Europäisches Journal für Minderheitenfragen

ISSN 1865-1089 (Print)
ISSN 1865-1097 (Online)

Abstract The article places the annexation of Crimea by Russia in the spring of 2014 (on the basis of a “referendum” of March 16) in an overall historical and political context, especially from the perspective of the Crimean Tatars. Within that context, the author consciously does not refrain from judgments and commentaries, and at the same time, parts of the article have features of a contemporary witness document. The first part of the article first of all outlines the historical phases of the expulsion or deportation of the Crimean Tatars and the targeted Russification of Crimea since 1783 and in particular during the Soviet period. Along those lines, the author describes and analyzes the phenomenon of the so-called “Russian Crimea” which, according to her, has a purely political meaning, in order to raise the question on that basis of the legitimacy of the “referendum” of March 16, 2014. Another section is dedicated to the individual stages of the annexation of Crimea within the context of the Ukraine Crisis and the dramatic events in Kiev’s Maidan Square in the winter of 2013–2014.

Abstract Ingushetia, which is located in the Northern Caucasus, is the smallest autonomous republic of the federal subjects of Russia in terms of area. In contrast to Chechnya, its neighboring republic to the east, it is nearly unknown outside of the former Soviet Union. February 23, 2014 marked the seventieth anniversary of the start of the deportation of the two Vainakh peoples, the Chechens and the Ingush, from their historical homeland in the Northern Caucasus to Central Asia. At that time, in 1944, the Soviet authorities had also dissolved the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. Four years after Stalin’s death in 1953, the Ingush and Chechens were allowed to return to their homeland, and their republic came into existence once again. Within that context, though, the Prigorodny district, which the Ingush considered to be the cradle of their people, remained with the neighboring autonomous republic of North Ossetia. Nevertheless, Ingush settled there, although often illegally. In 1992, and thus already in post-Soviet times, there were armed clashes in the Prigorodny district which ended with the expulsion of the Ingush.

Abstract In January 2014, the French National Assembly surprisingly approved a change to the French Constitution that made it possible for the government to ratify the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In actuality, France had already signed the Language Charter in 1999, but ratification had failed twice before because of objections of constitutionality by the Constitutional Council (the Conseil Constitutionnel). Does this represent a sensational change of course by France, or merely a tactical maneuver for the restoration of prestige that had been lost? Within this context, there are above all else two questions that present themselves: will the adoption of this constitutional change by the Senate, as well, actually clear the way for the ratification of the Language Charter? If that is indeed the case, can the ratification signify actual progress for the regional languages of France, or rather only the appearance of it?