"To this day, our people are wandering. Not because we lacked something in Crimea, but because our people do not accept an ultimatum. That is, we do not accept the situation. We don't want to be with Russia," Usein Tokhlu continues.

"You open the textbooks that we received from Russia: "Moscow is the capital of our homeland." I realized that I will finish it after the 4th grade with children. And then 4-5-6 years will pass, Ukraine will return Crimea in any case, and then I will have to say: "you know, I was wrong. Kyiv is our capital. Ukraine is our state. And what I told you is wrong." It's not mine. I can't," says Almi Emirsale.

"The Russian side releases Crimeans once a year. This is the decision of the pro-Russian authorities in Crimea. A Crimean citizen can travel to the territory of mainland Ukraine once. An exception is when he can go to a relative on the first line to the mainland, or for medical treatment. In all other cases, a Crimean citizen can leave only once. This is very problematic, not only in relation to traveling to the mainland. A lot of people came here to buy medicines," says Ambedzhit Suleymanov.

"I know unequivocally that Crimea will return. I don't know, of course, when this will happen. A lot depends on international organizations. For example, America, Germany, England, and France could make Russia fall apart quickly. The simplest thing is to block international monetary settlements. Most of the money of Russian oligarchs and their property is abroad. Seize property. Prohibit children and families from being abroad who are on the sanctions list. Yes, they would have brought Putin on a platter themselves. Although, of course, we understand that this is not just Putin. This is a company. But international partners do not want to do this. They are well aware that if this were done, Russia would fall apart into different pieces tomorrow. There will be a lot of refugees. And it will cost much more than it will happen gradually," Ambedzhit Suleymanov believes.