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 Crimean Tatars ready to escape Russia's draft in favor of Ukraine's army, - Dzhemilev

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The Crimean Tatars living in the occupied peninsula are ready to cross the administrative border with the mainland Kherson region to join the Ukrainian military.

As reported by Censor.NET citing Ukrinform, this was announced by leader of the Crimean Tatar people, Ukrainian MP Mustafa Dzhemilev.

"As for Asker [a Crimean Tatar battalion - ed.]. The creation of a military unit mainly comprised of people from the occupied territories that have certain peculiarities, primarily of religious nature, - we sought to form a special unit that had not necessarily to be Crimean Tatar ... I think this issue is going to be resolved: at present the forced draft to the Russian army is being conducted in occupied Crimea, which contradicts the Hague Convention on the Status of Occupied Territories, and people say they will better cross the Ukrainian border and join the Ukrainian army. But they have their own peculiarities: they would like to serve in special units," he said.

According to Dzhemilev, Asker is now poorly manned due to a lack of funds. He believes that if the unit becomes part of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, it will be appropriately financed.

"And, I think, the number of people within the unit will be increasing dramatically," he said.

Read more: Ukraine's Army enlists 120,000 contract soldiers, and 130,000 reservists, - Defense Ministry

Asker was set up by activists of the economic blockade of Russian-occupied Crimea. In the spring of 2016, the unit was deployed at the entry and exit checkpoints on the administrative border with the annexed peninsula.
 
 
 
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