Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians who live in Crimea and oppose the annexation of the peninsula are facing reprisals and threats to their lives from the local authorities, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Yevhen Perebyinis has said.
"Crimean Tatars are facing a real threat of violence. The same applies to Ukrainians who do not agree with the annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol," Perebyinis said at a briefing on Tuesday.
He said that Prosecutor of Crimea Natalia Poklonska had openly threatened to deport everyone who does not agree with the peninsula's joining Russia.
According to him, the current authorities are compiling lists of members of the Mejlis (executive body) of the Crimean Tatars, whom they want to eliminate. In addition, lists of banned literature are being drawn up, searches are being conducted at schools and residential houses, Tatars are forbidden to hold meetings, and the office of the Mejlis has been searched, the spokesman said.
"All these facts confirm the hatred and chauvinistic policies that Russia has been conducting against the Crimean Tatars from the very beginning of the armed occupation and annexation of Crimea," Perebyinis said.