Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Welcome to Putin-ville

The Council of Europe reports (no surprise!) that there's some ethnic cleansing going on in the Crimea, recently invaded and annexed by Russia. (Poor Russia! The country has almost never been ruled by a government that wasn't toxic, whether it was the tsars, the commissars, or Vladimir Putin's thugs.) The Crimean Tatars, who almost to the end of the 19th century were the region's largest ethnic group, are suffering the most, as they did during the Stalin years, when they were first starved and then deported to what is now Uzbekistan. Allowed to return after the fall of communism in the 1980s -- the half of them who survived -- they once again are Russia's most disfavored minority. They are subject to regular raids by masked and uniformed "self-defense" forces known as Samooborona. Ethnic Ukrainians, pro-Kiev activists, and journalists have also been targeted, with some dozens of abductions and several killings.

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