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Ukrainian president awards leader of Crimean Tatars title of ‘Hero of Ukraine’

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published November 13,2023

Ukraine's president on Monday awarded Mustafa Dzhemilev, leader of the Crimean Tatar people, the title of "Hero of Ukraine."

In the capital Kyiv, Volodymyr Zelensky met with Dzhemilev and congratulated him on his 80th birthday, the Ukrainian Presidency said on its official website.

Zelensky also awarded Dzhemilev the Order of the State for his "outstanding personal contribution to the establishment and development of an independent Ukrainian state, courage and dedication in upholding the rights of the Crimean Tatar people, and many years of fruitful political and public activity."

Zelensky thanked Dzhemilev for standing with Ukraine in its righteous struggle and wished him good health to see Ukraine's "just victory."

Dzhemilev thanked the Ukrainian president for all his efforts carried out with his support to protect the rights of Crimean Tatars.

In February 2014, Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula was illegally taken over by Russia, in a move rejected by the international community, including the EU, UN General Assembly, and Türkiye. Many call it a precursor to the current Russian war on Ukraine, launched in February 2024.

Since the 2014 takeover, Crimea's ethnic Tartars have faced a "systematic oppression and intimidation campaign," in the words of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, including the banning of their representative body the Mejlis, raids on homes and mass detentions, and suppression of the right to assembly and protest as well as freedom of expression.