The Crimean Tatars’ Majlis, or national parliament, has begun collecting signatures on a petition to send to Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma. The document requests financial help in bringing Crimean Tatars back to Crimea, from which they were deported by Stalin in 1944. Majlis leader Mustafa Dzhemilev said the appeal was necessary because the Ukrainian government has cut back funding for this purpose. (Intelnews, Kiev, January 13) So far, some 240,000 Tatars have returned to Crimea, but it is estimated that an approximately equal number remain in Central Asia. A related problem concerns the difficulties experienced by Crimean Tatars in obtaining Ukrainian citizenship (and therefore qualifying to vote). About 146,000 Crimean Tatars have so far acquired Ukrainian citizenship, but 93,600 are registered as non-citizens and an estimated 20,000 more are unregistered.
Inter-Tajik Talks Bog Down.