About the issue of the Crimean national autonomy


The only way to ensure basic security and self-preservation of the indigenous people of Crimea.

The restoration of one’s native ethnic statehood is the most suffered, deeply and firmly incorporated into the national self-consciousness as an unconditionally fateful, typically imminent desire of the Crimeans (also known as the Crimean Tatars). It has long been formed in there, completely natural, devoid of any signs and attributes of precedent, a pragmatic goal.

This goal is extremely clear, elementary and extra-ambitious – the realisation by the indigenous people of Crimea of ​​their historical, political and moral right to self-determination and the establishment of national-territorial autonomy on the land of their ancestors.

The arguments below make it possible to think and hope that this most urgent and vital problem of the Crimeans will be adequately perceived and regarded as demanding the earliest fair resolution, as well as exactly in this form the corresponding international legal definitions about self-determination.

In this question, it is unacceptable to be guided by the maxim about the bull, who was not allowed what was allowed to Jupiter. When suddenly there appeared undesirable from the opponent’s point of view self-determination of the Crimeans, a lot of Jupiter in the form of Russian ethnic republics serve as an example; it became clear: Crimea with its current status cannot be a participant in this parade of planets.

The leader of a nation who considers himself a patriot and respects his people,  must not relate to another people, who were affected by tragic breaks of the past found themselves in such an unenviable, dependent situation, as it is a bull God knows where from, rushing into Jupiter…

Here are some of those undisputed objective grounds that feed the Crimeans’ confidence that they should have statehood:

1) On the territory of Crimea since ancient times there existed ethnostate entities, directly created by the ancestors of the current Crimean Tatars or with their active participation;

2) In the late Middle Ages, a self-governing Crimean Yurt arose on the peninsula, and in the first half of the fifteenth century  the Crimean Khanate; this state of the Crimeans existed as known for three and a half centuries and showed the Crimean people in this sense to be fully accomplished and unconditionally capable of self-government;

3) The national-state and socio-political development of the Crimeans were interrupted as a result of the violation of the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca(KuchukKainarji) (1774), which confirmed its independence;

4) In 1917-1918 the leaders of the national liberation movement of the Crimeans, having convened the First National Congress – Kurultai adopted the Constitution of the Crimean People’s Republic and tried to realize the right of the indigenous people of Crimea to self-determination, which in the conditions of permanent turmoil and terror was doomed again to suppression by brute force;

5) In 1921, the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was established, having the same ethnopolitical status as other autonomies (and the federal republics that formed the USSR a year later) —that is, the status of a national public entity, since in Soviet times therm autonomy was known only as such;

6) Soon after the Crimean people were subjected to brutal repressions on a national basis and were forcibly deported and extremely dispersed, scattered over thousands of kilometres from their historic homeland, in 1945 national autonomy was abolished,  the last of several that existed for a long time over the historical period, the state of the indigenous people of Crimea;

7) The entire subsequent, unprecedented in its mass character, the desperate and heroic struggle of the Crimeans for the return to their homeland was unequivocally  also associated with the task of acquiring statehood (autonomy) of the Crimeans;

8) Doubts about the conviction as to which republic — as before, the RSFSR, or in the new conditions, that is, as part of Ukraine — to be restored autonomy of the Crimeans, after some informal and heated discussion within the national movement itself was resolved in favour of the latter;

9) The return of Crimeans to Crimea fell on a period of gravest economic and social crisis, in conditions of wide-ranging chaos, on the eve of the year and the natural collapse of the USSR; self-repatriation occurred at a time when the Russian-speaking population of Crimea, intoxicated by communist propaganda and frightened by the determination of the Crimeans, voted in a referendum organized by local Soviet leaders for the non-existent in nature, essentially defective, both in the motivational and structural-functional parts, territorial autonomy – the autonomy of migrants and community diasporas;

10) The main argument of the opponents of the Crimean national autonomy is the thesis that Crimeans make up no more than 1/7 of the population of the peninsula; but

  • First, it is the result of a long, consistent, brutal and, it must be admitted, effective imperial policy towards the indigenous people of Crimea in its exclusion from the historic homeland;
  • Secondly, in more than half of the republics (autonomies) of the Russian Federation, autochthons remained in the minority;for example, in Bashkortostan, the Bashkirs are about 30%, the Komi people in the Komi Republic are 24%, Khakassians in Khakassia are 12%, and   Karelians in Karelia are 7.4% altogether, which does not prevent the formation of republican authorities on an ethnic basis;

11) National autonomy is not a form of collective egoism, not a way to obtain group sociopolitical preferences, not a pretentious desire to be ethnically “more equal”, but the most verified, if not the only way to ensure basic security of any kind of self-preservation and some development few ethnic groups in the face of the threat of cultural assimilation and physical extinction.

B. Baltaji

Photo: Elmaz Adamanova

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Author: Редакция Avdet