This paper examines the process of how Crimean Tatars strived to attain group-differentiated rights since they have returned to their homeland in the early 1990s. Whereas the politics of minority rights were viewed through security lens in earlier literature, we emphasize the significance of cultural constructs in influencing the minority policies, based on qualitative content analysis of “speech acts” of elites, and movement and policy documents. Focusing on the interaction of the framing processes of Crimean Tatars with the Crimean regional government, Ukraine, and Russia, we argue that the “neo-Stalinist frame” has played a major role in denying the rights of Crimean Tatars for self-determination and preservation of their ethnic identity in both pre and post annexation Crimea. The Crimean Tatars counter-framed against neo-Stalinist frame both in the pre and post-annexation period by demanding their rights as “indigenous people”. Ukraine experienced a frame transformation after the Euromaidan protests, by shifting from a neo-Stalinist frame into a “multiculturalist frame”, which became evident in recognition of the Crimean Tatar status as indigenous people of Crimea.

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