The Kremlin is funding a second separatist jamboree in Moscow on Sept 25. The event which purports to unite “parties and movements advocating for self-determination”, and which Russian embassies tout as in defence of minorities, will be held 4 days before the Supreme Court appeal against Russia’s criminalization of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, the self-governing body of the main indigenous people of Crimea. It comes as Russian Tatar activist Rafis Kashapov is ending the second of a 3-year Russian prison sentence for criticizing Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea., and as Crimean Tatar leader Ilmi Umerov and Crimean journalist Mykola Semena are facing 5-year sentences for opposition to Russian occupation.
Those foreign ‘self-determination advocates’ on their all-expenses paid trip to Moscow could spare just a thought for the charges brought against the three men. Expressing the conviction that Russia must stop occupying Ukrainian Crimea is qualified as “public calls to action aimed at violating Russia’s territorial integrity”. . . .
RBC reports that the organizers are currently talking to regional deputies from Lombardia and Veneto in Italy where the Northern League, a far-right and very pro-Russian party, have a strong hold. It was due to this grip that in May this year, Russian propaganda media were full of headlines about how Venice had supposedly recognized Crimea as Russian.
Otherwise the organizers report that guests are invited from Catalonia, Northern Ireland, Western Sahara, Scotland and the USA – Hawaii, Puerto Rico, California and Texas. Ionov claims that the Texas Nationalist Movement, a secessionist organization sporting their own ‘republic’, was prevented from attending last year.