How the Crimean Tatars Spoil Putin’s Annexation Myth

Konrad Zasztowt, Justyna Prus
Content Type
Policy Brief
The Polish Institute of International Affairs
The annexation of Crimea has been a propaganda gain for the Kremlin, helping to augment support for the ruling elites. However, the protests of minorities opposing the annexation—Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians—has prompted Russians to begin harsh repressions. On May 18, the Crimean Tatars commemorate the anniversary of the Stalinist deportation of their nation in 1944, which led to mass deaths among the deported population. Although the Crimean Tatars are a relatively small minority at the peninsula, they are politically well organised and will not accept the Kremlin’s praise of the Soviet (including Stalinist) era, or the current authoritarian system based on neo-imperial and neo-Soviet ideology.