Ukrainians around the world join Crimean Tatar people in remembrance of victims of 1944 genocide
On 18 May 1944, on the order of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, hundreds of thousands of Crimean Tatars were deported from the Crimean Peninsula of Ukraine to various regions of the Soviet Union with close to half perishing either during the journey or within a year of being exiled.
In November 2015, the Parliament of Ukraine recognized the deportation of Crimean Tatars from Crimea in 1944 as genocide and declared 18 May as the Day of Remembrance of the victims of the genocide of the Crimean Tatar people.
The Crimean Tatars had lived peacefully on the peninsula since their return in 1987 until the illegal occupation of Crimea by Russian forces in March 2014.
Today, Crimean Tatars once again face persecution and continue to be denied their fundamental human rights and freedoms. Less than one month ago, on 26 April 2016, Russian authorities banned the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, branding the representative assembly as an extremist organization.
The international community has condemned the illegal Russian occupation of Crimea and resolutely refuses to recognize this violation of Ukrainian borders.
“The Ukrainian World Congress and Ukrainians around the world stand united with the Crimean Tatar people in remembrance of the victims of this genocide, remain committed to ensuring the withdrawal of Russian forces from the peninsula and to not allow the international community to forget that Crimea is Ukraine,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.