Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #911 The Crimean Tatars, Ukraine and The Underground Reich: Update on the Earth Island Boogie

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NaziTatar

Contemporary Crimean Tatar leader Refat Chubarov and followers acknowledge their heritage.

Con­tem­po­rary Crimean Tatar leader Refat Chubarov and fol­low­ers acknowl­edge their her­itage.

Intro­duc­tion: In FTR #‘s 862, 863878, 879, 884, 885, 886 (among oth­er pro­grams), we not­ed an over­lap­ping series of covert oper­a­tions and polit­i­cal gam­bits that are bring­ing a fas­cist “ring of fire” around both Rus­sia and Chi­na. We chris­tened these “con­ga-line ops” “the Earth Island Boo­gie.” 

Key ele­ments of what we dis­cussed entail geopo­lit­i­cal strat­a­gems used by the Third Reich against the for­mer Sovi­et Union. After the con­clu­sion of World War II and the incor­po­ra­tion of the Gehlen spy out­fit into the U.S. intel­li­gence appa­rat, the C.I.A. and oth­er west­ern intel­li­gence agen­cies used some of these same strat­a­gems. In FTR #878, we recapped an excerpt from AFA #14, exam­in­ing the use of Tur­kic eth­nic nation­al­i­ties and eth­nic Ukraini­ans from the U.S.S.R. as com­bat­ants against the Sovi­et Union. The Third Reich, in turn, used ele­ments and strat­a­gems mint­ed by the Promethean League, sort of a “pre-WACL” WACL. (WACL is an acronym for the World Anti-Com­mu­nist League.)

In that same pro­gram, we not­ed the col­lab­o­ra­tion between Crimean Tatars and Pravy Sek­tor (“Right Sec­tor”), both blockad­ing road traf­fic and sab­o­tag­ing the Crimean pow­er grid. Sup­port­ed by Turkey, ele­ments of the Crimean Tatars have a long his­to­ry of col­lab­o­ra­tion with both Nazi Ger­many and post-war West­ern intel­li­gence, the CIA in par­tic­u­lar. (Key ele­ments of that dis­cus­sion are includ­ed in this descrip­tion.)

Fol­low­ing the Euro­vi­sion song con­test, the Crimean Tatars are once again in the inter­na­tion­al spot­light.

In this pro­gram we dis­cuss the his­to­ry of the Crimean Tatars, the col­lab­o­ra­tion of many of them with the Third Reich and West­ern intel­li­gence. It was this col­lab­o­ra­tion that spurred Stal­in, with char­ac­ter­is­tic grace, to deport the Crimea Tatars.

” . . . Where­as pub­lic per­cep­tion of Crimean Tatars has been pre­dom­i­nat­ed by their 1944 depor­ta­tion, their col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Nazis, which had pre­ced­ed their depor­ta­tion, has been obscured. As his­to­ri­ans have ascer­tained, in 1942, ‘every tenth Tatar on the Crimean Penin­su­la was in the mil­i­tary’ — on the side of Nazi Ger­many. Crimean Tatars fought on the side of the Ger­man Wehrma­cht against the Sovi­et Union, excelling in the noto­ri­ous ‘efforts to crush the par­ti­san move­ment’ and turned their Jew­ish neigh­bors over to the Nazis’ hench­men. Already in the 1920s, lead­ing Tatar func­tionar­ies had com­plained of a ‘Jew­ifi­ca­tion’ of their com­mu­ni­ties, in their protests against Moscow’s reset­tle­ment mea­sures of Jew­ish fam­i­lies. Lat­er, exiled Crimean Tatars vol­un­teered their ser­vices for the West­’s cold war efforts to desta­bi­lize Moscow. The Mejlis, which today is quite con­tro­ver­sial among the Crimean Tatars, stands in this tra­di­tion. . . .”

More about the use of Crimean Tatar for­ma­tions by the Third Reich, not­ing the pan-Turk­ist ori­en­ta­tion of Turkey, dis­cussed in AFA #14. Worth not­ing is the use of Crimean Tatar for­ma­tions in the con­sum­mate­ly bru­tal anti-par­ti­san war­fare. Anti-par­ti­san oper­a­tions on the East­ern Front dur­ing Word War II were epi­cal­ly bru­tal:

” . . . . Imme­di­ate­ly fol­low­ing the inva­sion of the Sovi­et Union, and even more so, by the end of 1941, when it became clear that — unlike France, a year ear­li­er — this new Sovi­et adver­sary could not be con­quered in a “Blitzkrieg,” Berlin began forg­ing plans for win­ning over Sovi­et lin­guis­tic minori­ties (‘Volks­grup­pen’) to col­lab­o­rate with the Nazis in the war against Moscow. The atten­tion of strate­gists in the Ger­man For­eign Min­istry and in the Reich Min­istry for the Occu­pied East­ern Ter­ri­to­ries fell on the approx. 200,000 Crimean Tatars. The idea was encour­aged by the hope that, with the Tatar’s help, offi­cial­ly neu­tral Turkey could also be won over to enter the war. Ankara saw itself as the pro­tec­tive pow­er for Tur­kic-speak­ing minori­ties, includ­ing the Tatar lin­guis­tic group on the Crimean Penin­su­la. . . . The Bat­tle Group D began imme­di­ate­ly to recruit Crimean Tatar vol­un­teers for the war against the Sovi­et Union. In Decem­ber 1941, this bat­tle group had mas­sa­cred more than 13,000 peo­ple — 11,000 Jews and over 800 Roma — in Sim­fer­opol (Crimea). The bat­tle group recruit­ed 9,225 Tatar­i­an from 200 com­mu­ni­ties and five pris­on­er of war camps to join the war on the side of the Wehrma­cht. Anoth­er 1,632 formed ‘Tatar vig­i­lante com­pa­nies’ and, under Bat­tle Group D’s com­mand, were deployed in the noto­ri­ous anti-par­ti­san cam­paign. Accord­ing to infor­ma­tion pro­vid­ed by his­to­ri­an, Man­fred Old­en­burg, by March, the num­ber of Tatar recruits in this war of anni­hi­la­tion against the Sovi­et Union had grown to 20,000. . . . ”

As the war pro­gressed, the Crimean Tatars achieved sig­nif­i­cant­ly greater recog­ni­tion by the Nazis, a sit­u­a­tion that paved the way for the post­war use of the eth­nic­i­ty as anti-Sovi­et, and then anti-Russ­ian cadre.

” . . . . At the same time, Berlin brought Crimean Tatars into the Ger­man Reich to be on hand for rel­e­vant con­tacts and oth­er assis­tance. This led, at the ini­tia­tive of the Reich Min­istry of the Occu­pied East­ern Ter­ri­to­ries, to the cre­ation of a ‘Crimean Tatar Cen­tral Office.’ On March 17, 1945, with an order of Berlin, the ‘Crimean Tatar Nation­al Com­mit­tee’ was rec­og­nized by the Ost­min­is­teri­um [Min­istry of the Occu­pied East­ern Ter­ri­to­ries] as the inde­pen­dent rep­re­sen­ta­tive of its people.’[6] . . . . ”

After the con­clu­sion of World War II, the gam­bit of using eth­nic nation­al­i­ties with­in the for­mer Sovi­et Union as anti-Sovi­et/an­ti-Russ­ian forces was seam­less­ly incor­po­rat­ed into West­ern strat­e­gy. A key ele­ment in that strat­e­gy was the Mejlis, recent­ly banned by Rus­sia and now a polit­i­cal pro­pa­gan­da hot pota­to inter­na­tion­al­ly. Note, again, the seam­less incor­po­ra­tion of this Third Reich geo-polit­i­cal strat­e­gy into West­ern nation­al secu­ri­ty process.

” . . . The Mejlis, a Crimean Tatar orga­ni­za­tion — banned in Rus­sia but sup­port­ed by Berlin — has announced its plans to open offi­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tive offices in Brus­sels and Wash­ing­ton this autumn, empha­siz­ing par­tic­u­lar­ly the impor­tance of a seat in Brus­sels. The Mejlis, pre­sent­ed in the West as the only legit­i­mate rep­re­sen­ta­tive body of the Crimean Tatars, is actu­al­ly only rep­re­sent­ing the pro-west­ern ten­den­cy among them, while anoth­er ten­den­cy, with pro-Russ­ian lean­ings, has for years explic­it­ly reject­ed its pol­i­cy. This split among Crimean Tatars hails back to the final years of the Cold War, when the long-time west­ern ally — and sub­se­quent­ly Mejlis Chair­man — Mustafa Jemilev sup­port­ed rad­i­cal demands for auton­o­my, while pur­su­ing a tough anti-Russ­ian course. When, in the 1960s, Jemilev began his cam­paign for Crimean Tatar auton­o­my in the Sovi­et-Union, he was giv­en west­ern sup­port aimed at weak­en­ing the Sovi­et adver­sary from with­in. At the same time, Crimean Tatars, exiled in the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many, were pur­su­ing the same objec­tive — “Rus­si­a’s nation­al decom­po­si­tion” — as it was referred to at the time. A Crimean Tatar, who had served as a main liai­son to the Nazis, sub­se­quent­ly con­tin­u­ing his col­lab­o­ra­tionist activ­i­ties in the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many, assist­ed them and, began in the 1950s, to also work for CIA-financed orga­ni­za­tions in Munich. . . .”

Edi­ge Kir­i­mal– a key Third Reich functionary–embodied the con­ti­nu­ity of pol­i­cy from the Third Reich to the Fed­er­al Repub­lic with regard to the Crimean Tatars. Note, also that Ger­hard von Mende served as both the Third Reich and the Fed­er­al Repub­lic’s lead­ing expert on, and pro­po­nent of, the use of Soviet/Russian eth­nic groups as vehi­cles for dis­man­tling those coun­tries. (We dis­cussed von Mende at length in FTR #721.

“. . . . Edi­ge Kir­i­mal, who lived in the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many, was one of the most influ­en­tial exiled Crimean Tatars. Born in 1911, he grew up on the Crimea and fled in the 1930s to Istan­bul, where he con­tact­ed promi­nent Crimean Tatar exiled politi­cians. In late 1941, Kir­i­mal and anoth­er exiled Crimean Tatar were passed on to Berlin by the Ger­man ambas­sador to Turkey, Franz von Papen, to assist in plan­ning the col­lab­o­ra­tion on the Crimea.[3] Kir­i­mal remained in the Reich as the main liai­son between the Nazi-regime and Crimean Tatars, head­ed the ‘Krim­tatarische Leit­stelle’ (Crimean Tatar Cen­tral Office) and, just before the end of the war, was named ‘Pres­i­dent’ of a “Crimean Tatar Nation­al Com­mit­tee” by his — prob­a­bly — most impor­tant con­tact in Berlin, Ger­hard von Mende.[4] Von Mende worked in the Reich Min­istry for the Occu­pied East­ern Ter­ri­to­ry, first as head of the Caucasus/Turkestan divi­sion and begin­ning in 1943, as head of the ‘Führungs­gruppe III Fremde Völk­er’ (Direc­torate III For­eign Peo­ples). He was con­sid­ered the most impor­tant strate­gist for the polit­i­cal instru­men­tal­iza­tion of Sovi­et lin­guis­tic minori­ties. He pro­posed their recruit­ment as Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors to deploy them as aux­il­iary forces in the bat­tle against Moscow. After World War II, von Mende once again placed his knowl­edge and net­works at the dis­pos­al of the strug­gle against the Sovi­et Union — this time for the Bonn gov­ern­ment and its new west­ern allies.[5] . . . . The Naz­i’s liai­son, Kir­i­mal, is one of the peo­ple with whom Mende was still coop­er­at­ing. After the Sec­ond World War, Kir­i­mal sought to make a name for him­self as a pub­li­cist on themes con­cern­ing Crimean Tatars. Mende pro­mot­ed and wrote the pref­ace to his first major work enti­tled “The Nation­al Strug­gle of the Crimean Turks” that he pub­lished in 1952. . . .”

