The main leader of the Crimean Tatars, Mustafa Dzhemilev, has said they are coming under increasing pressure from Russian authorities to show loyalty to Moscow.
It comes following protests over the weekend that were sparked when he was not allowed entry into Russia. Several thousand Crimean Tatars unsuccessfully attempted to get him across the border.
Speaking in Kyiv, he said that they would do their “best to make sure that Tatar protests continue to be peaceful and democratic. If force were used by the occupational authorities, the reaction of the people is unknown. The Crimean Tatar parliament, the Medzhlis, can’t guarantee anything,” he warned.
The Prosecutor General in Crimea appointed by Russia in March, Nataliya Poklonskaya, has warned that the local parliament will be shut down unless what she described as “radical activities” ceased.
She said: “The Medzhlis of Crimean Tatars, led by Refat Chubarov, has been behind illegal public activity, which has been of an extremist nature. There have been riots, roadblocks have been set up and there’s been violence. People have also been crossing the border illegally.”
There are fears by Crimean Tatars that events to mark the seventieth anniversary on May 18th of their deportation during World War Two by Soviet forces could lead to further pressure by Russian authorities.