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About 700 Crimean Tatars left Crimea after its incorporation into Russia — official

September 02, 2015, 15:34 UTC+3 MOSCOW
About 450 of them have returned to Crimea
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexey Pavlishak

MOSCOW, September 2. /TASS/. Between 600 and 800 Crimean Tatars have left Crimea following its reunification with Russia, but 450 of them have come back, the republic’s Deputy Prime Minister Ruslan Balbek said on Wednesday.

"During these historic events, Crimea’s reunification with Russia, thanks to such effective mechanisms launched by the anti-Russian propaganda, up to 700 people left Crimea. [Former leaders of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People Mustafa] Jemilev and [Refat] Chubarov deliberately overstate the numbers of those who have left… Of this number - from 600 to 800 people - about 450 have returned to Crimea," he told the Rossiya 24 TV channel.

Balbek added that Crimean Tatars from Ukraine’s Kherson region were actively moving to Crimea. These are mainly young people who do not want to take part in the fighting in the east of the country.

On March 11, 2014, the Supreme Council of Crimea and the Sevastopol City Council adopted the Declaration of Independence of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol amid the political crisis and the change of government. On March 16, residents of the Black Sea peninsula overwhelmingly voted for Crimea’s reunification with Russia. On March 18, a treaty on Crimea’s accession to Russia was signed. Ukraine, the United States and the European Union refused to recognize Crimea’s independence and its incorporation into Russia.

There are 175 ethnic groups in Crimea, 68% are ethnic Russians, 16% - Ukrainians and more than 10% - Crimean Tatars.

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