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Aide to former Crimean Tatar leader whom Russians accused of "extremism" detained at Chișinău airport

Saturday, 4 May 2024, 17:06
Aide to former Crimean Tatar leader whom Russians accused of extremism detained at Chișinău airport
Erol Veliiev. Photo: ATR, a Ukrainian TV Channel whose target audience is Crimean Tatars

Moldovan special services have detained Erol Veliiev, an aide to Mustafa Dzhemilev (a member of the Ukrainian parliament and former Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People), at Chișinău airport.

Source: Refat Chubarov, Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, on Facebook

Details: Chubarov said Veliiev was detained at around 15:00 while passing through border control on his way back to Kyiv.


Quote from Chubarov: "Our particular concern is related to the fact that Erol Veliiev is an aide to Ukrainian MP Mustafa Dzhemilev and one of the many Crimean Tatars included by Russia on their list of terrorists subject to arrest.

Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Ukraine in Moldova have been informed of the situation. The Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People is taking other measures aimed at protecting the rights of Ukrainian citizen Erol Veliiev."

Updated: At 16:50, Chubarov reported that Veliiev "has been taken to another room in the Chișinău airport premises, where he will be interrogated by Moldova's Security and Intelligence Service.

Chubarov added at 16:59 that Veliiev had been released.

Quote from Chubarov: "The cause of the detention is that Russia has put Erol on a 'national wanted list'. However, we still have to figure out what the security services of the sovereign state of Moldova have to do with it."


  • In 2018, Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) accused Erol Veliiev of setting up an extremist group in Russian-occupied Crimea.
  • Refat Chubarov explained that Oleksandr Steshenko, a man from Kharkiv who had been detained in occupied Crimea, was tortured and forced to give the FSB the testimony it needed. Steshenko was then filmed "confessing" that Erol Veliiev had supposedly instructed him to set fire to the house of Crimean Mufti Emirali Ablaev, who is known to collaborate with Russia, in January 2018.

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