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

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained here. The new drive is a 32-gigabyte drive that is current as of the programs and articles posted by early winter of 2016. The new drive (available for a tax-deductible contribution of $65.00 or more.)  (The previous flash drive was current through the end of May of 2012.)

WFMU-FM is podcasting For The Record–You can subscribe to the podcast HERE.

You can subscribe to e-mail alerts from Spitfirelist.com HERE

You can subscribe to RSS feed from Spitfirelist.com HERE.

You can subscribe to the comments made on programs and posts–an excellent source of information in, and of, itself HERE.

This program was recorded in one, 60-minute segment.

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

No comments for “FTR #911 The Crimean Tatars, Ukraine and The Underground Reich: Update on the Earth Island Boogie”

Post a comment