Jamala’s ‘1944’ Draws World Focus On Russian Occupation Of Crimea And Their Aggression Against Tatars

This Monday, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko congratulated this year’s Eurovision Song Contest winner Jamala and made her the honored artist of Ukraine in Kiev.

Inquisitr reports the full replay of Jamala’s win and full videos of the 26 finalists, as well as on Jamala’s victory over Russia’s Sergey Lazarev with her song “1944”.

And according to a report by Reuters, while Jamala’s winning of the Eurovision Song Contest lifted spirits in Ukraine, it has reportedly lifted some eyebrows in Russia as well, stating that a “pro-Kremlin politician in Moscow suggested Russia might boycott the event next year” because of the winning song’s “political” message.

Protests in supporter of Crimean Tatars
Protesters holding flags in support of the Crimean Tatars in Kiev's Independence Square, Ukraine, Saturday, March 8, 2014. As Crimea's parliament proceeds with plans for a referendum on the peninsula's future, the area's largest ethnic minority, the Tatars, feel increasingly threatened. [Image by David Azia | AP Photo]

Ukraine made the headlines all over the world in 2014 with the ousting of pro-Russian President Yanokovich, during the Median uprising, which also resulted in the death of protesters and the occupation of Russian forces in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea, which Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed, claiming it was to protect Russians there.

In the video by ODN referred to above, a spokesman for the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights Rupert Colville says that the situation for Tatars in Crimea is dire, as they face persecutions and are jailed under bogus charges.

“Members of the Mejlis, the representative body of the Crimean Tatar minority community, and their supporters have been intimidated, harassed and jailed, often for dubious charges”

Recently, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine released a statement on its site, condemning “the illegal judicial authority of the occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea to ban the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people by declaring it as an extremist organization.”

Russia cracks down on Mejlis as extremists.
The Mejlis are a kind of group who deal with issues among the Tatar community, much like the one pictured here. Akjda Nurberdiyeva, Chairperson of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan (second left), makes a welcome address at the seminar on OSCE PA involvement organized by the PA and the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat, 14 April 2015. [Image by OSCE Parliamentary Assemby via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0 ]

The Mejlis are a small and select group of people who represent their Tatar communities, to help sort out various issues within them.

Rupert Colville also addressed the court’s decision.

“We are deeply concerned by the ban imposed on the Mejlis as an extremist organization by the ‘court’ of Crimea on April 26. We fear that the designation of the Mejlis as an extremist organization by the ‘court’ will leave Crimean Tatars even more exposed to human rights violation and collective punishment.”

Since the Russian occupation of Crimea in 2014, the Tatars there have proclaimed that this is much like the occupation that took place in their history within the 1700s.

In the video report on the Crimean Tatars for Vice News, one Tatar says that while the Russian occupation in their history is traumatic, Ukraine has done very little to help them either and are in limbo because of it.

The report by Vice News was made during the time of the forced transition within the Ukrainian government.

The “illegitimacy” of the new Russian-backed Crimean government is similar to how they’ve responded to the established pro-Russian government in the Donbass region, in the eastern part of Ukraine, where the government is currently trying to pressure Russia to honor the Minsk agreements which demands that they halt the war in the Donbass.

Russia, however, denies that they’re even involved there, but Ukraine currently has the OSCE monitoring the separatists for when they violate the agreement and stage attacks on Ukrainian solders.

And while Russia is accusing the Eurovision Song Contest of breaking the rules by allowing Jamala to “politicize” the event with her anti-Kremlin song, she has said that her song is about her family’s experience, of when they were deported by Russian occupation forces, but does not address the current issues in Ukraine from 2014.

[Image by İstanbul Kırım Derneği via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0]