UWC honors Crimean Tatar genocide victims, calls for world to support liberation of Crimea

#UWC news
May 18,2023 1000
UWC honors Crimean Tatar genocide victims, calls for world to support liberation of Crimea

The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC), together with the multi-million-strong Ukrainian diaspora, join Ukraine and Crimean Tatars around the world in commemorating the anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatar people from Crimea and in paying tribute to the innocent victims of this genocide committed by the totalitarian Soviet regime.

We also call on the international democratic community to stand iron-clad with Ukraine as it prepares to liberate all its occupied territories, including Crimea, from the brutal genocidal Russian occupation. 

79 years ago, on this day, the Soviet authorities began the planned deportation of over 200,000 Crimean Tatars from the Crimean peninsula on the order of the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. The majority of the deported were women, children, and older people. Up to 40% of them perished during the forced displacement because of starvation, illnesses, torture, and slave labor in exile in deserted parts of Central Asia. The survivors were forced to live in harsh exile until the late 1980s, humiliated and labeled by the Soviet authorities as a “nation of traitors.” This crime of Soviet-Communism became one of the most horrific ethnic cleansings in the heinous history of the USSR.

The return to their ancient homeland Crimea and the gradual revival of the Crimean Tatar heritage became possible only after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the restoration of Ukraine’s independence in 1991. Ukraine officially recognized May 18 as a day to remember the genocide against Crimean Tatars.

With the Russian occupation of Crimea in 2014, Crimean Tatars were again under repression in their homeland. The Russian Federation brought back terror, intimidation, and persecution of the Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian communities based on political, cultural, and religious intolerance and has also been implementing a policy of artificial population replacement in Crimea. 

Today, opinion polls show that the people of Ukraine are rock-solid in refusing land trade for peace and remain confident that Crimea must return to Ukraine like any other Ukrainian territory under Russia’s occupation. As the Armed Forces of Ukraine move closer to Crimea, the pro-Ukrainian resistance in the peninsula becomes more visible, and the Russian myth about “historically Russian Crimea” collapses.

A free and independent Ukraine is not possible without Crimea. The Russian military aggression against Ukraine started in 2014 in the peninsula and must end with its liberation. Millions of Crimeans of various ethnic backgrounds are waiting for Ukraine to return. The Armed Forces of Ukraine will restore the order of justice and the rule of international law. They will end modern-day intimidation and suffering of the Crimean Tatar people once and for all. 

Eternal memory to all the 1944 Crimean Tatar genocide victims! Eternal memory to all the victims of the Russian genocidal aggression against Ukraine!