The Russian takeover of Crimea leaves the ethnic Muslim Tartar population in a panic and staging protests against the presence of Russian forces.
Buzzfeed The Tatars, in 1944, were deported en masse from Crimea by dictator Joseph Stalin and fought for decades for the right to return.
Since 1989 the Tatars have been flooding back to the Crimea region. According to the last Ukrainian census in 2001, Tatars accounted for 12.1% of the population of Crimea. Tatars have aligned themselves with ethnic Ukrainians in Crimea to protest the presence of Russian-linked military forces in the region.
During the protests, many waved the ethnic flag of the Crimean Tatars. Local media outlets reported that more than 10,000 Muslim Tatars rallied in support of the interim government in Ukraine.
Crimean Tatars are known for pursuing nonviolent resistance in the past. But over the past week, arrests and multiple injuries were reported when Tatar demonstrators clashed with pro-Russian demonstrators and local police.
In deafening chants Tatars are screaming “Crimea is not Russia”, Russians answer w/ “Crimea is Russia.” Now Crimean Tatars are burning Russian flags in Simferopol.