In FTR #731, we not­ed that von Mende also worked with Frank Wis­ner and the CIA under Wis­ner’s Office of Pol­i­cy Coor­di­na­tion:

“. . . The third man to sup­ply infor­ma­tion to Wis­ner was Pro­fes­sor Ger­hardt von Mende, a deputy in the Nazi Min­istry for the Occu­pied East­ern Ter­ri­to­ries, who had favored using Islam­ic col­lab­o­ra­tionist politi­cians to estab­lish a net­work of Nazi pup­pet gov­ern­ments as a wall against the Rus­sians. . . .”

Ger­many, NATO, Turkey and the U.S. con­tin­ue to use the Crimean Tatars as a polit­i­cal wedge against Rus­sia, tab­bing Refat Chubarov as a use­ful con­tact per­son:

” . . . . Despite its involve­ment in vio­lent activ­i­ties, Berlin is inten­si­fy­ing its coop­er­a­tion with the Crimean Tar­tars’ Mejlis. Just recent­ly, Mejlis Chair­man Refat Chubarov vis­it­ed Ger­many’s Min­istry of For­eign Affairs for polit­i­cal con­sul­ta­tions. The talks were obvi­ous­ly not ham­pered by the fact that last Sep­tem­ber, Chubarov had announced a block­ade of Ukrain­ian trade with Crimea and that in Octo­ber, he had explic­it­ly praised the block­ade’s grave con­se­quences on the Crimean pop­u­la­tion — the short­ages and sig­nif­i­cant price increas­es for sta­ple foods. The Ger­man for­eign min­istry does not feel com­pelled to dis­tance itself from the Mejlis, even after their activists blew up elec­tric pylons caus­ing exten­sive inter­rup­tions in the elec­tri­cal sup­ply to Crimea. Ger­man eth­ni­cist orga­ni­za­tions had estab­lished good rela­tions with Chubarov and his pre­de­ces­sor Mustafa Jemilev, already years ago, inten­si­fy­ing these since 2010 to for­ti­fy anti-Russ­ian cir­cles fol­low­ing Kiev’s change of gov­ern­ment. Even though quite con­tro­ver­sial among the Crimean Tatars, this coop­er­a­tion with the Mejlis milieu is close­ly coor­di­nat­ed with the USA, Turkey under Erdoğan and oth­er NATO mem­ber coun­tries. . . .”

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

  • Sup­port for the Crimean Tatars from Eri­ka Stein­bach, a Ger­man gov­ern­ment offi­cial who blamed World War II on Poland!
  • Review of the use of Chechen Islamists from Syria/ISIS as proxy war­riors against Rus­sia in Ukraine.
  • Review of the evo­lu­tion of Pravy Sek­tor from the UNA/UNSO and the rec­i­p­ro­cal com­bat engaged in by Chechens and Ukrain­ian fas­cists from the OUN/B milieu.

1. Sup­port­ed by Turkey, ele­ments of the Crimean Tatars have a long his­to­ry of col­lab­o­ra­tion with both Nazi Ger­many and post-war West­ern intel­li­gence, the CIA in par­tic­u­lar. (Key ele­ments of that dis­cus­sion are includ­ed in this descrip­tion.)

Fol­low­ing the Euro­vi­sion song con­test, the Crimean Tatars are once again in the inter­na­tion­al spot­light.

In this pro­gram we dis­cuss the his­to­ry of the Crimean Tatars, the col­lab­o­ra­tion of many of them with the Third Reich and West­ern intel­li­gence. It was this col­lab­o­ra­tion that spurred Stal­in, with char­ac­ter­is­tic grace, to deport the Crimea Tatars.

Worth not­ing is the use of Crimean Tatar for­ma­tions in the con­sum­mate­ly bru­tal anti-par­ti­san war­fare. Anti-par­ti­san oper­a­tions on the East­ern Front dur­ing Word War II were epi­cal­ly bru­tal.

As the war pro­gressed, the Crimean Tatars achieved sig­nif­i­cant­ly greater recog­ni­tion by the Nazis, a sit­u­a­tion that paved the way for the post­war use of the eth­nic­i­ty as anti-Sovi­et, and then anti-Russ­ian cadre.

“Aux­il­iary Troops Against Moscow (I); ” german-foreign-policy.com; 5/17/2016.

One of Berlin’s gov­ern­ment advi­sors is call­ing for Rus­si­a’s expul­sion from the Coun­cil of Europe. The Russ­ian gov­ern­men­t’s actions against the Crimean Tatars and its ban­ning their Mejlis — a polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tion — along with oth­er mea­sures, make it “no longer pos­si­ble to jus­ti­fy con­tin­u­ing Russ­ian mem­ber­ship in the Coun­cil of Europe,” accord­ing to a cur­rent posi­tion state­ment pub­lished by the Ger­man Insti­tute for Inter­na­tion­al and Secu­ri­ty Affairs (SWP). This demand is made at a time when the Crimean Tatars have been drawn into the spot­light through­out Europe by the open­ly politi­cized Euro­vi­sion Song Con­test (ESC). Where­as pub­lic per­cep­tion of Crimean Tatars has been pre­dom­i­nat­ed by their 1944 depor­ta­tion, their col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Nazis, which had pre­ced­ed their depor­ta­tion, has been obscured. As his­to­ri­ans have ascer­tained, in 1942, “every tenth Tatar on the Crimean Penin­su­la was in the mil­i­tary” — on the side of Nazi Ger­many. Crimean Tatars fought on the side of the Ger­man Wehrma­cht against the Sovi­et Union, excelling in the noto­ri­ous “efforts to crush the par­ti­san move­ment” and turned their Jew­ish neigh­bors over to the Nazis’ hench­men. Already in the 1920s, lead­ing Tatar func­tionar­ies had com­plained of a “Jew­ifi­ca­tion” of their com­mu­ni­ties, in their protests against Moscow’s reset­tle­ment mea­sures of Jew­ish fam­i­lies. Lat­er, exiled Crimean Tatars vol­un­teered their ser­vices for the West­’s cold war efforts to desta­bi­lize Moscow. The Mejlis, which today is quite con­tro­ver­sial among the Crimean Tatars, stands in this tra­di­tion.

“Destruc­tive Stance”

In a cur­rent posi­tion state­ment, Susan Stew­art, an expert on East­ern Europe at the chan­cellery-financed Ger­man Insti­tute for Inter­na­tion­al and Secu­ri­ty Affairs (SWP), makes a plea for expelling Rus­sia from the Coun­cil of Europe. Stew­art alleges “Russia’s destruc­tive stance in the Par­lia­men­tary Assem­bly” of the Coun­cil of Europe has been repeat­ed­ly demon­strat­ed — for exam­ple by forg­ing “coali­tions” with “groups like the British Con­ser­v­a­tives.” In addi­tion, first, the coun­try passed a law in Decem­ber 2015, per­mit­ting Rus­si­a’s Con­sti­tu­tion­al Court “to ignore rul­ings of the ECtHR if they con­tra­dict the Con­sti­tu­tion of the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion.” Sec­ond, it has applied mea­sures against the polit­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Crimean Tatars and in April “banned the elect­ed rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the Crimean Tatars, the Mejlis, as an extrem­ist orga­ni­za­tion.” Stew­art declared, “Giv­en this com­bi­na­tion, it is no longer pos­si­ble to jus­ti­fy con­tin­u­ing Russ­ian mem­ber­ship in the Coun­cil of Europe.”[1]

Obscured

This demand from the SWP is being made at a moment when the Crimean Tatars and their depor­ta­tion in 1944, have been drawn into the spot­light through­out Europe, by the open­ly politi­cized Euro­vi­sion Song Con­test (ESC). This is obscur­ing from pub­lic aware­ness the Crimean Tatar­i­an col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Nazis and the Nazi regime’s suc­cess­ful efforts to manip­u­late that minor­i­ty to serve Ger­man for­eign pol­i­cy objec­tives.

Ten Per­cent in the Mil­i­tary

Imme­di­ate­ly fol­low­ing the inva­sion of the Sovi­et Union, and even more so, by the end of 1941, when it became clear that — unlike France, a year ear­li­er — this new Sovi­et adver­sary could not be con­quered in a “Blitzkrieg,” Berlin began forg­ing plans for win­ning over Sovi­et lin­guis­tic minori­ties (“Volks­grup­pen”) to col­lab­o­rate with the Nazis in the war against Moscow. The atten­tion of strate­gists in the Ger­man For­eign Min­istry and in the Reich Min­istry for the Occu­pied East­ern Ter­ri­to­ries fell on the approx. 200,000 Crimean Tatars. The idea was encour­aged by the hope that, with the Tatar’s help, offi­cial­ly neu­tral Turkey could also be won over to enter the war. Ankara saw itself as the pro­tec­tive pow­er for Tur­kic-speak­ing minori­ties, includ­ing the Tatar lin­guis­tic group on the Crimean Penin­su­la. The for­eign min­istry estab­lished its first con­tacts to Turk­ish gen­er­als, favor­able to Tatar­i­an inter­ests. In Decem­ber 1941, they brought two exiled Crimean Tatar­i­an politi­cians liv­ing in Turkey to Berlin to plan the collaboration.[2] At first the Nazi lead­er­ship was hes­i­tant. The orig­i­nal plan had been to ban­ish the entire Crimean pop­u­la­tion — includ­ing the Tatars — to pre­pare the penin­su­la for the set­tle­ment of “Volks­deutschen” (eth­nic Ger­mans) from South Tyrol and annex the penin­su­la into the Ger­man Reich. How­ev­er, because the war was not pro­gress­ing as expect­ed, Adolf Hitler agreed Jan­u­ary 2, 1942 to the recruit­ment of Tatar­i­an sol­diers into the Wehrma­cht and Jan­u­ary 18, the cre­ation also of Tatar­i­an com­bat units.[3]

Anti-Par­ti­san Cam­paign

The Bat­tle Group D began imme­di­ate­ly to recruit Crimean Tatar vol­un­teers for the war against the Sovi­et Union. In Decem­ber 1941, this bat­tle group had mas­sa­cred more than 13,000 peo­ple — 11,000 Jews and over 800 Roma — in Sim­fer­opol (Crimea). The bat­tle group recruit­ed 9,225 Tatar­i­an from 200 com­mu­ni­ties and five pris­on­er of war camps to join the war on the side of the Wehrma­cht. Anoth­er 1,632 formed “Tatar vig­i­lante com­pa­nies” and, under Bat­tle Group D’s com­mand, were deployed in the noto­ri­ous anti-par­ti­san cam­paign. Accord­ing to infor­ma­tion pro­vid­ed by his­to­ri­an, Man­fred Old­en­burg, by March, the num­ber of Tatar recruits in this war of anni­hi­la­tion against the Sovi­et Union had grown to 20,000. Old­en­burg con­cludes, “that means that every tenth Tatar on the Crimean Penin­su­la was in the mil­i­tary” — fight­ing on the side of Nazi Germany.[4] There were, how­ev­er, also Crimean Tatars who “were not at all inter­est­ed in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Ger­mans,” and oth­ers, who, as loy­al Sovi­et cit­i­zens “were just as relent­less­ly per­se­cut­ed as the oth­er ene­my groups on the Crimea,” explains Old­en­burg. How­ev­er, “in spite of occa­sion­al evi­dence of pas­sive or anti-Ger­man behav­ior,” the Wehrma­cht con­sid­ered the Tatars, in their major­i­ty “as loy­al and anti-Bol­she­vist allies.” Par­tic­u­lar­ly their “coura­geous com­mit­ment ... in the anti-par­ti­san cam­paign” won them great respect.

