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 in an overall historical and political context, especially from the perspective of the Crimean Tatars. Part I of the article, which appeared in EJM 3-2014, outlined 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, it analyzed the phenomenon of the so-called “Russian Crimea”, and, on that basis, it raised the question of the legitimacy of the “(Crimea) referendum” of March 16, 2014. The individual stages of the annexation of Crimea by Russia were illuminated within the context of the Ukraine Crisis of 2013-2014. In this subsequent Part II, the author analyzes the position of the Crimean Tatars (the “Crimean Tatar factor”) in this conflict, she shows how this exposes the “carrot and stick” politics of power from Russia, and she constructs possible models of the further development of the position of the Crimean Tatar national movement between the poles of protest (resistance) and passivity (capitulation in the face of the power of Russia and of “Russian Crimea”). Also worthy of particular attention is the area of interest of the other national and ethnic minorities in Crimea (that are categorized in detail) in the loyalty dilemma between Ukrainian sovereignty and claims for territory by Russia, whereby the main focus is placed upon the particularly dramatic situation of the Ukrainian population and examples of Ukrainian resistance against the aggression by Russia. Within that context, the author presents how the already complex interethnic relationships in Crimea have been additionally encumbered by the Russia‘s prevailing strategy of divide et impera.

Abstract 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. Part I of the article, which appeared in EJM 3-2014, was primarily dedicated to the history of Ingushetia. The main focuses of it were the 1944 deportation and the dissolution associated with it of the Chechen–Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic by the Soviet authorities, the reestablishment of this republic in 1957 (although within new borders and without the Prigorodny district, which was historically, politically, and socioeconomically significant for the Ingush and which was annexed to the neighboring Republic of North Ossetia), and the war-like clashes and the “ethnic cleansing” of the Ingush in the Prigorodny district in 1992. Part II of the article which follows here places the role of the Ingush and Ingushetia within the larger context of Russia’s nationalities policy and its politics of power in the Northern Caucasus (among others) and with respect to the neighboring Republic of Chechnya. In the view of the author, these policies are oriented not toward what is just, but rather toward putative geopolitical “necessities”, and they are implemented with the strategy of “divide and rule”, which in the concrete case occurs through a clear preferential treatment for or protection of North Ossetia with respect to Ingushetia and Chechnya, leading to the North Caucasus remaining the most unstable region of Russia for the foreseeable future.