Crimean Tatar voluntary association "Asker" will become the division as part of the Marine Corps of the Ukrainian Naval Forces, the Presidential Commissioner for the Crimean Tatar people Mustafa Dzhemilev announced at the international forum "Crimea under occupation: Consequences for Ukraine and the world" on February 25.
“There is an agreement in principle with the Defense Minister of Ukraine Poltorak, that it will be a unit of Marines. It's not quite what we wanted, but it is enough for a start. It is difficult to say how many fighters will be there, about 250 people have been recorded. I think that after this battalion is legalized, many will enter it. And not only ethnic Crimean Tatars,” Dzhemilev said.
Dzhemilev also reminded about pressure exerted on the inhabitants of the Crimea by the occupation authorities of the peninsula. In particular, the leader of the Crimean Tatar people spoke about the fundamental requirement on the Crimeans joining the ranks of the Russian army.
“I can not imagine Crimean Tatars who would swear allegiance to the Russian army, they have a choice, either go to jail or cross the border and serve their country,” Dzhemilev said.
Following the conflict in Chongar, the Ministry of Defence expressed willingness to consider applications from the members of the public association "Asker" regarding their service in the Crimean division of Marine brigade of the Ukrainian Naval Forces.