UKRAINE, CRIMEA, 15 MARCH 2014
A sermon in a tatar mosque near the Tatar town of Bakhchysaray. Tatars have since long populated Crimea. In 1944 Stalin punished the whole tatar population for collaboration wth the German occupiers, despite the fact that many of them fought in the Red Army, and ordered their deportation to Central Asia. Only in the late 1980's the Tatars were able to return to Crimea, where they could only settle on land that no one wanted.
The Tatars have largely witheld from voting in the referendum deciding on whether Crimea should join Russia. They believed the results would be rigged anyway, and voting would only give the referendum legitimacy. As the referendum paves the way for joining Russia, the Tatars now face an uncertain future. Many fear they will be regarded as second rate citizens again.