As part of ‘Crimea is Ukraine’ international forum held at the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center on February 26, Mejlis Chairman Refat Chubarov addressed the Crimean Tatars living in occupied Crimea, reports a QHA correspondent.
“Two years ago, Ukraine failed to protect its citizens in Crimea because the enemy was acting cynically and brutally, while the Ukrainians were sacrificing their lives at the Maidan. We were powerless and could not protect Crimea.
However, the whole international community is on our side. We will get Crimea back and get back there ourselves. I am urging everyone staying there - Crimean Tatars, Ukrainians and people of other nationalities - to keep their dignity. Keep the faith. That will help you and particularly us – the entire Ukraine – to get reunited again.
I am urging people who lost their faith but did not cross the line yet not to do it! However, there are those who did and for whom there is no turning back. Those who committed treachery and have been acting treacherously against their neighbors in Crimea and against Crimea. There are not many people like these – a couple of hundred. My advice to them would be to start looking for a place to live somewhere in the Ryazan or Tver region. We will be sure to put them on trial. We will be in Bakhchisarai! We will be in Crimea!” Chubarov said.
It was reported earlier that February 26 became a symbolic date and might be called the Day of Crimean Resistance to Russian Occupation. It was on that day that the largest rally against separatist sentiments at the Crimean Parliament and, given the way events unfolded, against occupation of Crimea.
The Russian Federation occupied Crimea in February-March 2014, calling a referendum of March 16 on joining Russia rigged. Most countries of the world did not recognize Russia's annexation of Crimea. To Ukraine, Crimea remains a temporarily occupied territory.