Putin promises to recognize rights of Crimean Tatar population
The Crimean Tatars make up about 12 percent of the population of Crimea. The Tatars have been in Crimea since at least the late 14th century. But they have a long and difficult relationship with the area. They faced mass deportations under Stalin and much of the Tatar population in Crimea was wiped out. After the Soviet Union broke apart many Crimean Tatars began to return to their homeland in the early 1990’s. Most boycotted the March 16th referendum. But President Putin has promised to recognize their rights and Crimean Tatar has been recognized as an official language. Peace Corp volunteer Barbara Wieser spent four years working with the Crimean Tatar community on cultural preservation initiatives. She was forced to leave Ukraine in February when the Peace Corp evacuated all its volunteers from the region. She’ll give us an update on how the Crimean Tatar community is doing.
(Photo: AP/Manu Brabo)