By Paul Goble
Two new and completely outrageous Russian charges – that the Crimean Tatars are under the control of Turkish intelligence and that the Ukrainian Library in Moscow was involved in the preparation of terrorist actions in the Russian capital – point to a new round of increased dangers for Ukraine.
Since the shooting down of the Russian plane that violated Turkish airspace, the occupation authorities in Crimea have frequently suggested that “the Crimean Tatars are under the influence of Turkish intelligence services,” a charge, Mustafa Dzhemilyev, the leader of that nation, says increases the threat against it (qha.com.ua/ru/politika/aksenov-zayavlyaet-chto-krimskie-tatari-pod-vliyaniem-turetskoi-razvedki/152504/).
Speaking in Kyiv yesterday, Dzhemilyev said that “given that the Crimean Tatars are close and related to the Turkish people, then the wild anti-Turkish bacchanalia led by Putin concerns them as well.” And tragically, it is already having an impact in Crimea not only at the level of declarations but also of official actions.
“In Crimea,” he continued, dozens of families of Turks, including those in mixed marriages with Crimean Tatars, are being subjected to deportation, and all businessmen who have ties with Turkish firms are at the level of collapse.” And the head of the occupation says that Crimean Tatars are cooperating with the intelligence service of a country “hostile to Russia.”
“All this propaganda hysteria,” Dzhemilyev said, “very much recalls those methods with which the Soviet authorities at one time attempted to justify the deportation and genocide of the Crimean Tatar people.”
A second outrageous Russian claim concerns the Moscow Library of Ukrainian Literature. Up to now, the Moscow media have suggested that the raids against it and the charges against its director, Natalya Sharina, were about the supposed presence of anti-Russian materials.
But today, in a dangerous shift, the Nasha versiya portal says that the real reason that Moscow police raided the center is that they suspected that it was the base for the organization of terrorist attacks in the Russian capital or elsewhere in the Russian Federation (versia.ru/kak-ukrainskie-yekstremisty-svili-gnezdo-v-centre-moskvy).
Specifically, it said that “as has become known to the correspondent of ‘Nasha Versia,’ the investigation is above all interested in the details about the possible preparation by ‘guests of the Ukrainian library’ of terrorist acts in Moscow. Information, testifying to the preparation of terrorist acts has already been obtained by law enforcement personnel.”
In today’s overheated environment, such charges both against the Crimean Tatars and against the Ukrainians more generally suggest that at least some in the Russian capital are laying the ground work for a new demonization of Ukraine in preparation for possible offensive moves against its people and state in the near future.