Eyvaz Umerov, the head of the regional national-cultural autonomy of Crimea representing Crimean Tatars, appealed on 28th March to the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, not to lose sight of and take measures to detain the organizers of the blockades of the peninsula in Ukraine.
Kadyrov previously posted on his Telegram channel several videos of military personnel from Chechnya allegedly participating in a Russian special operation to demilitarise Ukraine.
Speaking to Ria Novosti, Umerov said, “I would like to separately address the head of Chechnya, Kadyrov Ramzan Akhmatovich. I beg you not to lose sight of and take measures to detain the main Nazis from among the Mejlis representatives who fled Crimea in 2014 Refat Chubarov, Lenur Islyamov, Mustafa Dzhemilev, Ayder Muzhdabaev, Eskender Bariev.”
As per Umerov, these people are guilty of organizing the water, energy and food blockade of Crimea.
“These people must answer before the court,” Umerov stressed.
The organization “Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people” is recognized as extremist and banned in Russia.
Umerov said the Crimean Tatars fully support the decision of the President of Russia to denazify Ukraine.
Russia unblocks water
On 27th February, the Russian military entered Kherson and unblocked the North Crimean Canal. Now the peninsula will receive water from the usual source, which until 2014, provided 85% of its needs.
The water was blocked in May 2014, and since then, the damage from the blockade has reached one and a half trillion rubles. In 2020, Crimea suffered the worst drought in 150 years. The reservoirs had become so shallow that it was no longer possible to float a boat. The Crimean authorities supplied water for four hours a day, two in the morning and the same in the evening.
In 2021, it became even worse, so restrictions were introduced again in the spring. In the summer, heavy rains fell, and a flood occurred. But in October, several rivers dried up, and in general, the amount of rain in some places turned out to be 43% less than the norm.
The Crimeans had to water the fields with hard underground water, which contained chlorides and sodium salts. The soil now needs to be washed, so the water from the North Crimean Canal comes in handy.
Crimea was going to sue Kyiv, but this will not be needed now. There was also no need for other water supply projects, which are dangerous to the environment.
End of Energy and food blockade
By the end of 2015, Russia had broken through the energy blockade. In 2018, Russia opened a bridge across the Kerch Strait, establishing a land connection with the mainland. The banking system operates on the peninsula, which, although under the sanctions of the West, is quite effective.
After Western sanctions on Russia, President Putin said the banks could operate in Crimea without fear of sanctions.
No escape for Azov regiments members in Mariupol
The Ukrainian security forces will not be given a corridor to exit Mariupol, Eduard Basurin, a representative of the people’s militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic, told Russian media.
“They have already been made such an offer; they refused. Therefore, it is believed that they are no longer militants; they are criminals. Because they killed the civilian population, yes, we guarantee to save their lives, but I don’t think we will let them go,” he said.
At the time of the proclamation of the DPR in 2014, Mariupol, with a population of about 450,000, was the republic’s second-largest city after Donetsk. In June of that year, Ukrainian security forces regained control of Mariupol, and its eastern suburbs became one of the hottest spots of conflict in Ukraine.
On 7th March 2022, Alexander Semyonov, the deputy commander of the Vostok battalion of the DPR, said that Mariupol was surrounded, and a ‘cleansing’ of some of its districts had begun. Currently, the Russian military and people’s militia of the DPR are engaged in taking back the city. Among other Ukrainian units in Mariupol are fighters from the nationalist Azov regiment, against whose fighters a criminal case has been opened in Russia.
The Russian Ministry of Defense proposed to the Ukrainian side on 21st March to open humanitarian corridors from Mariupol for the exit of civilians and armed units and foreign mercenaries without weapons and ammunition. Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Irina Vereshchuk rejected this proposal.
Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine on 24th February. President Vladimir Putin said it was for “the protection of people who have been subjected to bullying and genocide by the Kyiv regime for eight years.” He said Russia planned to carry out “demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine” to bring to justice all war criminals responsible for “bloody crimes against civilians” in Donbas.