Internation school of MULTIMEDIA JOURNALISM

Fleeing Propaganda

300,000 Crimean Tatars have been living in Crimea. But after the annexation of the peninsula more and more members of the Muslim minority are leaving their home due to russian propaganda.
A story of persecution
While Europe attention is focused on the movement of refugees from the Middle East, another little noticed refugee crisis is taking place in the Ukraine. More and more people are fleeing from the war and crisis regions in eastern Ukraine and Crimea. The Muslim minority with its own language – they are called Crimean Tatars - are affected by persecution. Many see themselves forced to leave their homes and rebuild their lives in other parts of Ukraine. They leave Crimea towards Kherson, Kiev and very often Lviv.

After the annexation of Crimea the Muslim minority is facing many difficulties. The Crimean Tatars who are on the side of Ukraine in the armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia, have been vilified by Russian media and defamed as Islamist extremists. Even the only Crimean Tatar television channel ATR experienced the consequences of the new government in the region first hand. The TV station has been closed down last year, and so far no new license was issued. The reason: ATR had been accused of inciting Tatars against the new government.

The Crimean Tatars were also forbidden to remember the anniversary of their expulsion from Crimea in 1944 with a memorial march. Under Stalin around 180,000 Tatars were persecuted and deported as Nazi collaborators. Thousands of people were killed. The Muslim minority could finally return in the late 80s. But perhaps it's not a final return.

muslim voices
"We are not terrorists"
About 2,000 Crimean Tatars came to Lviv. They left their home because members of the muslim community are beeing repressed from the government. Russian media often show them as terrorists.
Student, (anonymous)
The Muslim world in the global context is in the media spotlight now. Clearly, this is due to resonant reasons. Crimean Tatar people took to the streets to remember the tragic date of May 18th. Then the people of Slavic nationalities were somehow a little bit afraid of us. It was because of the fact that there were people saying "Allahu Akbar". It does not mean anything negative. People just glorify their Lord, they are believers. Media give cause to think that these words mean something dangerous. Like, if a person is saying it, the bomb will explode immediately. People need each other to explain things and to be more open. We need to know the mentalities and understand others.
Student, (anonymous)
Aliem Halilov, waiter
Formerly Crimea was much more comfortable for living. Much has changed after the annexation. I heard a lot of strange things about myself and Crimean Tatars. Somebody called us traitors. There are talks, that all Muslims are terrorists. This is connected with events in Syria and France. Some people think that all Muslims are very similar to those terrorists. And what a lie that is. That's only words. One, who knows the truth, will not listen to it. And one, who is very far from it, will believe. We support Ukraine, so such people stop talking to us. Or rather, I think, we stop talking to them.
Aliem Halilov, waiter
Elvira Ablekimova, actress & hairdresser
I am from Crimea, the city of Simferopol. I have lived in Lviv for nearly two last years. Now many people in Crimea are afraid to express their thoughts. Even on the telephone. For example, recently I was talking to my father, and he asked how I was doing. I told him that all is well. I said that Channel 24 will broadcast an interview with me. He answered in Crimean Tatar language that I talk too much. He was worried about tapping. I did not say anything wrong, just talked about our project. When you say that you are Muslim, people in Crimea look at you without love. But it was always like this there. Ironically, now the majority of people feel courageous in Crimea. Previously, they did not say anything, considering that the Crimean Tatars is a hot-tempered nation. Now they fear nothing, feeling the strong support of the Russian government.
Elvira Ablekimova, actress & hairdresser
"Divide and rule"
Aliem Aliev founded the organisation SOS-Crimea and Ernest Abkelyanov is the head of the Muslim Center "Ihsan". Both of them crimean tatars do know the situation in Crimea very well. They say Crimea changed a lot after the annexation. Crimean Tatars are seen as extremists and they cannot express their views anymore.
Aliem Aliev, Founder of SOS-Crimea
The new authorities started mass raids of Crimean Tatars' homes and mosques. They are trying to marginalize Muslims of the Crimean Peninsula. They also started to look for extremist literature and they define many common books that everyone has as extremistic - also many Ukrainian books.

The new government uses the principle of "divide and rule". Some Crimean Tatars support Russia and Russian channels use them to create the myth that all Crimean Tatars support Russia. Russian channels, however, show positive stories about Crimean Tatars. They want to show that Crimean Tatars live comfortably in Crimea. The level of trust between Crimean Tatars and the Slavic population of Crimea has always been low.
Aliem Aliev, Founder of SOS-Crimea
Ernest Abkelyanov, Head of Muslim center "Ihsan"
It was comfortable to live in Crimea before the occupation. There was no pressure from the Ukrainian authorities. Now Crimean Tatars cannot express their views. Some people call them radicals. Tatars are haunted by sporadic acts of pressure. For example, new authorities snatched one of Crimean Tatars and punished him. Crimean Tatars are against any manifestations of terrorism.
Ernest Abkelyanov, former shop-owner in Crimea
International School of Multimedia Journalism

Oleksandra Chernova, Oleksii Kovalenko, Clara Akinyosoye
Viktoria Haiboniuk

Made on