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Ukraine

Standoff As Crimean Tatar Leader Again Denied Entry Into Crimea

Crimean Tatars Cancel Spring Festival To Protest Dzhemilev Entry Bani
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May 03, 2014
The Crimean Tatars' self-governing body, the Mejlis, canceled celebrations of the annual spring festival, Hydyrlez, after Russia blocked veteran Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev from entering the peninsula. On May 3, workers took apart stages and other installations prepared for the festivities near Bakhchysaray. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)

WATCH: Crimean Tatars Cancel Spring Festival To Protest Dzhemilev Entry Ban

By RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service
Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev has again been denied entry into Crimea, after first being turned back at a Moscow airport on his way from Kyiv to Simferopol on May 2.

Thousands of Crimean Tatars who had gone to a border-crossing point near Armyansk to meet Dzhemilev on May 3 broke through lines of Russian troops to reach their leader. They say they will return to Crimea only if Dzhemilev is with them.

Leyla Muslimova, a spokeswoman for the Crimean Tatar's main self-government body, the Mejlis, says Crimea's Interior Ministry told Mejlis leader Refat Chubarov that Dzhemilev will not be allowed into Crimea.

Regional Mejlis officials have called for a blockade of roads across the peninsula to protest the move.

The acting head of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, was quoted on May 2 as saying Dzhemilev had been "tasked by Western special services with destabilizing the situation" and would be prevented from entering.

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