Russian media are claiming that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko aims to establish a Crimean Tatar autonomy in the southeastern Ukrainian province of Kherson and populate the region with resettled Crimean Tatars and Turks. The source for this claim is an alleged draft presidential decree discovered on secure administration sited and published by Kyberberkut, a site  that is notorious for publishing fake documents. In the past StopFake has debunked several Kyberberkut claims.

The published document is an alleged secret presidential decree which creates a Crimean national autonomy on the territory of Kherson oblast, renames the city of Kherson into Khan Hyrey as the capital of the new Crimean Tatar autonomy and orders the resettlement of 500,000 Crimean Tatars and 200,000 Meskheti Turks to this territory. (Meskheti Turks are ethnic Turks formerly inhabiting the Meskheti region of Georogia  along the border with Turkey, today they are widely dispersed throughout the former Soviet Union because of forced deportations during World War II.)

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Several Russian media featured stories based on this alleged leaked document. Russian National television channel Rossia 24 claimed Ukraine was turning Kherson province into a Crimean Khanate, Ren TV, Komsomolskaya Pravda, and a slew of separatist sites – Novostnoy Front,  Pravda.ru, Novostnoe Agentstvo Kharkov, Novosti Russkogo Mira followed suit.

Screenshot from REN-TV website

Screenshot from REN-TV website

Screnshot from kp.ru

The fake document violates several articles of the Ukrainian Constitution, the highest law of the land that cannot be superseded by presidential decrees. It is highly unlikely that the Presidential Administration would attempt to bypass the Constitution. The President has no right to change the names of cities, or to establish new territorial entities.

Furthermore, on official presidential decree stationery, the Ukrainian trident, the country’s national symbol is gold, on the decree published by Russian sites, the trident is black.

Presidential Decree/ facebook.com/petroporoshenko

Presidential Decree/ facebook.com/petroporoshenko