This view was expressed by Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Ahtem Chyigoz in an interview with Glavkom, Censor.NET reports.
"It was such pre-planned names as Crimeans that brought this great trouble upon Crimea. Who are those Crimeans we are talking about after all? They are citizens of Ukraine who live in Crimea," Chiygoz said.
Chiygoz believes there is no such notion as a Crimean.
"I told everyone back in the 2000s that it was incorrect to use this term. I'll tell you who was sticking these labels on people - Deich, Senchenko (Ukrainian politicians of Crimean origin Borys Deich and Andrii Senchenko - ed.)," he said.
Earlier, Umerov and Chiygoz were released by Russia and extradited from Crimea to Turkey.
In 2016, FSB investigators initiated a criminal case against Crimean Tatar, deputy head of Mejlis and participant of Crimean Tatars national liberation movement Ilmi Umerov. He is charged with public calls to violate the territorial integrity of Russia.
Umerov's detention, search and the criminal case, and his keeping in psychiatric hospital and pushing through forced psychiatric expertise stirred global response.
Simferopol city court controlled by the Kremlin started hearing the case against Umerov on June 7, 2017. Umerov believes his case is politically charged.
On Sept. 11, the Supreme Court of Russia-occupied Crimea sentenced Chiygoz to eight years in prison.
On Aug. 2, 2016 Russian-controlled Supreme Court of Crimea started to consider materially "the case of Feb. 26" against Akhtem Chiygoz. Earlier, on July 20, 2016, during hearing in camera, the court divided "the case of Feb. 26" into two separate cases: one against Akhtem Chiygoz and another against the rest of the defendants.
After Crimea was occupied by Russia, Kremlin puppets started trials against Crimean Tatar activists who participated in protests in support of Ukraine's territorial integrity. The events took place on Feb. 26, 2014. According to occupant authorities, two protesters were killed in a stampede, 79 people received injuries. Those detained in connection with the case - Akhtem Chiygoz, Ali Asanov, and Mustafa Degermendzhy - were named political prisoners by Russian Memorial human rights center.
Related materials: Occupation of Crimea