March 25 - Crimea's Tatar ethnic minority eyes holding a referendum to decide if they want to be part of Ukraine or Russia following Moscow's seizure of the Black Sea peninsula. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Tatars in Crimea weigh their future. After Russia claimed Crimea following a referendum, now the head of the Tatar's main assembly says they are considering holding their own referendum to decide whether to be part of Ukraine or Russia. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) HEAD OF THE MAIN ASSEMBLY OF CRIMEAN TATARS ( MEJLIS) REFAT CHUBAROV, SAYING: "If we acknowledge that the referendum is the mechanism for others to determine what they want - and it is the main tool for this - then we will search for possibilities of holding our own referendum." Any such vote would be a challenge to Russian President Vladimir Putin who last week signed documents formally incorporating Crimean into Russia. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) HEAD OF THE MAIN ASSEMBLY OF CRIMEAN TATARS ( MEJLIS) REFAT CHUBAROV, SAYING: "The Crimean Tatars will have to determine where, on their land, they see their future." Repeatedly referring to Ukraine as "our country", he left no doubt about his own feelings over Russia's annexation of Crimea, a move unrecognized and condemned by Kiev and the West, which reacted by introducing sanctions on Moscow. The Tatars were nearly wiped out on Moscow's orders, first by the czars and then by the Soviets.