Russia has been settling the Crimea en masse with Russian-language citizens from different regions, stated Mustafa Dzhemilev, the President of Ukraine’s Commissioner for the Affairs of the Crimean Tatar People, in an interview with Ukrinform.
“The enforced change of the demographics in the occupied territory, according to the Geneva Convention of 1949, belongs to the category of war crimes,” he remarked.
This is why information on the number of settlers is “carefully concealed”, Dzhemilev claims.
According testimonies given by residents of the Crimea, between 850,000 and one million people may have been relocated already.
“Russia is now repeating roughly the same strategy which was used during the first occupation under Catherine II. At the time it was not possible to deport people, there were no railways or wagons. They simply created unbearable living conditions for people, thereby forcing them to migrate, which resulted in the Crimean Tatars quickly becoming a national minority,” Dzhemilev emphasized.
He also stated that the FSB has been taking a wide variety of actions relating to the survival of the Crimean Tatar people from the peninsula.
“Not too long ago we intercepted a secret FSB letter addressed to Aksyonov, the so-called chairman of the Republic of Crimea. It spoke about the FSB’s three year plan for the Crimean Tatars, in order to coerce them to collaborate with the occupation authorities,” Dzhemilev noted.
According to him, the actions mentioned in the document included mass searches, screenings and arrests.
Earlier, co-founder the public organization Crimea-SOS Alim Aliev highlighted several categories of settlers from Russia in the annexed Crimea: soldiers, FSB staff, and officers who have come to work in the local administration.
In February Dzhemilev said that Russia has transferred six nuclear warheads to the Crimea.