March 18 - Hundreds of mourners attend the funeral of a Crimean Tatar whose murder has sparked anger and fear in the community bitterly opposed to Russia's annexation of Crimea. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Hundreds of mourners gather at a funeral service in Crimea. They have come to bury a Crimean Tatar who disappeared March 3 when three men in military jackets led him away from a protest. His body was found nearly two weeks later. With Moscow now declaring Crimea a part of Russia, grief and fear in the Tatar community. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) ABZATOV SAYING: "The politicians are playing cards and trying to set people one against the other. I don't know how to put this, it is pure provocation." While Russian President Vladimir Putin called Crimea a holy place for Russia, saying all nationalities including Tatars would have equal language rights -- not everyone is assured. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) MEJLIS MEMBER, ABDURAKHMAN AZIZ, SAYING: "We call on all our countrymen and people of Crimea to remain calm. This is an international issue, and we are awaiting an international reaction, Ukraine's reaction. This should be solved at the international level." Bitter memories run deep in the Tatar muslim community, which makes up about 12 percent of the Crimean population. They were nearly wiped out on Moscow's orders, first by the czars and then by the Soviets.