By Paul Goble
Today as they have done every August 30, the International Day for Remembering Those Who Have Disappeared, Crimean activists assembled in front of the Russian embassy in Kyiv to call attention to the 44 people who have been “disappeared” as a result of Moscow’s hybrid deportation of the Crimean Tatars.
These are people seized by masked men and taken away to unknown destinations. Six have subsequently been found dead, and others are thought to be in Russian prisons. Today, Tamila Tasheva of the Crimea-SOS volunteer project, says they are focusing on 15 documented as victims of forcible kidnappings (belsat.eu/ru/programs/v-krymu-idet-gibridnaya-deportatsiya-tatar/).
One of the participants at the demonstration, Mariya Kvitsynskaya, says that she come to the Russian embassy every month “to remind Ukrainian society about the disappeared because the media constantly talk about political prisoners but unfortunately rarely mention the disappeared, because “there is no news,” something the occupiers work hard to ensure.
“We understand that such actions alongside the embassy of the aggressor country will not influence the behavior of the criminals sitting in the Kremlin, Refat Chubarov, the head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis. “But we conduct them and will continue to do so because it is very important to awaken Ukrainian society.”
According to the Mejlis, since the Anschluss, no less than ten percent of the Crimean Tatars have been expelled. “This is the result of arrests, aggressive propaganda and raider seizures of land by representatives of the new authorities” – actions Belsat journalists Yaroslav Steshik and Adelya Dubavets say, “the Crimean Tatars call ‘hybrid deportation.’”