An unprecedented squatter crackdown took place in Crimea on Tuesday. The below Novy Kanal report strikingly — and surprisingly — resembles the scripts used by Russian state television in its Chechen War coverage.
Voiceover: Another showdown in Crimea. Armed-to-the-teeth Berkut SWAT teams stormed Mt. Ai-Petri. They demolished from the sanctuary plateau the illegal settlements of Crimean Tatars. The operation was so secret that the task force leaders didn’t even tell their personnel where they were going. As a result, the Tatars had no time to pull their main forces to Mt. Ai-Petri. Currently, all roads leading to the mountains are sealed.
Bailiff: Based on the court ruling of November 6, 2007, in the absence of voluntary compliance, forcible execution has been mandated.
Voiceover: Early in the morning today, a bailiff read out to all of the present 50 Tatars the decision to demolish their ethnic eateries in Yalta Sanctuary at Mt. Ai-Petri. It would have been naive to hope that the real estate owners would obey the law. Instead, they kept at the ready Molotov cocktails and propane gas tanks.
Tatars: This is robbery! We will stand until death! We won’t quit, we mean it!
Voiceover: They didn’t have to stand for too long — heavy gear went into action.
Tatars: You will be responsibly for murder!
Voiceover: After a brief staff meeting, special police forces and internal troops are ordered to provide ground support for the bailiffs and for the bulldozer.
Voiceover: Five minutes later, the sanctuary plateau at Mt. Ai-Petri was quiet. Everyone was doing their job. Law enforcement was packing the offenders to police trucks; the machinery was leveling the illegal real estate.
Anatoliy Mohyliov, head of the Crimean Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior: Any resistance to law enforcement officers will be forcefully thwarted. That’s what police is for — to uphold decisions made under the law. Any counteraction to the execution of this lawful court decision will naturally be thwarted.
Voiceover: Who occupied the sanctuary? During today’s events he was in the first line and obstructed the bailiffs. His name is Akhtem Chyigoz; he is the head of the Bakhchysarai Majlis. On the occupied land, on behalf of the Majlis, they started a business. They collected rent from their fellow believers for the right to open an eatery here.
Forest Ranger: People came from the Bakhchysarais Majlis and said that all paperwork has been completed. Only a few signoffs were left to be obtained from the [Crimean] Cabinet of Ministers. They showed me the flagged plots, a total 18 plots, I guess. They named the price each had to pay to build a house there and to open a business.
Voiceover: Now, in place of the businesses, Mt. Ai-Petri is again a sanctuary. Police and bulldozers won’t be sitting idly for too long, local law enforcement says. As the head of Crimean police, Anatoliy Mohyliov, promised, by the end of the week Crimeans will witness yet another series of court decisions being carried out. Oleh Kryuchkov, Oleksandr Solovyenko, Novy Kanal.
Notice the lack of balance, the gung-ho attitude, and the racist overtones. It looks more like a public relations material from Myanmar’s Ministry of the Interior.
According to earlier reports at Ukrayinska Pravda, the bailiffs’ writ of execution concerned only one building. Later in the day, however, that figure rose to seven. A total of 28 Tatars were detained. Three were hospitalized with major injuries.
All of which raises grave questions:
What doesn’t Novy Kanal ever mention those recreation centers and vast tracts of land grabitized by non-Tatars for a nickel or a dime? See no evil, hear no evil?
Why is it that some have to bear the full brunt of the law while others stay above the law?
Why is it that some have to play by the rules while others play with the rules?
“To my friends, everything; to my enemies, the law.” Is that the house rule?
Unless the "untouchables" give these questions some thought, they may very well be subscribing to a nightmare that will put First Blood on a Sri Lankan scale.
With the Tatars playing as the Tamil Tigers, this “action movie” will render the "untouchables’" villas uninhabitable for a long time.
Video uploaded from: http://video.novy.tv/reporter/reporter_2007_11_06-1.wmv
P.S. Just one more footage of the event:
Henadiy Holub, head of the Yalta State Bailiff Service Department: I believe that this is…uh…the beginning…the beginning of these teardowns that take place in Crimea, say, the teardowns of illegal real estate.Video uploaded from: http://censor.net.ua/go/offer/ResourceID/67257.html