Refat Chubarov, chairman of the Mejlis, the representative body of Crimean Tatars, says he is afraid that Russians will accuse the ethnic group of being a threat to ethnic Russians. So he is asking Tatars to minimize their time in public and avoid confrontations.
Some Tatars, however, have done the opposite and formed their own self-defense units that patrol streets. These civic guards are unarmed and are multinational. “Their main task is to prevent provocations,” Chubarov said.
Crimean Tatars have always been pro-Ukrainian despite the fact that they face discrimination. They do not recognize the Feb. 27 appointment of the pro-Russian Serhiy Aksenev as the autonomous republic’s new prime minister. He said that Aksenev has not held talks with Tatar leaders.