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    December 22, 2015

    Erdogan to help Crimean Tatar radicals oust Russians from Kherson region of Ukraine

    Decemebr 22, 2015


    Translated from Russian by Kristina Rus for Fort Russ

    Kherson region should be resettled with Crimean Tatars, to dilute the local pro-Russian population, said on "Radio Svoboda" the people's deputy of Ukraine, ex-leader of Crimean Tatar Mejlis, Mustafa Dzhemilev.

    According to him, this was discussed during his meeting with President of Turkey Recep Erdogan. Dzhemilev noted that he wants to concentrate the Crimean Tatars leaving the peninsula in one place, and for that they must be provided with housing.

    "They go to Western regions of Ukraine and spread throughout Ukraine. It's not in our interests – we would like them to preserve their national identity, the language environment, and want them to concentrate in Kherson region, closer to Crimea, to make it easier to return.

    And, then, we are interested in strengthening the Ukrainian presence in Kherson region. There are too many 'vatniki' ['quilted jackets' - Russians]. Even the authorities keep these "two-headed chickens" in case the Russians come.

    I told him (Erdogan — ed.) about the need to create conditions for them, modular homes... I think the land will be provided for this. Well, and besides, we're going to station our battalion there," - said Dzhemilev.

    FR: Dzhemilev is a leader of the marginal radical wing of Crimean tatars, who have long enjoyed Turkey's support. Kherson region is 'at risk' of leaning pro-Russian and completing the "land bridge" from Russia to Crimea along the Azov sea. Therefore diluting the pro-Russians is a logical strategy to cement Ukrainian influence there.  
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