All told, international organizations report that around 5,000 people, including minority Christians, Jews, and at least 3,000 Tatars, have fled Crimea and sought refuge elsewhere in Ukraine. . . .
On April 15, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a report on Crimea documenting what the Russian government has tried to hide by denying international monitors access to Crimea: the imprisonment, torture, and killings of Crimean citizens who opposed Russia’s illegal annexation of the peninsula prior to the March referendum.
The world is already familiar with some of the more horrific reports that have emerged in recent weeks, such as the discovery on March 18 of the body of Crimean Tatar activist Reshat Ametov two weeks after he had been abducted, bearing clear evidence of abuse. On March 25, Human Rights Watch reported that two Euromaidan activists in Crimea had been kidnapped and brutally tortured by Russian and local forces in secret facilities for 11 days.
After spinning a fictitious tale of protecting members of the ethnic Russian minority in Ukraine, the Russian government and its proxies are subjecting members of ethnic minorities in Crimea to the very abuses they pretend to oppose. On March 31, pro-Russian thugs beat a 14-year-old Tatar boy for speaking Tatar in public. On March 18, Crimean Deputy Prime Minister Temirgaliyev announced that Tatars must give up their land to be used for other purposes. On March 15 and 16, pro-Russia thugs kidnapped Ukrainian Greek Catholic priests, interrogated them, and had local “authorities” charge some of them with “extremism.” Following anonymous death threats, the Chief Reform Rabbi of Crimea has fled. All told, international organizations report that around 5,000 people, including minority Christians, Jews, and at least 3,000 Tatars, have fled Crimea and sought refuge elsewhere in Ukraine.