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Crimean Tatar Leader Denies Reports He Wants Russian Citizenship


The head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, Refat Chubarov, speaks during a news conference in Simferopol on April 22.
The head of the Crimean Tatar's main self-government body, the Mejlis, has denied reports that he intends to apply for Russian citizenship.

Refat Chubarov said reports he is seeking a Russian passport are false.

Chubarov acknowledged to reporters on April 22 that a number of Ukrainian websites were reporting that he was looking to get a Russian passport, but he called these reports a "canard."

Russia last month annexed the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, a move that has been rejected by the international community.

Chubarov's comments came the same day Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev said he had been barred from entering Crimea for five years by the de facto authorities there.

Dzhemilev has accused Crimea's pro-Russian government of initiating a campaign of repression against Crimea Tatars, saying many have lost their jobs after refusing to apply for Russian passports.
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