The Crimean Tatar Resource Center sent an appeal to the UN Secretary General António Guterres in connection with the illegal mass mobilization of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people into the armed forces of Russia. People don’t want to fight. How to help them? The CTRC will seek the reaction of the UN Secretary General.
Dear Mr. Secretary General of the United Nations!
On February 20, 2014, the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine, as a result of which the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, the homeland of the indigenous peoples – the Crimean Tatars, Karaites and Krymchaks, were occupied.
On February 24, 2022, the Russian Federation launched a full-scale armed invasion of Ukraine. As a result of rocket attacks on Ukrainian settlements, thousands of civilians were killed – representatives of different ethnic groups and confessions, including hundreds of children. Since February 2022, Russia has occupied part of the territory of the southern mainland regions of Ukraine, where Crimean Tatars live compactly, primarily the areas of the cities of Henichesk and Melitopol.
On September 21, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the so-called partial mobilization, which is being organized in violation of international humanitarian law in the occupied Crimea. As early as September 21, 2022, in Crimea, representatives of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people began to receive subpoenas en masse.
All the actions of the representatives of the Russian occupation administration on the illegal mobilization of the inhabitants of the temporarily occupied Crimea into the armed forces of the Russian Federation are carried out in a frankly rude, violent and degrading form. There have been recorded cases when representatives of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people were massively forcibly brought to the military registration and enlistment offices of the Russian Federation.
An analysis of data on the mobilization of Crimean residents, received by the Crimean Tatar Resource Center, indicates that in the lists of mobilized citizens Crimean Tatars make up a number that significantly exceeds their proportional representation in the population of Crimea. In some localities and regions, this representation of Crimean Tatars among the mobilized is up to 80-90 percent.
The specified disproportion in the ethnic composition of the residents of the temporarily occupied Crimea, forcibly and illegally mobilized by the Russian occupation administration, is evidence of the targeted killing of the adult male population of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people, which has signs of not only racial discrimination by the occupying authorities, but also the genocide of the Crimean Tatars.
At the same time, the actions of Russian troops in Ukraine not only have common features of aggression, but also contain signs of war crimes: destruction of obviously civilian facilities, murders, kidnappings and torture of civilians, as well as total looting. The committment of war crimes by these troops is confirmed in the reports of the UN Commission to the General Assembly, as well as in the reports of other international missions and the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
Also, the politicization and obviousness of these crimes, accompanied by statements and demands from both the leaders of the occupying authorities in Crimea, and the Russian leadership as a whole, has all the signs of state terrorism, which was recently adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
According to available information, representatives of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people, in order to avoid participation in war crimes committed by Russia on the territory of Ukraine, as well as to save their own lives, massively travel to Kazakhstan, Georgia, Turkey, Poland and other third countries. So only in Kazakhstan there are currently more than 2 thousand people. However, they do not have temporary housing for their further stay and do not have enough financial resources.
In addition, in the period from the beginning of partial mobilization from September 21 till October 13, about 100 mobilized representatives of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people who died in the war were already brought to the occupied Crimea. According to the activists, all of them died from shrapnel wounds, i.е. the occupiers purposefully directed them either under shelling or into minefields as cannon fodder. The vast majority of them did not sign contracts with the Russian army and ended up in the war zone against their will.
Obviously, the Russian occupation administration of Crimea pursues the goal of suppressing the will of the inhabitants of the peninsula to protect their inalienable rights and, above all, the right to life, as well as to resist the criminal actions of the Russian occupation administration.
The Crimean Tatar Resource Center strongly condemns these actions of the Russian Federation. The conscription and mobilization of residents of the occupied Crimea into the armed forces of the Russian Federation and other auxiliary forces is a violation of article 51 of the Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilian Population in Time of War and another war crime committed by Russia on the territory of Ukraine.
Moreover, any military activity on the lands of indigenous peoples carried out without their consent, including the recruitment and mobilization of representatives of indigenous peoples into the armed forces, is a direct and flagrant violation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
These actions of the Russian Federation are a continuation of the discriminatory policy of the occupying administration, the purpose of which is the physical destruction of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people, who became a numerical minority in their homeland as a result of the colonial policy of the Russian Empire.
At the same time, on October 19, 2022, the President of Russia illegally declared martial law in the occupied territories of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, as well as a special regime in the occupied Crimea, which will allow the occupying administrations to continue to commit acts of mass oppression of the indigenous peoples of the peninsula.
In order to provide assistance to residents of the temporarily occupied Crimea in a situation that is rapidly deteriorating and poses a direct threat to their lives, the Crimean Tatar Resource Center interacts with the highest state authorities of Ukraine, representatives of international organizations and foreign states.
Taking into account the numerous appeals of compatriots received by the Crimean Tatar Resource Center from the temporarily occupied Crimea, as well as relying on the current legislation of Ukraine, the principles and norms of international law, resolutions, appeals and recommendations adopted by international organizations, including the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, in March 2014 to present,
The Crimean Tatar Resource Center addresses You with the following request:
1. To oppose the illegal and criminal mobilization by the Russian occupation administration of representatives of the indigenous peoples of Crimea, as well as other representatives of the population of the occupied territory, into the armed forces of the Russian Federation;
2. To facilitate the provision of humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of the male population of the indigenous peoples of Crimea to third countries – members of the UN;
3. To develop a humanitarian response plan to protect and provide humanitarian assistance to tens of thousands of men of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people who left for Georgia, Kazakhstan and other countries;
4. To increase pressure on the Russian Federation and use all available mechanisms to stop the illegal conscription and mobilization of representatives of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people into the armed forces of the Russian Federation, which is almost guaranteed to result in the death sentence being imposed on representatives of the indigenous people of Ukraine, as well as their forced involvement in the commission of military crimes and acts of state terrorism in Russia.