SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine – Despite the Crimean parliament voting to secede from Ukraine and join Russia Thursday, there is a restive minority ethnic group who could rock these plans: the Crimean Tatars.

The Tatars, a Turkic ethnic group who make up about 12 percent of the approximately 2 million people in the Crimean Peninsula, are not supporters of the March 16 referendum to align closer to Russia.

The speaker of the Tatar National Assembly, Refat Chubarov, has gone so far as to call for a boycott of the referendum, which he said, “completely ignores the opinion of the peninsula’s native population – the Crimean Tatars.”



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