CRIMEAN TATARS AFTER THE “CRIMEAN SPRING”: TRANSFORMATION OF IDENTITIES
Keywords:Crimean Tatars, identities, civic identity, regional identity, ethnic identity, confessional identity
AbstractThe spring 2014 Crimean events were similar to a tectonic shift, aftershocks of which are painfully perceived by the Crimean Tatars. This article highlights the impact of these events on civic, regional, ethnic and confessional identity of the Crimean Tatars. The identity structure of the Crimean Tatars has undergone substantial changes. Civic identity has taken back seat: decreasing share of those who identify themselves with Ukraine has not been compensated for the growing share of those identifying themselves with Russia; the majority of the Crimean Tatars adopt a “wait and see” approach. Many Crimean Tatars have not accepted Russia; according to the survey data, only 16 % call themselves “rossiyane” (Russian citizens). Even among those who support the idea of the Crimean incorporation into Russia, the civic (Russian) identity is weak and opposed by the regional identity. The ethnic and regional identities that have traditionally been important for Crimean Tatars have undergone deterioration: among those who are dissatisfied with new social conditions and policies the confessional identity is getting more and more important. It substitutes for the regional identity when ethnic identity keeps dominant. The article is based on the representative survey conducted by the VCIOM (Russian Public Opinion Research Centre) among the Crimean Tatars in October 2015 (N=1200) as well as on the qualitative research conducted by VCIOM and the Institute of Sociology of the RAS in the summer and the autumn 2015 (12 focus-groups with Crimean Tatars, 4 focus-groups with representatives of “ethnic majority”, 19 expert interviews and 10 biographic interviews.