Pref­er­en­tial Treat­ment

In return for their col­lab­o­ra­tion, the Nazi occu­piers per­mit­ted the Crimean Tatars spe­cial priv­i­leges. “Tatar­i­an ele­men­tary schools were opened, Tatar­i­an jour­nals and mag­a­zines were allowed and a nation­al Tatar­i­an the­ater was orga­nized,” Man­fred Old­en­burg reports. Around 50 mosques were reopened.[5] By the end of 1941, the Crimean Tatars were allowed to form their local coun­cils “to admin­is­ter their school, scholas­tic, reli­gious and cul­tur­al affairs.” In the hopes of a more com­pre­hen­sive self-admin­is­tra­tion, “a large num­ber of Tatars were pre­pared to col­lab­o­rate with the Ger­man occu­py­ing forces.” Also in late 1941, the Nazi occu­pa­tion troops began fir­ing eth­nic Rus­sians, “on a wide scale, from their posi­tions in admin­is­tra­tions and busi­ness­es,” replac­ing them “with col­lab­o­rat­ing Crimean Tatars,” writes Old­en­burg. Moti­vat­ed by this pref­er­en­tial treat­ment, the Tatars began “to devel­op a feel­ing of supe­ri­or­i­ty, par­tic­u­lar­ly regard­ing Rus­sians,” which quick­ly led to “rebel­lions with­in the Slav­ic pop­u­la­tion.” At the same time, Berlin brought Crimean Tatars into the Ger­man Reich to be on hand for rel­e­vant con­tacts and oth­er assis­tance. This led, at the ini­tia­tive of the Reich Min­istry of the Occu­pied East­ern Ter­ri­to­ries, to the cre­ation of a “Crimean Tatar Cen­tral Office.” On March 17, 1945, with an order of Berlin, the “Crimean Tatar Nation­al Com­mit­tee” was rec­og­nized by the Ost­min­is­teri­um [Min­istry of the Occu­pied East­ern Ter­ri­to­ries] as the inde­pen­dent rep­re­sen­ta­tive of its people.”[6]

“Jew­ish Bol­she­vism”

The Tatar’s col­lab­o­ra­tion was that much eas­i­er because of an obvi­ous­ly strong anti-Semi­tism. It has been report­ed that com­plaints had been made to Bat­tle Group D about the mea­sures tak­en by the Sovi­et gov­ern­ment back in the 1920s. In 1924, Moscow began reset­tling Jews from regions of Ukraine and Belarus to Crimea. Lead­ing func­tionar­ies of the Crimean Tatars protest­ed against, what they referred to as the “Jew­ifi­ca­tion” of the penin­su­la, call­ing instead for a reset­tle­ment of Tatars from Turkey and else­where to Crimea. “Anti­se­mit­ic feel­ings” were “also evi­dent espe­cial­ly among the Tatars” accord­ing to an inter­nal report by Sovi­et offi­cials, who then began to rigid­ly impose the reset­tle­ment mea­sures and sup­press anti-Semit­ic resistance.[7] Old­en­burg reports that, for the peri­od after late 1941, “many Tatars car­ried the same dis­dain for Jews as they had for the Bol­she­viks. They denounced Jews to the mil­i­tary admin­is­tra­tion, who had been able to escape ghet­toiza­tion mea­sures and sub­se­quent mass executions.[8] From 1942 — 1944, Crimean Tatar pro­pa­gan­da sheets report­ed benev­o­lent­ly on lec­tures with titles such as “The Jews are the Ene­my of all Peo­ples,” where it was alleged that Jews are “blood­thirsty sav­ages,” and that now a “total war” must be waged against “Jew­ish Bolshevism.”[9]

Scorched Earth

In the cam­paign to free the Crimean Penin­su­la from Nazi ter­ror, sup­port­ed by Crimean Tatars, more than 200,000 Sovi­et sol­diers and par­ti­sans, 20,500 pris­on­ers of war and 8,000 civil­ian pris­on­ers, 38,000 Jews as well as thou­sands of Roma were killed. When the occu­piers were final­ly forced to retreat, they left scorched earth behind — and the destruc­tion of 80 Crimean Tatar set­tle­ments, mur­der­ing a large seg­ment of the inhab­i­tants. This was how the occu­piers expressed their grat­i­tude for the Crimean Tatar’s collaboration.[10]

Ger­man efforts to manip­u­late the Crimean Tatars for Ger­man for­eign pol­i­cy objec­tives have not end­ed with Ger­many’s defeat in World War II. The Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many con­tin­ued these efforts under altered con­di­tions. german-foreign-policy.com will soon report.

[1] Susan Stew­art, “Coun­cil of Europe Can Do with­out Rus­sia.” www.swp-berlin.org 11.05.2016.
[2] Johannes Hürter: Nachricht­en aus dem “Zweit­en Krimkrieg” (1941/42). Wern­er Otto von Hentig als Vertreter des Auswär­ti­gen Amts bei der 11. Armee. In: Chris­t­ian Hart­mann, Johannes Hürter, Peter Lieb, Dieter Pohl: Der deutsche Krieg im Osten 1941–1944. Facetten ein­er Gren­züber­schre­itung. München 2009. S. 369–391. Hier: S. 382f.
[3] Man­fred Old­en­burg: Ide­olo­gie und mil­itärisches Kalkül. Die Besatzungspoli­tik der Wehrma­cht in der Sow­je­tu­nion 1942. Köln/Weimar/Wien 2004. S. 121.
[4] Ebd., S. 122, sowie: Mikhail Tyaglyy: Anti­se­mit­ic Doc­trine in the Tatar News­pa­per Azat Kir­im (1942–1944). In: Dapim — Stud­ies on the Holo­caust 25/1 (2011). S. 161–182.
[5] Man­fred Old­en­burg: Ide­olo­gie und mil­itärisches Kalkül. Die Besatzungspoli­tik der Wehrma­cht in der Sow­je­tu­nion 1942. Köln/Weimar/Wien 2004. S. 120.
[6] Halil Burak Sakal: Ger­many and Turkesta­nis dur­ing the course of the World War II (1941–1945). Ankara 2010.
[7] Mikhail Tyaglyy: Anti­se­mit­ic Doc­trine in the Tatar News­pa­per Azat Kir­im (1942–1944). In: Dapim — Stud­ies on the Holo­caust 25/1 (2011). S. 161–182. Hier: S. 172ff.
[8] Man­fred Old­en­burg: Ide­olo­gie und mil­itärisches Kalkül. Die Besatzungspoli­tik der Wehrma­cht in der Sow­je­tu­nion 1942. Köln/Weimar/Wien 2004. S. 121.
[9] Mikhail Tyaglyy: Anti­se­mit­ic Doc­trine in the Tatar News­pa­per Azat Kir­im (1942–1944). In: Dapim — Stud­ies on the Holo­caust 25/1 (2011). S. 161–182. Hier: S. 170.
[10] Erich Später: Der Dritte Weltkrieg (18). In: konkret 6/2014, S. 22f.

2a. After the con­clu­sion of World War II, the gam­bit of using eth­nic nation­al­i­ties with­in the for­mer Sovi­et Union as anti-Sovi­et/an­ti-Russ­ian forces was seam­less­ly incor­po­rat­ed into West­ern strat­e­gy. A key ele­ment in that strat­e­gy was the Mejlis, recent­ly banned by Rus­sia and now a polit­i­cal pro­pa­gan­da hot pota­to inter­na­tion­al­ly. Note, again, the seam­less incor­po­ra­tion of this Third Reich geo-polit­i­cal strat­e­gy into West­ern nation­al secu­ri­ty process.

Edi­ge Kir­i­mal– a key Third Reich functionary–embodied the con­ti­nu­ity of pol­i­cy from the Third Reich to the Fed­er­al Repub­lic with regard to the Crimean Tatars. Note, also that Ger­hard von Mende served as both the Third Reich and the Fed­er­al Repub­lic’s lead­ing expert on, and pro­po­nent of, the use of Soviet/Russian eth­nic groups as vehi­cles for dis­man­tling those coun­tries. (We dis­cussed von Mende at length in FTR #721.

“Aux­il­iary Forces against Moscow (II)” ger­man-for­eign-pol­i­cy; 05/18/2016. 

The Mejlis, a Crimean Tatar orga­ni­za­tion — banned in Rus­sia but sup­port­ed by Berlin — has announced its plans to open offi­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tive offices in Brus­sels and Wash­ing­ton this autumn, empha­siz­ing par­tic­u­lar­ly the impor­tance of a seat in Brus­sels. The Mejlis, pre­sent­ed in the West as the only legit­i­mate rep­re­sen­ta­tive body of the Crimean Tatars, is actu­al­ly only rep­re­sent­ing the pro-west­ern ten­den­cy among them, while anoth­er ten­den­cy, with pro-Russ­ian lean­ings, has for years explic­it­ly reject­ed its pol­i­cy. This split among Crimean Tatars hails back to the final years of the Cold War, when the long-time west­ern ally — and sub­se­quent­ly Mejlis Chair­man — Mustafa Jemilev sup­port­ed rad­i­cal demands for auton­o­my, while pur­su­ing a tough anti-Russ­ian course. When, in the 1960s, Jemilev began his cam­paign for Crimean Tatar auton­o­my in the Sovi­et-Union, he was giv­en west­ern sup­port aimed at weak­en­ing the Sovi­et adver­sary from with­in. At the same time, Crimean Tatars, exiled in the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many, were pur­su­ing the same objec­tive — “Rus­si­a’s nation­al decom­po­si­tion” — as it was referred to at the time. A Crimean Tatar, who had served as a main liai­son to the Nazis, sub­se­quent­ly con­tin­u­ing his col­lab­o­ra­tionist activ­i­ties in the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many, assist­ed them and, began in the 1950s, to also work for CIA-financed orga­ni­za­tions in Munich.

