The Crimean Tatars and their influence on the 'triangle of conflict' Russia-Crimea-Ukraine
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the Soviet Union brought about multidimensional problems to the former republics of the USSR and their inhabitants. In 1990s Ukraine, Crimea became a center of conflict between Ukraine and Russia over the former Soviet Black Sea Fleet and Crimea itself, perceived as historically their own by both sides of the conflict. Local Crimean authorities took advantage of the specificity of a demographic situation in Crimea were Ukrainians, the titular nation, are in minority and considerably Russified to claim for autonomy. Later, they attempted to secede from Ukraine. At the same time, the Crimean Tatar influx from exile, orchestrated by the Stalin regime in 1944, further exacerbated the 'triangle of conflict' between the dyads Russia-Ukraine and Crimea-Ukraine. The Crimean Tatars, currently 12 percent of the Crimean population, proclaimed Crimea the national territory of the Crimean Tatar people, on which they alone possess the right to self government and claimed greater rights for themselves as allegedly the most indigenous peoples in Crimea, while the rest are colonizers. The thesis explains the historical developments in Crimea and attempts to draw implications to the Ukrainian government in dealing with Crimean Tatar nationalism which seems to be overcoming the problems within the 'triangle of conflict' that was so sharp in 1990s.
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