UPDATE: Crimean authorities say Tatars will have to vacate land; critics call the move “ethnic cleansing.”
Vladimir Putin is not exactly a reassuring kind of guy.
Even so, in his Tuesday address annexing Crimea to the federation, the Russian president attempted to calm the fears of the peninsula’s Tatar minority that they are not about to return to the mass deportations and atrocities they suffered under Stalin.
That was two days after the tortured body of a 39-year-old Tatar activist was found in Crimea — the first reported casualty of the invasion. It was also before local authorities announced that they will require Tatars to vacate some of the land they currently live on in exchange for a place to stay somewhere else in Crimea — a move that some observers referred to as a first step towards “ethnic cleansing.”
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