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SIMFEROPOL, September 25. /TASS/. The march devoted to the anniversary of blockading Crimea that took place on the Ukrainian territory on the border with the peninsula is a "carnival of terrorists," Zaur Smirnov, chairman of the Crimean State Committee for inter-ethnic relations and deported citizens, told TASS on Sunday.
"Another masquerade was organized by Lenur Islyamov (one of the founders of the battalion of Noman Chelebidjikhan), and among participants were the Mejlis of Crimean Tatars, the Right Sector, the Azov (battalion). These organizations are banned in Russia, there are extremist, and they have long been acting beyond what is permitted from the point of view of the law and moral-ethical norms. That’s why we call this a carnival or terrorists," Smirnov said.
The march was held with the support of the Kiev authorities, he added. "We have no doubt that the Kiev regime is behind this carnival because several officials participated in it. Ukrainian law enforcers, if you can call them that, did not hinder this in any way. On the contrary, they provided all possible support (to participants in the march). Terrorists and extremists that took part in the event tried to present this as the participation of Crimean Tatars in the march, but they failed. Locals of the Kherson Region, including Crimean Tatars, boycotted the event," he explained.
On Saturday, Andrey Gordeyev, Governor of the Kherson Region, said that law enforcers were put on high alert due to the event organized but the Mejlis of Crimean Tatars (banned in Russia) on the first anniversary of blockading Crimea. Nearly 3,000 people were expected to take part in the event which was planned to be held near the Chongar border checkpoint. Movement through the checkpoint was temporarily suspended from 1:30pm until 2:30pm.
On September 20 last year, supporters of the former Crimean Deputy Prime Minister Lenur Islyamov, Verkhovna Rada deputies Mustafa Dzhemilev and Refat Chubarov launched the so-called "food blockade" of Crimea, restricting movement of trucks with goods through border checkpoints. They organizers were later joined by the members of the Right Sector extremist organization (banned in Russia). Radicals then blasted the power lines that delivered electricity to the peninsula, saying their actions represented an "energy blockade.".