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    St. Nicholas' Beacon and Church in the Malorechenskoye Village, Sudak District, Crimea

    Russia’s Ethnic Germans Start Resettling in Crimea – German Cultural Autonomy

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    SIMFEROPOL (Sputnik) - Russia's ethnic Germans have started resettling in Crimea, albeit not in mass numbers, Yury Gempel, the chairman of the Crimean German National and Cultural Autonomy and a member of the Crimean parliament, told Sputnik.

    "The process of returning [of Russian ethnic Germans] is underway. One cannot say that it is mass but it is rather stable, with 11-12 families of Russian [ethnic] Germans annually returning from Germany to Crimea for permanent residence. Just recently, we have welcomed one more family. They are currently preparing to settle in Dzhankoy district; they run their own small business," he said.

    He added that Russia's ethnic Germans wished to build a settlement in Crimea in a German architectural style with the aim of preserving their culture and traditions.

    "I think [the initiative] has good prospects. Moreover, such a project has already been implemented in Kazakhstan," he noted.

    After the presidential decree was issued, Russia's ethnic Germans living in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Germany started submitting requests for assistance in their resettlement to Crimea. According to Gempel, over 1,500 applications have been received, with 600 of them from Germany alone.

    According to Gempel, about 2,000 ethnic Germans are currently living in Crimea.

    READ MORE: German Lawmaker Slams Ukrainian Ambassador's Idea to Ban Germans From Crimea

    On April 21, the peninsula marks the Day of Revival of Rehabilitated Peoples of Crimea, which were repressed under the rule of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. On this day four years ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an executive order the rehabilitation of Armenian, Bulgarian, Greek, Italian, Crimean Tatar, and German peoples. The order also stipulates measures of state support for these peoples’ revival and development.

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