A year of Crimea civil blockade: review


On September 20, 2015 an open-ended peaceful civil action initiated by Mustafa Dzhemilev, Refat Chubarov, Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian activists began at the administrative border with Crimea. The blockade’s purpose is to stop the delivery of goods from Ukraine to the temporarily-occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol. Another purpose is to block electric power supply to the occupied Crimea. The ultimate goal of the blockade is de-occupation of Crimea and restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine. The Crimean Tatars’ leaders reported what had been achieved over a year of blockade.

Kyiv, September 20, 2016. The main achievements of Crimea civil blockade encompass returning the Crimean issue to the international agenda, suspension of trading with the temporarily occupied peninsula and discontinuation of electric power supply from Ukraine. This was stated by Refat Chubarov, Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people and Lenur Islyamov, Coordinator of Crimea civil blockade, at a press briefing held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

Returning the Crimean issue to international agenda
“The blockade returned the Crimean issue to the agenda and made it so urgent that discussions on Crimea and Crimean Tatars became part of all international organizations’ activities. Only this year the European Parliament adopted two important resolutions on Crimea,” stated Refat Chubarov. He added that both the Council of Europe and the OSCE began to discuss the Crimean issue more often.

Stopping corruption at the border
“The blockade stopped corruption and forced Ukrainian officials to adhere to sanctions that we, the citizens of Ukraine, had asked the world community to impose. Therefore, the blockade was an honest act on our part,” added Lenur Islyamov.

He added that the blockade demonstrated willingness of ordinary Ukrainian citizens, in particular, indigenous people of Crimea, to struggle for de-occupation of the peninsula despite the passive stance of the state. 90% of the activists who are still on duty at the checkpoints are Crimean Tatars.

Energy blockade
Refat Chubarov reminded that generating facilities available on the peninsula suffice to meet the needs of hospitals and other social institutions. He also noted that Crimean Tatars have agreed to restore the power supply to the peninsula provided that in the agreement Crimea is referred to as the “Autonomous Republic of Crimea” and is a part of Ukraine rather than the “Crimean Federal District,” but the Russian side, as we know, has not agree to do it.

“Recognition of Crimea as the Russian Federation territory in the agreement was a crime. That is why we did everything possible either to restore the law or to stop the power supply,” he stressed.

Procession on the occasion of the blockade anniversary
Lenur Islyamov informed that on September 24, activists will organize a procession on the occasion of the Crimea civil blockade anniversary near the administrative border with Crimea. “I invite all those who were there to join us on September 24. We will march to the [checkpoint] of Russians and force them to mobilize and wait as they do not know what we are going to do,” he said.