Hotbeds

The efforts of the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many, along with oth­er west­ern coun­tries, par­tic­u­lar­ly the Unit­ed States, to use the Crimean Tatars for their for­eign pol­i­cy goals dur­ing the Cold War were based on the con­di­tions result­ing from the Tatars’ 1941 to 1944 col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Nazi occu­piers. In Mai 1944, in reac­tion to this collaboration,[1] the Sovi­et gov­ern­ment deport­ed some 200,000 Crimean Tatars to Cen­tral Asian regions of the Sovi­et Union — par­tic­u­lar­ly, what is today Uzbek­istan — under deplorable con­di­tions. Numer­ous Tatars died dur­ing or short­ly after depor­ta­tion. There is no reli­able count of the num­ber of vic­tims. In the ear­ly 1960s, Crimean Tatar activists began demand­ing the right of return to Crimea, in com­bi­na­tion with the demand for polit­i­cal auton­o­my, which was of par­tic­u­lar inter­est to West­ern pow­ers. Aim­ing at weak­en­ing Moscow, west­ern pow­ers had already sup­port­ed Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists into the 1950s, fight­ing, with every means, for Ukraine’s seces­sion from the Sovi­et Union. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[2]) Fol­low­ing the Sovi­et admin­is­tra­tion’s sup­pres­sion of the Ukrain­ian unrest, the Crimean Tatars’ quest for auton­o­my offered the West a new chance to foment anoth­er hotbed of insta­bil­i­ty on the adver­sary’s soil.

Appeal­ing to the West

Mustafa Jemilev, today, still one of Ger­many’s most impor­tant Crimean Tatar con­tacts for its for­eign pol­i­cy, played a promi­nent role in this con­text. Already in 1961/62 he was at the fore­front in the strug­gle for auton­o­my, when, at the age of 18, he co-found­ed the “Union of Crimean Tatar Youth.” He inten­si­fied this strug­gle after Moscow, in 1967, exon­er­at­ed the Tatar minor­i­ty from the accu­sa­tion of col­lec­tive Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tion. In the 1970s, he became pub­licly known in the West as a com­rade in arms of Andrei Sakharov, the Sovi­et dis­si­dent and Nobel Peace Prize lau­re­ate (1975). At the time, Jemilev’s hunger strike and oth­er protests of Crimean Tatars were report­ed on in the West. Jemilev was arrest­ed in 1974 for hav­ing planned to present US Pres­i­dent Richard Nixon a peti­tion on the sit­u­a­tion of the Crimean Tatars, dur­ing his forth­com­ing Moscow vis­it. It had been planned as a pub­lic­i­ty stunt and an appeal to put pres­sure on the Sovi­et gov­ern­ment. In 1986, after numer­ous arrests, he was grant­ed an ear­ly release due to US Pres­i­dent Ronald Rea­gan’s inter­ven­tion on his behalf. Peo­ple like Jemilev played an impor­tant role in west­ern efforts to foment unrest in the Sovi­et Union. On the oth­er hand, the West could use them on the inter­na­tion­al stage to accuse Moscow of repres­sion, when it react­ed with the antic­i­pat­ed police and secret ser­vice mea­sures.

Liai­son for the Nazi-Reich

West­ern gov­ern­ments have always tried to instru­men­tal­ize exiled Crimean Tatars for their own poli­cies — for inter­fer­ing in Sovi­et affairs or at least for their pro­pa­gan­da. Edi­ge Kir­i­mal, who lived in the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many, was one of the most influ­en­tial exiled Crimean Tatars. Born in 1911, he grew up on the Crimea and fled in the 1930s to Istan­bul, where he con­tact­ed promi­nent Crimean Tatar exiled politi­cians. In late 1941, Kir­i­mal and anoth­er exiled Crimean Tatar were passed on to Berlin by the Ger­man ambas­sador to Turkey, Franz von Papen, to assist in plan­ning the col­lab­o­ra­tion on the Crimea.[3] Kir­i­mal remained in the Reich as the main liai­son between the Nazi-regime and Crimean Tatars, head­ed the “Krim­tatarische Leit­stelle” (Crimean Tatar Cen­tral Office) and, just before the end of the war, was named “Pres­i­dent” of a “Crimean Tatar Nation­al Com­mit­tee” by his — prob­a­bly — most impor­tant con­tact in Berlin, Ger­hard von Mende.[4] Von Mende worked in the Reich Min­istry for the Occu­pied East­ern Ter­ri­to­ry, first as head of the Caucasus/Turkestan divi­sion and begin­ning in 1943, as head of the “Führungs­gruppe III Fremde Völk­er” (Direc­torate III For­eign Peo­ples). He was con­sid­ered the most impor­tant strate­gist for the polit­i­cal instru­men­tal­iza­tion of Sovi­et lin­guis­tic minori­ties. He pro­posed their recruit­ment as Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors to deploy them as aux­il­iary forces in the bat­tle against Moscow. After World War II, von Mende once again placed his knowl­edge and net­works at the dis­pos­al of the strug­gle against the Sovi­et Union — this time for the Bonn gov­ern­ment and its new west­ern allies.[5]

Nation­al Decom­po­si­tion

The Naz­i’s liai­son, Kir­i­mal, is one of the peo­ple with whom Mende was still coop­er­at­ing. After the Sec­ond World War, Kir­i­mal sought to make a name for him­self as a pub­li­cist on themes con­cern­ing Crimean Tatars. Mende pro­mot­ed and wrote the pref­ace to his first major work enti­tled “The Nation­al Strug­gle of the Crimean Turks” that he pub­lished in 1952. In late 1952, “Der Spiegel,” reflect­ed in a pub­lic­i­ty review of the work, “in his book,” Kir­i­mal, touch­es on “the ‘time­less’ dilem­ma of every adver­sary of Rus­sia: how can this col­los­sus be brought down? (...) Should ‘Moscow’s cen­tral­ism’ be accept­ed or rather the cen­trifu­gal nation­al­ist forces with­in the Russ­ian realm be pro­mot­ed?” Kir­i­mal obvi­ous­ly tend­ed to favor the sec­ond approach, as did Mende. “Kir­i­mal’s book was pref­aced by Prof. Ger­hard von Mende, the advi­sor of Alfred Rosen­berg, Reich Min­is­ter for the Occu­pied East­ern Ter­ri­to­ries,” “Der Spiegel” con­tin­ued. “Von Mende was (and evi­dent­ly remained) a sup­port­er of ‘Rus­si­a’s nation­al decom­po­si­tion,’ which means the dis­mem­ber­ment of this huge empire into as many nation­al mini-states as possible.”[6] Mendes’ pro­tégé, Kir­i­mal, had been work­ing in line with this strat­e­gy, since the 1950s for the Munich-based, CIA-financed “Radio Free Europe,” along­side var­i­ous oth­er activists from Mendes’ “eth­nic minori­ties” net­works. Lat­er he worked for the Munich-based — also CIA-financed — “Insti­tute for USSR Studies,”[7] where he pub­lished the jour­nal “Der­gi.” Munich’s anti-com­mu­nist exile cir­cles, in which Kir­i­mal was cir­cu­lat­ing, includ­ed Ukrain­ian fas­cists [8] — a milieu with which Crimean Tatars in the Jemilev entourage were recent­ly coop­er­at­ing to block­ade the Crimean Penin­su­la. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[9])

The Split among Crimean Tatars

Where­as Kir­i­mal, who died in 1980, had not lived to see the demise of the Sovi­et Union, Jemilev could ben­e­fit from the lift­ing of the offi­cial ter­ri­to­r­i­al ban, in 1989, bar­ring the return of the Crimean Tatars, and he reset­tled on the penin­su­la. Since then, there a split devel­oped among the Tatars of Crimea, which, still today, is hav­ing grave polit­i­cal con­se­quences. In 1988, Yuri Osman­ov, one of the most famous Crimean Tatar lead­ers, besides Jemilev, found­ed the “Nation­al Crimean Tatar Move­ment” (NDKT). Where­as, Osman­ov and the NDKT were sat­is­fied with the right to return to Crimea, favor­ing a thriv­ing coop­er­a­tion with the oth­er eth­nic groups and with the author­i­ties, the Crimean Tatar Nation­al Move­ment (OKND), the more rad­i­cal Orga­ni­za­tion under Mustafa Jemilev’s lead­er­ship, split off in 1989.[10] Jemilev and the OKND explic­it­ly demand­ed eth­ni­cal­ly defined priv­i­leges — a Crimean Tatar “auton­o­my” — and to add empha­sis to their demand — con­vened in 1991 a “Kurul­tay,” a Crimean Tatar Nation­al Assem­bly that would elect the “Mejlis,” to serve as the Crimean Tatars’ exec­u­tive rul­ing body. Osman­ov and the NDKT sought good rela­tions also with Rus­sia — not least of all, because of the tra­di­tion­al­ly strong Russ­ian influ­ence on Crimea — while Jemilev and his OKND were on a pro-west­ern course in oppo­si­tion to Moscow. In 1991, Jemilev was elect­ed chair of the Mejlis, Osman­ow was killed 1n 1993, by unknown assas­sins.

No Longer a Major­i­ty

At the begin­ning of the 1990s, the Mejlis was much more pop­u­lar than the NDKT among Crimea’s Tatars, but times have changed. The “Ukraine Analy­sen,” a pub­li­ca­tion of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Bre­men, not­ed that by late 2010, Mejlis “sup­port was dwin­dling” among Crimean Tatars, and “new actors,” who no longer agree with the Mejlis’ “lead­er­ship role” have “appeared on the polit­i­cal stage.” The fact that the orga­ni­za­tion has “lost its monop­o­liz­ing posi­tion” and “no longer ral­lies the sup­port of the major­i­ty of Crimean Tatars” is “gen­er­al­ly ignored in the West.”[11] “Ukraine Analy­sen” makes ref­er­ence to the Mil­li Firqa Par­ty, found­ed in 2006 under the aus­pices of the NDKT, which “from the begin­ning ... took a pro-Russ­ian stand” — con­trary to Mejlis, which accepts sup­port from Turkey and pro­mot­ed the forces behind the Orange Rev­o­lu­tion. Over the years, this polar­iza­tion among Crimea’s Tatars has been grow­ing stronger. In May 2013 — even before the Maid­an protests began — the Jamestown Foun­da­tion in the USA report­ed on esca­lat­ing ten­sions between the two factions.[12]

Elec­tric Pylons Blown up

These ten­sions esca­lat­ed with the Maid­an protests and Crimea’s sub­se­quent seces­sion. Mil­li Firqa opposed the Maid­an protests, cam­paigned for par­tic­i­pa­tion in the seces­sion ref­er­en­dum and for the penin­su­la’s incor­po­ra­tion into Rus­sia. The Mejlis sup­port­ed Maid­an and called for a boy­cott of the ref­er­en­dum. Jemilev even called on NATO to con­sid­er inter­ven­ing on the Crimean Peninsula.[13] Jemilev and the Mejlis are still fight­ing for the resti­tu­tion of Crimea to Ukraine. They are not adverse to the use of vio­lence to reach their objec­tives. Last fall, their activists — with the sup­port of Ukrain­ian fas­cists — block­ad­ed Crimea, set­ting up road­blocks to stop com­modi­ties from reach­ing the penin­su­la and cut­ting off the elec­tri­cal sup­ply, by blow­ing up elec­tric pylons. This caused seri­ous dam­age to the Crimean pop­u­la­tion. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[14]) Russ­ian author­i­ties ruled that the Mejlis is a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion (April 18, 2016) and there­fore, out­lawed it (April 26). The orga­ni­za­tion, on the oth­er hand, has announced its inten­tion of set­ting up rep­re­sen­ta­tive offices in Wash­ing­ton, but “par­tic­u­lar­ly” in Brus­sels [15] — which is a clear indi­ca­tion of its inten­tion to serve the West even more as an aux­il­iary force against Rus­sia. german-foreign-policy.com will report fur­ther soon.

