On May 18-19, Ukraine marked the 75th anniversary of the deportation of Crimean Tatars by the Soviet regime and honored the memory of thousands of deceased in times of Soviet political repressions.
In 1944, a forceful Soviet deportation of about 200,000 of Crimean Tatars from their homeland - the Crimean peninsula – killed more than 100 000 people, who died from starvation or disease as a direct result of the deportation.
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine recognized the deportation of Crimean Tatars in 1944 as genocide of the Crimean Tatar people. On 23 April 2019, the Mejlis of Crimean Tatar People called on the Parliaments and the Governments of the United Nations to recognize the genocide of the Crimean Tatar people.
The Soviet regime committed countless crimes. One of the tragic symbols of Soviet political repressions is the Bykivnya Forest on the outskirts of Kyiv. During the times of the "Great Terror" in 1937-1941 from 20 till 100 thousand people were killed and buried there.
In commemoration of victims of the horrific crimes of the Soviet regime, Ukrainian national flag was flying at half-mast at the residence of the Head of the Mission of Ukraine to the EU on May 18-19.
Today Russia occupied Crimea and launched large-scale repressions and persecutions against Crimean Tatars, Ukrainians and all those who oppose the occupation.
Moreover, the Kremlin illegally imprisons and keeps more than 70 Ukrainian political prisoners as hostages of its hybrid aggression against Ukraine.
We call on international community not to forget tragic history lessons and stop Russia’s crimes in Crimea.
We urge Kremlin to stop human rights violations in temporarily occupied Crimea, release political prisoners-citizens of Ukraine and reverse the illegal occupation of Crimea.