Ukraine to establish Muslim military unit

Ukraine will establish a new Crimean military unit made up primarily of Muslims
Ukraine will establish a new Crimean military unit made up primarily of Muslims, Dzhemilev said.
03/08/2015
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Ukraine has stepped up to establish a troop of Muslims, leader of Crimean Tatars, Mustafa Abdülcemil Dzhemilev, said on Aug. 3.

The troops will be deployed in the Kherson region on the Crimean border and would monitor transportation of goods and people between Ukraine and the peninsula, he said speaking at a congress. 

The troop will be formed of Crimean Tatars, Kazan Tatars, Uzbeks, Chechens, Azeris, Meskhetian Turks and other Muslim groups, Dzhemilev noted.

Mustafa Dzhemilev met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after attending the 2nd World Crimean Congress, which convened in Ankara July 31-Aug. 2

An autonomous Crimean Tatar Republic will be formed, Dzhemilev said, calling on the Crimean people to take an active role in Ukrainian politics. He expressed expectation from the diaspora on this bid. 

The Muslim battalion is part of growing relations between Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians and will report to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, said Dzhemilev. Crimean Tatars are an ethnically Turkic and religiously Islam minority group that has faced decades of religious and political persecution under Russian rule.

Ukraine has halted train services to Crimea after Russia’s annexation of the peninsula, instead directing services to Novooleksiyvka and Kherson. 

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