For more on this theme: Aux­il­iary Forces Against Moscow (I).
[1] See Aux­il­iary Forces Against Moscow (I).
[2] See Zwis­chen Moskau und Berlin (V).
[3] Johannes Hürter: Nachricht­en aus dem “Zweit­en Krimkrieg” (1941/42). Wern­er Otto von Hentig als Vertreter des Auswär­ti­gen Amts bei der 11. Armee. In: Chris­t­ian Hart­mann, Johannes Hürter, Peter Lieb, Dieter Pohl: Der deutsche Krieg im Osten 1941–1944. Facetten ein­er Gren­züber­schre­itung. München 2009. S. 369–391. Hier: S. 382f. See Aux­il­iary Forces Against Moscow (I).
[4] Ian John­son: A Mosque in Munich. New York 2010. S. 274f.
[5] See Heimat­di­enst.
[6] Edi­ge Kir­i­mal: Der nationale Kampf der Krim-Türken. Der Spiegel, 10.12.1952.
[7] Gudrun Hent­ges: Staat und poli­tis­che Bil­dung. Von der “Zen­trale für Heimat­di­enst” zur “Bun­deszen­trale für poli­tis­che Bil­dung”. Wies­baden 2013.
[8] See Alte, neue Ver­bün­dete and Ein Sam­melpunkt der OUN.
[9] See The Siege of Crimea (I).
[10] Max­i­m­il­ian von Plat­en: Die Rück­kehr der Krim­tataren in ihre his­torische Heimat. Bun­desin­sti­tut für ost­wissenschaftliche und inter­na­tionale Stu­di­en: Aktuelle Analy­sen Nr. 33/1997.
[11] Yuliya Bor­shchevs­ka: Neue poli­tis­che Zer­split­terung auf der “Insel der Krim­tataren”. Radikalisierung des poli­tis­chen Pro­gramms? In: Ukraine-Analy­sen Nr. 84, 14.12.2010. S. 2–5.
[12] Idil P. Izmir­li: Grow­ing Sense of Polar­iza­tion and Esca­lat­ing Ten­sions in Crimea Ahead of 69th Anniver­sary of Crimean Tatar Depor­ta­tion. www.jamestown.org 17.05.2013.
[13] Dario Thuburn:NATO should inter­vene in Crimea “before mas­sacre’: Tatar leader. uk.news.yahoo.com 13.03.2014.
[14] See The Siege of Crimea (I).
[15] Mejlis rep­re­sen­ta­tions may open in Brus­sels, Wash­ing­ton in autumn. www.unian.info 22.04.2016.

2b. In FTR #721, we exam­ined the devel­op­ment of West­ern intel­li­gence uti­liza­tion of Islamists and the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in par­tic­u­lar. Much of the pro­gram cen­tered on Ger­hardt von Mende, a Third Reich intel­li­gence oper­a­tive who used his Third Reich Islamists on behalf of the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many.

In A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, the CIA and the Rise of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in the West, Ian John­son writes about von Mende, main­tain­ing that he had numer­ous offers from U.S. intel­l­li­gence.

In Amer­i­ca’s Nazi Secret, John  Lof­tus informs us that von Mende did indeed go to work for U.S. intel­li­gence, report­ing direct­ly to CIA offi­cial Frank Wis­ner. (FTR #731 fea­tures an inter­view with Lof­tus about the book.)

Amer­i­ca’s Nazi Secret by John Lof­tus; Trine­Day [SC]; p. 81.

. . . The third man to sup­ply infor­ma­tion to Wis­ner was Pro­fes­sor Ger­hardt von Mende, a deputy in the Nazi Min­istry for the Occu­pied East­ern Ter­ri­to­ries,  who had favored using Islam­ic col­lab­o­ra­tionist politi­cians to estab­lish a net­work of Nazi pup­pet gov­ern­ments as a wall against the Rus­sians. . . .

3. Ger­many, NATO, Turkey and the U.S. con­tin­ue to use the Crimean Tatars as a polit­i­cal wedge against Rus­sia, tab­bing Refat Chubarov as a use­ful con­tact per­son.

Note that one of the Ger­man offi­cials lend­ing sup­port to the Majlis and Mustafa Jemilev was Eri­ka Stein­bach, the Pres­i­dent of the Ger­man League of Expellees (BdV) and some­one who blamed World War II on–take a deep breath–Poland.

Stein­bach con­tin­ues to sup­port the Crimean Tatars: ” . . . . Already on April 10, 2014, Eri­ka Stein­bach, chair of the Human Rights Work­ing Group of the CDU/CSU par­lia­men­tary group, met in Berlin for talks with Mejlis’ Head of Exter­nal Rela­tions, Ali Khamzin. . . .”

“Aux­il­iary Forces Against Moscow (III);” german-foreign-policy.com; 5/20/2016.

Despite its involve­ment in vio­lent activ­i­ties, Berlin is inten­si­fy­ing its coop­er­a­tion with the Crimean Tar­tars’ Mejlis. Just recent­ly, Mejlis Chair­man Refat Chubarov vis­it­ed Ger­many’s Min­istry of For­eign Affairs for polit­i­cal con­sul­ta­tions. The talks were obvi­ous­ly not ham­pered by the fact that last Sep­tem­ber, Chubarov had announced a block­ade of Ukrain­ian trade with Crimea and that in Octo­ber, he had explic­it­ly praised the block­ade’s grave con­se­quences on the Crimean pop­u­la­tion — the short­ages and sig­nif­i­cant price increas­es for sta­ple foods. The Ger­man for­eign min­istry does not feel com­pelled to dis­tance itself from the Mejlis, even after their activists blew up elec­tric pylons caus­ing exten­sive inter­rup­tions in the elec­tri­cal sup­ply to Crimea. Ger­man eth­ni­cist orga­ni­za­tions had estab­lished good rela­tions with Chubarov and his pre­de­ces­sor Mustafa Jemilev, already years ago, inten­si­fy­ing these since 2010 to for­ti­fy anti-Russ­ian cir­cles fol­low­ing Kiev’s change of gov­ern­ment. Even though quite con­tro­ver­sial among the Crimean Tatars, this coop­er­a­tion with the Mejlis milieu is close­ly coor­di­nat­ed with the USA, Turkey under Erdoğan and oth­er NATO mem­ber coun­tries. The con­cur­ren­cy of the coop­er­a­tion with the Crimean Tatars and their occa­sion­al vio­lent protests is rem­i­nis­cent of devel­op­ments in Ukraine in the spring of 2013.

Nobel Peace Prize Nom­i­na­tion

The offi­cial Ger­man rela­tions with the Crimean Tatars’ Mejlis can build on a basis that had been already estab­lished over the years with eth­ni­cist orga­ni­za­tions. For exam­ple the Soci­ety for Threat­ened Peo­ples (GfbV), which is pro­mot­ing spe­cial rights of eth­ni­cal­ly defined minori­ties around the world, has long been in con­tact with Mejlis. In 2005, it award­ed Mustafa Jemilev, Mejlis’ Chair­man, at the time, the “Vic­tor Gol­lancz Prize.” Eri­ka Stein­bach (CDU), at the time, Pres­i­dent of the Ger­man League of Expellees (BdV) held the lau­da­tion. The GfbV is not only engaged in pub­lic rela­tions for the Crimean Tatars, it also helps Mejlis with con­tacts to the Ger­man Min­istry of For­eign Affairs. In the sum­mer of 2009, GfbV par­tic­i­pat­ed in talks between a del­e­ga­tion of Tatars liv­ing in Ger­many and the for­eign min­istry. Sub­se­quent­ly, the rel­e­vant bod­ies in the for­eign min­istry promised to pro­vide “advice in the search for Ger­man polit­i­cal and diplo­mat­ic partners.”[1] The Fed­er­al Union of Euro­pean Nation­al­i­ties (FUEV), head­quar­tered in Flens­burg and is in coop­er­a­tion with Ger­many’s Min­istry of the Inte­ri­or. Its mem­bers include eth­ni­cist orga­ni­za­tions from around Europe, in the Cau­ca­sus and Cen­tral Asia.[2] and has accept­ed the Mejlis as a mem­ber and pro­motes its inter­ests. In 2011, it sup­port­ed Mustafa Jemilev’s nom­i­na­tion for the Nobel Peace Prize. Jemilev was Mejlis’ Chair at the time. He had repeat­ed­ly par­tic­i­pat­ed in FUEV’s con­gress­es.

In the Strat­e­gy Plan­ning Cen­ter

After pro-west­ern Ukrain­ian Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yushchenko lost elec­tions in 2010, attempts were made to enhance Ger­man-Crimean Tatar con­tacts also at state lev­el. This was part of the efforts to rein­force, on all lev­els, those pro­mot­ing Ukraine’s asso­ci­a­tion with the EU. This was when the CDU-affil­i­at­ed Kon­rad Ade­nauer Foun­da­tion began sup­port­ing the UDAR Par­ty of the future leader of the Maj­dan protests [3] Vitaly Klitschko, and when Berlin and Brus­sels were push­ing for Ukraine to sign the EU Asso­ci­a­tion Agree­ment. On June 28/29, 2011, the first “Ger­man-Crimean Tatar Dia­logue” was con­vened in Berlin, co-orga­nized by the GfbV. Accord­ing to a report, the coop­er­a­tion must ulti­mate­ly “dis­cuss the Crimean Tatar issue as part (…) of the rap­proche­ment with EU structures.”[4] Dur­ing the “Dia­logue”, Mejlis Chair, at the time, Jemilev, his suc­ces­sor (since 2013) Refat Chubarov, and Mejlis’ Head of Exter­nal Rela­tions, Ali Khamzin, held infor­mal talks with Ger­man Bun­destag par­lia­men­tar­i­ans and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Ger­man for­eign and inte­ri­or min­istries. With­in the frame­work of the third “Ger­man-Crimean Tatar Dia­logue” on Sep­tem­ber 19, 2013, with Crimean Tatar politi­cians also in atten­dance, the Fed­er­al Col­lege for Secu­ri­ty Stud­ies in Berlin (BAKS) placed its rooms at their dis­pos­al for dis­cus­sions of Crimean Tatar issues. BAKS serves as a strat­e­gy plan­ning cen­ter for for­eign and mil­i­tary policy.[5]

