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Crimean Tatars To Try To Block Food, Goods Flow To Annexed Crimea

KYIV -- Crimean Tatars say they will start blocking Ukrainian shipments of food and other goods to the Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed from Ukraine by Russia in March 2014.

The head of the Crimean Tatars' self-governing body, the Mejlis, Refat Chubarov, who is also a Ukrainian lawmaker, said in the Ukrainian parliament on September 16 that the "long-term blockade" will start at noon on September 20.

He called on other Ukrainian citizens to join the move.

Chubarov said that trucks carrying food and other goods will not be allowed to enter Crimea, while individuals and private vehicles will not be stopped.

Chubarov said the blockade will be coordinated from the town of Chonhar, which lies close to Crimea, and that three major roads will be targeted.

Ukrainian authorities have not commented on the Crimean Tatar initiative.

The de facto head of annexed Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, said that the planned blockade will be counterproductive.