ARC has repeatedly written about the provocations organized by the aggressor to incite inter-religious hatred, including in the Russia-occupied territories, with the use of the “Crimean muftiate” of Emirali Ablaev.

Among other things, the occupiers use this “muftiyat” as a form of illegal influence on the Muslim population not only in the Crimea, but also at the occupied mainland regions of Ukraine.

So, on April 8, Ablayev’s “deputy” Esadullah Bairov said that “representatives of the Muslim communities … of Kherson and Zaporizhzhya regions will have the opportunity to perform the Hajj this year”, but just with the “intermediary services” of his illegal “department”.

Since 2014, the “Crimean Muftiate”, controlled by the special services of the Russian Federation, has been criminally manipulating the issue of the Hajj, the resolution and organization of which depends on the institutions of Saudi Arabia.

However, before the large-scale aggression, Crimean believers could go on the hajj legally, through the mainland of Ukraine, which they did en masse, now it is extremely problematic for believers to leave both the Crimea and the occupied mainland for Mecca, despite the fact that the period of the hajj in 2023 falls on the last week of June.

Bairov himself was repeatedly used by the aggressor’s special services for “external” provocations on religious grounds. In 2015, he provocatively asked the Turkish authorities for money “to build the Cathedral Mosque” in Russia-occupied Simferopol, and in 2020 he stated criminally that Russian invaders’ racial discrimination against Crimean Tatars is alleged “fight” against certain “extremists”, and in February 2023 he “was worried” about some “persecution of Russian culture” in Europe.

The current rhetoric of the “muftiate” functionaries means a high probability of another provocation by the aggressor’s special services both within the framework of this Ramadan and on the eve of the Hajj 2023.

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