Exclu­sive Talks

Since Crimea’s rein­te­gra­tion into Rus­sia, Ger­man Crimean Tatar rela­tions have rapid­ly inten­si­fied at the offi­cial lev­el. How­ev­er, Ger­man politi­cians and offi­cials are only in con­tact with Mejlis and its sym­pa­thiz­ers. Crimean Tatar forces reject­ing Mejlis’ pro-west­ern and anti-Russ­ian pol­i­cy (german-foreign-policy.com report­ed [6]), are being large­ly ignored by Berlin, Brus­sels and Wash­ing­ton. Already on April 10, 2014, Eri­ka Stein­bach, chair of the Human Rights Work­ing Group of the CDU/CSU par­lia­men­tary group, met in Berlin for talks with Mejlis’ Head of Exter­nal Rela­tions, Ali Khamzin. Ear­ly July 2014, CSU par­lia­men­tar­i­an Bernd Fab­ri­tius, who lat­er suc­ceed­ed Stein­bach as BdV Pres­i­dent [7], met with for­mer Mejlis chair Jemilev in Stras­bourg. Dur­ing a brief vis­it to Ukraine on July 23/24, 2014, a del­e­ga­tion of the Euro­pean Peo­ple’s Par­ty (EPP), in which the Ger­man CDU and CSU hold strong posi­tions, met with Crimean Tatar rep­re­sen­ta­tives. For March 17, 2015, the Kon­rad Ade­nauer Foun­da­tion in Brus­sels had announced an exclu­sive “Ade­nauer Forum” with for­mer Mejlis Chair Jemilev — “par­tic­i­pa­tion by per­son­al invi­ta­tion only.” On Octo­ber 21, 2015, the Berlin head­quar­ters of the Kon­rad Ade­nauer Foun­da­tion orga­nized a pan­el dis­cus­sion with Mejlis chair Chubarov with var­i­ous rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Berlin’s for­eign pol­i­cy estab­lish­ment par­tic­i­pat­ing.

Anti-Russ­ian Inter­ests

Simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, the Crimean Tatars have strength­ened their rela­tions with oth­er EU and NATO coun­tries. In April 2014, imme­di­ate­ly fol­low­ing Crimea’s rein­te­gra­tion into Rus­sia, for­mer Mejlis Chair, Jemilev, flew to Wash­ing­ton for polit­i­cal con­sul­ta­tions, where he also met on April 4 with Wendy Sher­man, Under­sec­re­tary of State for Polit­i­cal Affairs in the State Department.[8] In late Sep­tem­ber 2015, Mejlis Chair, Chubarov, also flew to the US cap­i­tal for polit­i­cal con­sul­ta­tions. In Decem­ber 2015, Jemilev and Chubarov met in Ankara with Pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Min­is­ter Ahmet Davu­toğlu. This meet­ing was of par­tic­u­lar impor­tance, because Turkey sees itself as the “pro­tec­tive pow­er” for the Turk­ish-speak­ing Crimean Tatars, and has a strong inter­est in assem­bling anti-Russ­ian allies due to the esca­la­tion of its con­flict with Rus­sia. Jemilev has not only sev­er­al hon­orary doc­tor­ates in Turkey, he was award­ed Turkey’s high­est order of mer­it on April 15, 2014. June 3, 2014, he was award­ed the first “Lech Wale­sa Sol­i­dar­i­ty Prize” in Poland, as well.

Vio­lence: No Prob­lem

The fact that its activists occa­sion­al­ly use vio­lence, is no obsta­cle to the expan­sion of their anti-Moscow coop­er­a­tion with the Crimean Tatar Mejlis. On Sep­tem­ber 16, 2015, Mejlis Chair Chubarov announced that, begin­ning Sep­tem­ber 20, Crimean Tatars would block Crimea’s com­mod­i­ty trade with Ukraine. The block­ade was actu­al­ly installed — hav­ing a seri­ous impact on the entire Crimean pop­u­la­tion. Octo­ber 8, Chubarov praised that ille­gal mea­sure, because it caused seri­ous short­ages and price increas­es for basic foods in Crimea — and has returned the issue of Crimea to the cen­ter of atten­tion of the inter­na­tion­al community.[9] Just four days lat­er, at the “Kiev Talks,” orga­nized by the Kon­rad Ade­nauer Foun­da­tion, the FDP-affil­i­at­ed Friedrich Nau­mann Foun­da­tion and the Green Par­ty-affil­i­at­ed Hein­rich Böll Foun­da­tion — “with the gra­cious sup­port of the For­eign Min­istry” — Chubarov engaged in talks with Rebec­ca Harms, Whip of the Euro­pean Par­lia­men­t’s Green Cau­cus, Johannes Regen­brecht, head of the Ger­man For­eign Min­istry’s “Ukraine Task Force” and with Michael Link, (also a Ger­man) Direc­tor of the OSCE’s Office for Demo­c­ra­t­ic Insti­tu­tions and Human Rights (ODIHR). The block­ade, erect­ed by the Tatars and Ukrain­ian “Right Sec­tor” fas­cists, against the Crimean civil­ian pop­u­la­tion was con­tin­ued. Just a few days after Chubarov and Jemilev had held talks on the “de-occu­pa­tion of Crimea” with Fed­er­i­ca Mogheri­ni, the EU’s head of for­eign pol­i­cy, on Novem­ber 9, activists blew up elec­tri­cal pylons in South­ern Ukraine, cut­ting off Crimea’s elec­tri­cal pow­er sup­ply almost com­plete­ly.

Like Kiev 2013

The con­cur­rence of vio­lent protests on the one hand, and nego­ti­a­tions with Ger­man and EU politi­cians on the oth­er, is dread­ful­ly rem­i­nis­cent of ear­li­er Ukrain­ian devel­op­ments. From Decem­ber 2012 to May 2013 — a year before the Maid­an revolts — Par­lia­men­tary and street protests were accom­pa­nied by talks between Ger­man and EU diplo­mats and mem­bers of the oppo­si­tion. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[10]) What hap­pened in the Ukraine there­after is well known.

An Ini­tial Echo

Berlin is inten­si­fy­ing its con­tacts. As the Ukrain­ian embassy in the Ger­man capi­tol announced at the end of April, Chubarov had just par­tic­i­pat­ed in a forum of dis­cus­sion at the Ger­man Coun­cil on For­eign Rela­tions (DGAP), hav­ing exchanged views par­tic­u­lar­ly with politi­cians and diplo­mats in the Min­istry of For­eign Affairs.[11] Fol­low­ing that event, Bär­bel Kofler, the Ger­man gov­ern­men­t’s Com­mis­sion­er for Human Rights, issued an appeal in the media on behalf of the Crimean Tatars. Accord­ing to the Ukrain­ian embassy, this was the first direct “echo” of the talks Chubarov had had with Ger­man diplo­mats. What else was dis­cussed remains unknown.

For more on this theme: Aux­il­iary Forces Against Moscow (I) and Aux­il­iary Forces against Moscow (II).

[1] Ver­ständ­nis und Unter­stützung. Vertreter tatarisch­er Vere­ine waren ein­ge­laden ins Auswär­tige Amt. www.gfbv.de 17.09.2009.
[2] See Hin­ter­grund­bericht: Die Föder­al­is­tis­che Union Europäis­ch­er Volks­grup­pen.
[3] See Our Man in Kiev.
[4] Mieste Hotopp-Riecke: Der lange Schat­ten Stal­ins über den Stiefkindern Eurasiens. www.eurasischesmagazin.de.
[5] See Alle für Deutsch­land.
[6] See Aux­il­iary Forces against Moscow (II).
[7] See Kurs auf Osteu­ropa.
[8] See The Siege of Crimea (II).
[9] Crimean block­ade get­ting Moscow’s atten­tion. euromaidanpress.com 08.10.2015.
[10] See Ter­min beim Botschafter.
[11] Par­la­mentsab­ge­ord­neter Chubarov spricht in Berlin über die Men­schen­recht­slage auf der Krim. germany.mfa.gov.ua 29.04.2016.

4a. The Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment appears to have tac­it­ly sup­port­ed the sab­o­tage of the Crimean pow­er grid.

“Ukraine Leaves Sab­o­taged Pow­er Lines to Russ­ian-Annexed Crimea in the Mud” by Pavel Poli­tyuk [Reuters]; Yahoo News; 11/27/2015.

Five days after sabo­teurs blew up pow­er lines in south­ern Ukraine plung­ing Russ­ian-annexed Crimea into an ener­gy cri­sis, all four dam­aged pylons are out of action and engi­neers say they need a polit­i­cal deci­sion to restore sup­plies.

The stale­mate has left some 2 mil­lion Crimeans reliant upon emer­gency gen­er­a­tors and has caused severe dis­rup­tion, expos­ing how depen­dent Crimea remains on Ukraine a year and a half after it broke away to join Rus­sia.

Some lim­it­ed repair work has tak­en place, say Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment and ener­gy offi­cials, who have spo­ken of how the prob­lem could — tech­ni­cal­ly — be fixed rel­a­tive­ly swift­ly.

But on Fri­day the dam­aged pylons lay flat in thick mud as the wind whipped across the flat fea­ture­less land­scape.

“If our high-lev­el lead­er­ship takes a polit­i­cal deci­sion to restore pow­er or not to do so — and there is no such deci­sion — we will do every­thing real­ly quick­ly,” said Ihor Bosko, a region­al ener­gy offi­cial. “We are sit­ting and wait­ing.”

So far, eth­nic Tatar activists and Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists have blocked repair teams. The author­i­ties have let the activists remain in place and pro­test­ers say they won’t budge until Rus­sia meets a series of polit­i­cal demands.

Tatars, a Mus­lim peo­ple with a long his­to­ry of habi­ta­tion in Crimea, accuse the penin­su­la’s new Krem­lin-backed author­i­ties of oppress­ing them, alle­ga­tions offi­cials deny.

A Reuters reporter saw three Ukrain­ian tanks and two armored per­son­nel car­ri­ers head­ed to the bor­der with Crimea on Fri­day after­noon, but it was unclear what their pur­pose was.

Rus­sia, which has accused Ukraine of “tor­tur­ing” Crimeans with the pow­er cuts, has respond­ed by cut­ting coal deliv­er­ies to Ukraine.

A Ukrain­ian law­mak­er close to the cir­cle of Prime Min­is­ter Arseniy Yat­se­niuk on Tues­day said the Crimean black­out had been orches­trat­ed with the tac­it con­sent of Kiev.

It was, he said, meant as a polit­i­cal sig­nal to Moscow. . . .

4b. Pravy Sek­tor appears to be work­ing with the Crimean Tatars in their ter­ror­ist activ­i­ties against Crimea.

 “As Sab­o­tage Blacks Out Crimea, Tatars Pre­vent Repairs” by Ivan Nechu­perenko and Neil Mac­Far­quhar; The New York Times; 11/23/2015.

Crimean Tatar activists and Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists on Mon­day pre­vent­ed repair crews from restor­ing the main pow­er lines in south­ern Ukraine that sup­ply Crimea, leav­ing the dis­put­ed penin­su­la in the dark and Ukraine and Rus­sia head­ed toward a stand­off over the issue. . . . .

