Do Crimean settlers go home?


The International Organization for Migration discovered that every fifth settler from Crimea and Donbas went to its hometown. The current authorities rushed to turn the fact in their favor. 

First of all, it should be mentioned that this research had been held by a famous organization that has been existing for 70 years. Among them, for 23 years it has been working on the territory of Ukraine. Specialists were collecting all the information throughout 24 regions of Ukraine. They held social interviews, telephone surveys, discussions in focus-groups and also held the polls on the boundaries talking to people who usually cross the borders. Besides that, data of Administrative Organizations were used. 

As a result, it was discovered that every fifth settler from Donbas and Crimea – 851 respondent or 21% among 4073 people interviewed, went home and live on “temporarily occupied territory”. 91% of respondents are going to stay there for at least 3 months. And only 3% of people are going to move totally to Ukraine. According to the reports, the majority of those people usually cross the borders at least once per three-four months to visit their relatives and friends and also to get social payments and take cash. 

The reaction of Crimean authorities was not long in coming. Deputy Ruslan Balbek claimed that almost all Crimean Tatars who left the peninsular in 2014 were students who had been studying in the Ukrainian universities. He was sure that after graduation all of them had come back home. But the study of the International Organization for Migration states that among those who came back home are single women of 60. They are economically inactive population. In this context, Ruslan Balbek’s claim seems to be rather strange. 

Also, he explained that Crimean settlers go home because of a difficult economic situation in Ukraine and a lack of working places. But here Balbek misses again. The majority of interviewed said that in Crimea they possess some real estate and they don’t want to pay for rental flats and houses anymore. Almost the same thoughts were announced by a member of the Presidency Council of the Russian Federation oninter-ethnic relations, the leader of “Inkishaf” organization Eskender Bilyalov. He also said about the difficult economic situation in Ukraine and about the students who went home. 

“If we are talking about the settlers among Crimean Tatars, we should say that the majority of them went to Ukraine at once after the reunion of Crimea and the Russian Federation. They were scared. Some of them politically disagreed with the situation. But they were not tens of thousands of people. They were less”, – Bilyalov said without any pieces of evidence. 

What is more, almost all of such members of the authority say that one of the reasons to go back home is an improved economic and social situation in Crimea.

” All of the settlers talking to their relatives know that there isn’t any kind of pressure of Crimean Tatars’ rights. That people have a good living if they don’t break Russian laws. Schools and kindergartens are building, people receive plots of land. I think that the return process goes on”, – pointed Bilyalov.

 But he didn’t mention dozens of criminal proceedings against Crimean Muslims, dozens of Crimean Tatars that were imprisoned and now they must spend their lives in Russian jails. And also he didn’t mention those of Crimean Tatars who hadn’t had another chance to save their lives but run away to Ukraine.Osman VELI

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Author: Редакция Avdet