November 13, 2015
On 12 November 2015, 245 Ukrainian MPs voted to recognize the 1944 mass deportation of 200,000 Crimean Tatars as a genocide. Tens of thousands died of exposure, disease, and starvation in the traumatic forced migration from their homeland to Central Asia. The event will be commemorated annually on 18 May.
Read the full article, published by Ukraine Today, below:
Mass deportation of Crimean Tatars from their homeland in 1944 was genocide. That is according to a resolution of the Ukrainian parliament, which was supported on Thursday [12 November 2015] by 245 MPs present in the session hall.
A Day of Remembrance of the victims of genocide of the Crimean Tatar people will be held annually on May 18.
The resolution was adopted with an amendment suggested by parliamentarian Mykola Kniazhytsky.
The final text of resolution says that "the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine states that the system pressure on the Crimean Tatar people, the repression of Ukrainian citizens on a national basis, the organization of ethnically and politically motivated prosecutions of the Crimean Tatars on the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine by the public authorities of the Russian Federation, starting from the date of temporary occupation, are a conscious policy of ethnocide of the Crimean Tatar people."
In May 1944 about 200,000 Crimean Tatars, including women, children, and the elderly, were taken from their homes during the night and loaded on freight trains headed to Central Asia. Nearly half of those deported died from starvation or disease on the way to their final destination.
Crimean Tatars were allowed to return to Crimea following the collapse of the Soviet Union. But following Russia's annexation of the peninsula last year, the group fears being repressed one again – this time, by the Kremlin-appointment authorities in the region.
Photo Credit Austin Charron @Flickr