. . . . The lead­er­ship of both the Crimean Tatars, forced into exile by Rus­sia, and a right-wing nation­al­ist group, Right Sec­tor, endorsed the destruc­tion with­out claim­ing respon­si­bil­i­ty. . . .

4c. More about the Pravy Sektor/Crimean Tatar coop­er­a­tion against Crimea:

“The Siege of Crimea (I);” german-foreign-policy.com; 11/26/2015.

Berlin is watch­ing with appre­hen­sion as the con­flict between Kiev and Moscow esca­lates again fol­low­ing Ukraine’s shut­ting down elec­tri­cal pow­er to Crimea. Last week, Crimean Tatars and mem­bers of the fas­cist Right Sec­tor are sus­pect­ed to have blown up sev­er­al elec­tric pylons, cut­ting off the sup­ply of pow­er to Crimea. Crimea receives near­ly 80 per­cent of its elec­tric­i­ty from Ukraine. The Berlin-spon­sored Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment sees itself as inca­pable of repair­ing the pow­er lines. It has imposed — in accor­dance with the embar­go poli­cies of the EU and the USA — its own trade embar­go on the penin­su­la. In the sum­mer 2014, the EU and the USA began impos­ing eco­nom­ic sanc­tions on Crimea, which was aggra­vat­ed by Kiev’s embar­go of water and block­ade of traf­fic for over a year. Ukraine will squan­der its remain­ing sym­pa­thy on the penin­su­la, warn observers. A sim­i­lar devel­op­ment had been observed in the Geor­gian seces­sion­ist regions of Abk­hazia and South Osse­tia since the 2008 Geor­gian-Russ­ian war. Ear­ly this week, the Ger­man gov­ern­ment applied pres­sure on Kiev to restore elec­tric­i­ty to Crimea, to avoid anoth­er esca­la­tion of the Russ­ian-Ukrain­ian con­flict, which Ger­many con­sid­ers detri­men­tal. To no avail — the esca­la­tion began yes­ter­day.

One of the Tough­est Embar­gos in the World

Even before the cur­rent ener­gy block­ade, sanc­tions imposed by the EU, the USA and Ukraine were already seri­ous­ly affect­ing Crimea, par­tic­u­lar­ly the eco­nom­ic sanc­tions, more than those tar­get­ing indi­vid­u­als. The import into the EU of goods pro­duced in Crimea has been pro­hib­it­ed since last sum­mer; since Decem­ber 2014 — invest­ment on the penin­su­la. For EU-based com­pa­nies even the pur­chase of real estate is for­bid­den. Export of ener­gy prod­ucts — includ­ing oil and nat­ur­al gas — as well as goods from the trans­porta­tion and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion sec­tors are not allowed. Even ser­vice for Crimean tourism is no longer per­mit­ted to be offered with­in the EU. The Unit­ed States has imposed sim­i­lar sanc­tions. Last sum­mer, Thomas De Waal, an expert at the USA’s Carnegie Endow­ment for Inter­na­tion­al Peace, assessed that this is “one of the tough­est embar­gos in the world.” De Waal has char­ac­ter­ized this as the “Siege of Crimea.”[1]

Turn off the Water

Since last year, the pro-west­ern Ukraine’s embar­go has been caus­ing addi­tion­al severe prob­lems in Crimea; one exam­ple being an embar­go on water for the penin­su­la. As a report in “Ukraine-Analy­sen,” pub­lished by the Uni­ver­si­ty of Bre­men has con­firmed, before seces­sion, the penin­su­la had received “up to 85 per­cent of its water sup­ply from the Ukrain­ian main­land.” In May 2014, Kiev turned off the water sup­ply — with dra­mat­ic con­se­quences. Agri­cul­ture, in par­tic­u­lar, was severe­ly affect­ed, report­ed “Ukraine-Analy­sen.” For exam­ple, cul­ti­va­tion of corn and soya had to be “dras­ti­cal­ly reduced,” and rice had to be aban­doned entire­ly. “Pro­vid­ing drink­ing water to the major indus­tri­al cities” such as Kerch and Feo­dosia “was a major prob­lem,” the report con­tin­ues. Accord­ing to offi­cial data, “con­sump­tion of water has fall­en by 20 per­cent over the past two years.”[2]

Cut Off From the Main­land

The numer­ous block­ades of trans­porta­tion and traf­fic also have an exceed­ing­ly dam­ag­ing effect. The Ukrain­ian rail­road has ceased ser­vice to the penin­su­la, with no rail­way access yet to Rus­sia. “Fer­ry ser­vice across the Straits of Kerch” is, for the time being, “the only larg­er trans­porta­tion link to the Russ­ian main­land,” notes the “Ukraine-Analy­sen.” How­ev­er, the fer­ry con­nec­tion is over­bur­dened and inter­rupt­ed in bad weath­er. Moscow seeks to solve the prob­lem with the con­struc­tion of a railway/automobile bridge across the Straits of Kerch. Con­struc­tion has begun and is sched­uled to be com­plet­ed by the end of 2018 [3] — three long years. Because of the dif­fi­cult acces­si­bil­i­ty, the import of food from Rus­sia is insuf­fi­cient to sat­is­fy the needs of the Crimean population.[4] “Ukraine-Analy­sen” reports that due to the insuf­fi­cien­cy of over­land con­nec­tions, “the air traf­fic to Crimea has sig­nif­i­cant­ly increased.” “It has tripled since 2013.” Only Russ­ian air­lin­ers land in Crimea — under high penal­ty fines — because Crimea’s inte­gra­tion into Rus­sia has not been rec­og­nized inter­na­tion­al­ly, Crimean air­space is still attrib­uted to Ukraine.[5]

Back­fire

Experts, like Carnegie Endow­men­t’s Thomas De Waal have been warn­ing for quite a while that the tough sanc­tions regime may, in the long run, back­fire against the West and its allies in Kiev. For the time being, Kiev still has access to “resources of loy­al­ty” in the Crimea, De Waal quot­ed the jour­nal­ist Andrej Sam­bros, who reports from Crimea for lib­er­al Russ­ian jour­nals, last July. For exam­ple, out of the two mil­lion peo­ple in Crimea, only 20,000 have renounced their Ukrain­ian cit­i­zen­ship, sug­gest­ing that most peo­ple want to keep their options open. How­ev­er, because of the ongo­ing sanc­tions, locals now pin their hopes on Moscow, De Waal reports. The sanc­tions strat­e­gy are rem­i­nis­cent of the meth­ods applied by Geor­gia towards their sep­a­ratist ter­ri­to­ries of Abk­hazia and South Osse­tia. After the August 2008 Geor­gian-Russ­ian War, Mikheil Saakashvili, then the Geor­gian pres­i­dent, insti­tut­ed tough laws on “occu­pied ter­ri­to­ries.” In South Osse­tia in 2008, the Saakashvili gov­ern­ment cut the gas sup­ply to the Geor­gian-major­i­ty town of Akhal­go­ri, in the hopes of pro­vok­ing anti-Russ­ian upheavals. The con­trary was the case. Fol­low­ing sev­er­al freez­ing win­ters, the pop­u­la­tion com­plained of “Geor­gian cru­el­ty.” Abk­hazia also suf­fered years of eco­nom­ic mis­ery but now has few con­nec­tions with Geor­gia and has under­gone a slow inte­gra­tion into the Russ­ian econ­o­my. De Waal report­ed that one Crimean Tatar bit­ter­ly com­plained that “we are los­ing Crimea because of this policy”[6] refer­ring to the embar­go imposed by Kiev and the West.

No Elec­tric­i­ty

The most recent esca­la­tion is spi­ral­ing the process even fur­ther. Crimean Tatars have been block­ing over­land access to Crimea with the help of fas­cist Right Sec­tor mil­i­tants, already since the end of Sep­tem­ber, to pre­vent deliv­er­ies from Ukraine from reach­ing the penin­su­la. Kiev has turned a blind eye. Late last week, it is sus­pect­ed that Crimean Tatars blew up sev­er­al elec­tric pylons, cut­ting off the 80 per­cent of Crimea’s Ukrain­ian elec­tri­cal sup­ply, as had been done ear­li­er with Crimea’s water sup­ply. Ukraine’s Min­is­ter of Ener­gy declared that the elec­tri­cal lines would be restored, but this requires access to the destroyed pylons.[7] Crimean Tatars and fas­cists of the Right Sec­tor are block­ing access to the scenes of the attacks. The Berlin-spon­sored gov­ern­ment in Kiev has no inten­tion of forc­ing the repairs. Instead, it has ordered a halt also to com­merce in mer­chan­dise with Crimea. Rus­sia has declared a state of emer­gency and is rush­ing to lay a sub­ma­rine cable through the Straits of Kerch, which how­ev­er will not be com­plet­ed before the end of the year. The major­i­ty of the pop­u­la­tion will have to brave the Crimean win­ter with­out lights and warmth until then.[8]

Crim­i­nal Acts

The Ger­man gov­ern­ment, which had helped insti­gate the sanc­tions strat­e­gy through the impo­si­tion of EU sanc­tions, is now watch­ing these devel­op­ments with appre­hen­sion. Mar­tin Schäfer, the spokesper­son for the Ger­man For­eign Min­istry, char­ac­ter­ized the sab­o­tage of the elec­tri­cal pylons as a “crim­i­nal act.” “We are expect­ing these inci­dents to be han­dled as such” and “that the sup­ply of elec­tric­i­ty in and to Crimea will be restored,” he said at the Fed­er­al Press Con­fer­ence. Berlin would like to get the Ukraine con­flict final­ly under con­trol. The objec­tive is to pre­vent an EU-endan­ger­ing resur­gence of the civ­il war, ren­der Ger­man busi­ness rela­tions with Rus­sia pos­si­ble again — and, along the way, become Europe’s num­ber one reg­u­la­to­ry force. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[9]) How­ev­er, Kiev — in the process of becom­ing more rad­i­cal­ized — refus­es to heed Berlin’s admo­ni­tions, balks at re-estab­lish­ing the sup­ply of elec­tric­i­ty. Rather than react to Rus­si­a’s call to pay its gas bills or have its gas sup­ply cut off, Ukraine has declared it was clos­ing its air space to Russ­ian flights. Esca­la­tion spi­rals fur­ther.

The Crimean Tatars, impli­cat­ed in blow­ing up the elec­tric pylons, are play­ing an impor­tant role in the esca­la­tion strat­e­gy against Crimea. german-foreign-policy.com will con­tin­ue with a report on the Crimean Tatars.

For more infor­ma­tion on this top­ic see: Mov­ing West and Stein­meier and the Oli­garchs.

