Crimean Tatars believe that only one ukrainian victory and the recovery of control of the peninsula can save them from a complete destruction of their national identity by Russia.
This is stated by Isa Akaev, leader of the “Crimea” battalion, who does not see “war fatigue” among his soldiers and emphasizes the need to defeat imperialism Russian once and for all.
“Russia is doing everything possible to stop Crimean Tatars from identifying themselves as a separate nation, just as it already did with many towns in its own territory. I am categorically against this,” Akaev tells Efe during a telephone interview.
Since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion his unit has been operating under the direction of the Ukrainian military intelligence service led by General Kirilo Budanov. Akaev cannot reveal the details but says that Crimean Tatars form the backbone of the battalion.
This 58-year-old Crimean Tatar took up arms in 2014, after Russia will illegally annex the peninsula and founded a volunteer battalion that participated in the fighting in Donbas.