May 18 Kharkivites organized an information campaign to honor the memory of the Crimean Tatars who suffered the deportation of 1944.
The action to mark 73 years of the deportation, nowadays regarded as a criminal act of Stalinism, was held within the art parade “Slobozhanska Vyshyvanka” near Kharkiv Opera and Ballet Theatre. Event organizers also reminded about the difficult situation of the Crimean Tatars under the current Russian occupation.
Then, at 17.45 the column marched from theatre to the tent “All for Victory” at Maidan Svobody (Freedom Square). There a meeting was held in support of the Crimean Tatar people and a public prayer was carried out in memory of those killed and injured as a result of Stalin’s deportation of 1944.
Reference. May 18-20, 1944 Crimean Tatars were forcibly deported from the Crimea. Soviet power accused the whole nation of collaboration with the Nazi Germany during World War II. Thousands of Crimean Tatars were taken to Central Asia. More than 30,000 people died on the road and from hunger and diseases during the first year of exile.
Only in November 1989 Soviet government recognized deportation of Crimean Tatars and other peoples illegal and criminal and allowed them to return to their homeland, the Crimea.
On November 12, 2015, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada declared 18 May as a Day of Remembrance for the victims of Crimean Tatar Genocide.
Text: Anastasia Mitrofanova
Photo: Boris Redin