[1] Thomas De Waal: The New Siege of Crimea. nationalinterest.org 09.07.2015.
[2], [3] Julia Kusznir: Rus­sis­che Wirtschafts­förderung für die Krim — eine Zwis­chen­bi­lanz. In: Ukraine-Analy­sen Nr. 158, 28.10.2015, 2–5.
[4] Kate­ri­na Bosko: “Es geht ums Geschäft”: Die Krim-Block­ade und die Real­ität der Wirtschafts­beziehun­gen mit der Krim nach einein­halb Jahren Annex­ion. In: Ukraine-Analy­sen Nr. 158, 28.10.2015, 5–9.
[5] Julia Kusznir: Rus­sis­che Wirtschafts­förderung für die Krim — eine Zwis­chen­bi­lanz. In: Ukraine-Analy­sen Nr. 158, 28.10.2015, 2–5.
[6] Thomas De Waal: The New Siege of Crimea. nationalinterest.org 09.07.2015.
[7] Friedrich Schmidt: Hal­binsel im Dunkeln, aber unter Strom. Frank­furter All­ge­meine Zeitung 25.11.2015.
[8] Axel Eich­holz: Krim bleibt dunkel. www.neues-deutschland.de 24.11.2015.
[9] See Kon­trollmis­sion in Kiew and Like in the Cold War.

4d. Two dif­fer­ent types of fas­cist cadres are oper­at­ing in tan­dem in Ukraine–in addi­tion to the OUN/B heirs such as the Pravy Sek­tor for­ma­tions, Chechen fight­ers (almost cer­tain­ly allied with some ele­ment of Mus­lim Broth­er­hood) are now fight­ing along­side them and under the Pravy Sek­tor admin­is­tra­tive com­mand.

The Chechen for­ma­tions are described as “broth­ers” of the Islam­ic State.

The Boston Marathon bomb­ing appears to have been blow­back from a covert oper­a­tion back­ing jihadists in the Cau­ca­sus.

“Ukraine Merges Nazis and Islamists” by Robert Par­ry; Con­sor­tium News; 7/7/2015.

In a curi­ous­ly upbeat account, The New York Times reports that Islam­ic mil­i­tants have joined with Ukraine’s far-right and neo-Nazi bat­tal­ions to fight eth­nic Russ­ian rebels in east­ern Ukraine. It appears that no com­bi­na­tion of vio­lent extrem­ists is too wretched to cel­e­brate as long as they’re killing Russ-kies.

The arti­cle by Andrew E. Kramer reports that there are now three Islam­ic bat­tal­ions “deployed to the hottest zones,” such as around the port city of Mar­i­upol. One of the bat­tal­ions is head­ed by a for­mer Chechen war­lord who goes by the name “Mus­lim,” Kramer wrote, adding:

“The Chechen com­mands the Sheikh Mansur group, named for an 18th-cen­tu­ry Chechen resis­tance fig­ure. It is sub­or­di­nate to the nation­al­ist Right Sec­tor, a Ukrain­ian mili­tia. … Right Sec­tor … formed dur­ing last year’s street protests in Kiev from a half-dozen fringe Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist groups like White Ham­mer and the Tri­dent of Stepan Ban­dera.

“Anoth­er, the Azov group, is open­ly neo-Nazi, using the ‘Wolf’s Hook’ sym­bol asso­ci­at­ed with the [Nazi] SS. With­out address­ing the issue of the Nazi sym­bol, the Chechen said he got along well with the nation­al­ists because, like him, they loved their home­land and hat­ed the Rus­sians.”

As casu­al­ly as Kramer acknowl­edges the key front-line role of neo-Nazis and white suprema­cists fight­ing for the U.S.-backed Kiev regime, his arti­cle does mark an aber­ra­tion for the Times and the rest of the main­stream U.S. news media, which usu­al­ly dis­miss any men­tion of this Nazi taint as “Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da.” . . .

. . . . Now, the Kiev regime has added to those “forces of civ­i­liza­tion” — resist­ing the Russ-kie bar­bar­ians — Islam­ic mil­i­tants with ties to ter­ror­ism. Last Sep­tem­ber, Marcin Mamon, a reporter for the Inter­cept, reached a van­guard group of these Islam­ic fight­ers in Ukraine through the help of his “con­tact in Turkey with the Islam­ic State [who] had told me his ‘broth­ers’ were in Ukraine, and I could trust them.”

The new Times arti­cle avoids delv­ing into the ter­ror­ist con­nec­tions of these Islamist fight­ers. . . .

4e. We present more about the Chechen/Islamic State fight­ers in Ukraine. Note that, as dis­cussed in FTR #830, the Islam­ic State appears to be anoth­er branch of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. Note, also, that Geor­gia also was har­bor­ing Islamist fight­ers cam­paign­ing against Rus­sia. We high­light­ed this in FTR #710.

The Dai­ly Beast has a new piece on the Chechen Jihadists fight­ing in Ukraine after fight­ing for ISIS and how, with talk of mak­ing Right Sec­tor part of the SBU, there’s grow­ing spec­u­la­tion that a Chechen ‘vol­un­teer bat­tal­ion’ is just a mat­ter of time:

“Chechen Jihadists Join Ukraine’s Fight­ers” by Anna Nemtso­vaThe Dai­ly Beast; 9/04/2015.

Chechen Jihadis Leave Syr­ia, Join the Fight in Ukraine

A bat­tal­ion of fight­ers from the Cau­ca­sus is deployed on Kiev’s side in the Ukraine war. But their pres­ence may do more harm than good.

Just an hour’s dri­ve from this city under siege, at an old resort on the Azov Sea that’s now a mil­i­tary base, mil­i­tants from Chechnya—veterans of the jihad in their own lands and, more recent­ly, in Syr­ia—now serve in what’s called the Sheikh Mansur Bat­tal­ion. Some of them say they have trained, at least, in the Mid­dle East with fight­ers for the so-called Islam­ic State, or ISIS.

Among the irreg­u­lar forces who’ve enlist­ed in the fight against the Russ­ian-backed sep­a­ratists in the Don­bas region of east­ern Ukraine, few are more con­tro­ver­sial or more dan­ger­ous to the cred­i­bil­ity of the cause they say they want to serve. Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin would love to por­tray the fight­ers he sup­ports as cru­saders against wild-eyed jihadists rather than the gov­ern­ment in Ukraine that wants to inte­grate the coun­try more close­ly with West­ern Europe.

Yet many Ukrain­ian patri­ots, des­per­ate to gain an edge in the fight against the Russ­ian-backed forces, are will­ing to accept the Chechen mil­i­tants on their side.

Over the past year, dozens of Chechen fight­ers have come across Ukraine’s bor­der, some legal­ly, some ille­gally, and con­nected in Don­bas with the Right Sec­tor, a far-right-wing mili­tia. The two groups, with two bat­tal­ions, have lit­tle in com­mon, but they share an ene­my and they share this base.

The Dai­ly Beast spoke with the Chechen mil­i­tants about their pos­si­ble sup­port for the Islam­ic State and its affil­i­ate in the North­ern Cau­ca­sus region of Rus­sia, which is now called the Islam­ic State Cau­ca­sus Emi­rate and is labeled a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion by both Rus­sia and the Unit­ed States. . . .

5. We high­light an arti­cle not­ing the mil­i­tary prowess and sophis­ti­ca­tion of ISIS. Crit­i­cal to this analy­sis is the appar­ent role of the Chechens in the tac­ti­cal devel­op­ment of the group. In FTR #381. we not­ed the role of the Al-Taqwa milieu in the fund­ing of the Chechen sep­a­ratists. U.S. and West­ern fund­ing for the Chechens appears to have con­tin­ued, as we saw in our analy­sis of the Boston Marathon Bomb­ing.

In the con­text of U.S. and West­ern sup­port for the OUN/B milieu in Ukraine, includ­ing the UNA-UNSO fight­ers who fought with the Chechens and else­where in the Cau­ca­sus, we may well be see­ing “blow­back” from what we have termed The Earth Island Boo­gie in the devel­op­ment of ISIS’ sophis­ti­ca­tion. As dis­cussed in FTR #808, the UNA-UNSO fight­ers were ini­tial­ly com­posed large­ly of Ukrain­ian vet­er­ans of the Afghan war. The orga­ni­za­tion gave rise direct­ly to Pravy Sek­tor.

As we have seen, Pravy Sek­tor is work­ing with Chechen Islamists from ISIS, as well as Pan-Turk­ist Crimean Tatars.

“The Dura­bil­i­ty of Ukrain­ian Fas­cism” by Peter Lee; Strate­gic Cul­ture; 6/9/2014.

. . . . One of Bandera’s lieu­tenants was Roman Shukhevych.  In Feb­ru­ary 1945, Shukhevych issued an order stat­ing, “In view of the suc­cess of the Sovi­et forces it is nec­es­sary to speed up the liq­ui­da­tion of the Poles, they must be total­ly wiped out, their vil­lages burned … only the Pol­ish pop­u­la­tion must be destroyed.”

As a mat­ter of addi­tion­al embar­rass­ment, Shukhevych was also a com­man­der in the Nachti­gall (Nightin­gale) bat­tal­ion orga­nized by the Wehrma­cht.

Today, a major pre­oc­cu­pa­tion of Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist his­tor­i­cal schol­ar­ship is beat­ing back rather con­vinc­ing alle­ga­tions by Russ­ian, Pol­ish, and Jew­ish his­to­ri­ans that Nachti­gall was an impor­tant and active par­tic­i­pant in the mas­sacre of Lviv Jews orches­trat­ed by the Ger­man army upon its arrival in June 1941. . . .

. . . . Yuriy Shukhevych’s role in mod­ern Ukrain­ian fas­cism is not sim­ply that of an inspi­ra­tional fig­ure­head and reminder of his father’s anti-Sovi­et hero­ics for proud Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists.  He is a core fig­ure in the emer­gence of the key Ukrain­ian fas­cist for­ma­tion, Pravy Sek­tor and its para­mil­i­tary.

And Pravy Sektor’s para­mil­i­tary, the UNA-UNSO, is not an “unruly” col­lec­tion of week­end-war­rior-wannabes, as Mr. Hig­gins might believe.

UNA-UNSO was formed dur­ing the tur­moil of the ear­ly 1990s, large­ly by eth­nic Ukrain­ian vet­er­ans of the Sovi­et Union’s bit­ter war in Afghanistan.  From the first, the UNA-UNSO has shown a taste for for­eign adven­tures, send­ing detach­ments to Moscow in 1990 to oppose the Com­mu­nist coup against Yeltsin, and to Lithua­nia in 1991.  With appar­ent­ly very good rea­son, the Rus­sians have also accused UNA-UNSO fight­ers of par­tic­i­pat­ing on the anti-Russ­ian side in Geor­gia and Chech­nya.

After for­mal Ukrain­ian inde­pen­dence, the mili­tia elect­ed Yuriy Shukhevych—the son of OUN‑B com­man­der Roman Shukhevych– as its leader and set up a polit­i­cal arm, which lat­er became Pravy Sek­tor. . . .


 

Discussion

One comment for “FTR #911 The Crimean Tatars, Ukraine and The Underground Reich: Update on the Earth Island Boogie”

  1. FYI — update on Russ­ian geo-pol­i­tics

    Mikhail Gor­bachev said this week there are “many Cat­alo­nias” with­in the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion

    http://www.eurasiareview.com/12102017-could-a-urals-republic-become-one-of-russias-catalonias-oped/

    Posted by Mark | October 12, 2017, 2:24 am

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