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Crimean official calls Crimean Tatar initiators of food blockade "traitors"

September 24, 2015, 14:18 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL
The official claims the Crimean Tatars have demonstrated full unity in their attitude to the blockade of Crimea
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Trucks parked on a blocked road heading toward Crimea

Trucks parked on a blocked road heading toward Crimea

© AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

SIMFEROPOL, September 24. /TASS/. Crimea’s Deputy Prime Minister Ruslan Balbek has called the organizers of the so-called food blockade of the peninsula in Ukraine, Refat Chubarov and Mustafa Dzhemilev "traitors of their own people."

"These two men (Dzhemilev and Chubarov) have begun to be regarded as outlaws by the Crimean Tatars. They are traitors acting to the detriment of the Crimean Tatar people and all other people of Crimea. They are fighting against Crimea and Russia," Balbek said.

"The Crimean Tatars have demonstrated full unity in their attitude to the blockade of Crimea. Even those who in the past may have turned an attentive ear once in a while to what Dzhemilev and Chubarov were saying have now turned away from their ideas. The anti-popular actions by these so-called politicians have pushed away their last supporters in Crimea and in Ukraine," Balbek said.

Earlier, he speculated that a ban might be imposed on the Mejlis (Assembly) of the Crimean Tatars, of which Dzhemilev and Chubarov were leaders. He likened that organization to the Right Sector group, outlawed in Russia as extremist.

A court has banned Chubarov and Dzhemilev from entering Russia for a period of five years. Chubarov is under criminal investigation for urging encroachments against Russia’s territorial integrity. The Mejlis he leads has never been registered under Russian legislation.

The so-called blockade of Crimea began on September 20 at the initiative of former Deputy Prime Minister Lenur Islyamov and Ukrainian parliament members Mustafa Dzhemilev and Refat Chubarov. Ukrainian activists, acting jointly with the Right Sector group outlawed in Russia are stopping all trucks carrying food supplies from Ukraine to Crimea.

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