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Standoff As Crimean Tatar Leader Again Denied Entry Into Crimea

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.