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Anti-Tatar sentiment or Tatarophobia (Russian: Татарофобия, romanized: Tatarofobiya) refers to the fear, hatred towards, demonization of, or prejudice against people generally referred to as Tatars, including but not limited to Volga, Siberian, and Crimean Tatars, although negative attitudes against the latter are by far the most severe, largely in part due to the long history of Soviet media only depicting them in a negative way and promoting negative stereotypes to help politically justify their deportation and marginalization.
Against Crimean Tatars
After the deportation of the Crimean Tatars in May 1944, the government strongly promoted existing negative stereotypes of Crimean Tatars and built up upon them; declaring them to be "traitors", "bourgeoisie", "counter-revolutionary", and falsely implied that they were "Mongols" with no historical connection to the Crimean peninsula. Political agitation by party members encouraged other citizens at deportation destinations to abuse them and conferences in Crimea dedicated to promoting and sharing anti-Crimean-Tatar sentiments was held. Traces of Crimean Tatar presence in the peninsula were wiped off the peninsula after the deportation in 1944, with thousands of villages previously bearing Tatar names being given new Russian names, officially detatarizing the peninsula. The deported Crimean Tatars who worked in Central Asia lived under the "special settler" regime, which deprived them of many civil rights that other Soviet citizens enjoyed and confined them within a small perimeter. People involved in the Crimean Tatar civil rights movement repeatedly noted similarities between the conditions suffered by designated "special settlers" and victims of apartheid as well as Palestinians in occupied territories.
In modern times
While still very prevalent in modern society, Tatarophobia generates more controversy and pushback in modern times than it did in the past. While no longer officially a state-mandated institution, it remains pervasive throughout government and society; a notable example being when Russian consul Vladimir Andreev demanded that none of the invited Russian citizens attend the debut of Haytarma, a film about Crimean Tatar twice Hero of the Soviet Union Amet-khan Sultan, because it did not depict the Crimean Tatar population in a sufficiently negative light. Andreev admitted that he did not actually see the movie when he told people not to attend, but said that he felt it would be historically inaccurate because it was directed by a Crimean Tatar.
Confusion about different Tatar peoples has been taken advantage of by propaganda, which will celebrate the relative equality experienced by Volga Tatar in order to lead uneducated recipients of propaganda to confuse them with Crimean Tatars and be led to believe that interethnic relations are overwhelmingly positive. It is not unusual for Volga Tatars to be praised and lauded as brotherly peoples by the same institutions that simultaneously engage in Tatarophobia against Crimean Tatars, and it is not unusual for the relative lack of hostility towards Volga Tatars to be pointed out as an excuse to avoid correcting xenophobia towards Crimean Tatars. Despite the Crimean Tatar language being very distant from the Kazan Tatar language, the Soviet Union long opposed the request by the Crimean Tatar civil rights movement for their autonomy to be restored in Crimea, and offered to create an autonomous region in Tatarstan for them instead - insulting much of the Crimean Tatar leadership.
Against Volga Tatars
Historically the Volga Tatars have been lauded as a "model minority" in Russia and the Soviet Union and treated much better than the Crimean Tatars. Nevertheless, prejudices against Volga Tatars exists and there have been some attempts to de-Tatarize Tatarstan by Russian nationalists. In 2007, a young Tatar man was stabbed to death by a group of people on his way to work in St. Petersburg. The Tatar community stated that the murder was racially motivated and a consequence of Islamophobia. After Elmira Abdrazakova was crowned Miss Russia in 2013, she was bombarded with racial slurs.
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