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Kyiv Honors Victims of Crimean Tatars’ 1944 Deportation (PHOTOS)
19 May, 2019
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Kyivans came to the Independence Square to honor the victims of the 1944 Soviet deportation of Crimean Tatars.

A rally honoring the victims of the Soviet Union's mass deportations of Crimean Tatars took place at the Independence Square in Kyiv, Ukraine on May 18, 2019. Photo: Anastasia Vlasova / Hromadske.

The deportations of Crimean Tatars began on May 18, 1944. The reason for their deportation was a decree by the Soviet security services, alleging massive Crimean Tatar collaboration with Nazis, during the period Crimea was under German occupation. More than 190,000 people were deported.

People attend an event honoring the victims of the Soviet Union's mass deportations of Crimean Tatars that took place at the Independence Square in Kyiv, Ukraine on May 18, 2019. Photo: Anastasia Vlasova / Hromadske.

People attend an event honoring the victims of the Soviet Union's mass deportations of Crimean Tatars that took place at the Independence Square in Kyiv, Ukraine on May 18, 2019. Photo: Anastasia Vlasova / Hromadske.

In November 2015, the Ukrainian Parliament recognized the deportations as genocide of the Crimean Tatar population.

A girl waves the Crimean Tatar flag during the event honoring the victims of the Soviet Union's 1944 mass deportations of Crimean Tatars, which took place at the Independence Square in Kyiv, Ukraine on May 18, 2019. Photo: Anastasia Vlasova / Hromadske.

In Simferopol, a city in Crimea, annexed by Russia, there was also a protest, uncoordinated with the occupying Russian authorities. About a hundred people came to the memorial stone near the city’s railway station.

Man wears a Crimean Tatar coat of arms t-shirt and holds a Crimean Tatar flag during a rally in Kyiv, Ukraine on May 18, 2019. Photo: Anastasia Vlasova / Hromadske

Two men hold a banner that reads "Crimea to hold a status of a Crimean Tatar autonomy within Ukraine!" in Kyiv, Ukraine on May 18, 2019. Photo: Anastasia Vlasova / Hromadske

“Today is the day in memory of the people who were evicted in 1944 to Central Asia, the Urals, Siberia,” said one of the participants of the Simferopol rally.

People attend an event honoring the victims of the Soviet Union's mass deportations of Crimean Tatars that took place at the Independence Square in Kyiv, Ukraine on May 18, 2019. Photo: Anastasia Vlasova / Hromadske.

On May 9, the Parliament of Latvia recognized the Crimean Tatars deportations as genocide. The Canadian Parliament has not yet adopted such resolution - after serious protest by opposition politicians. However, the MPs will return to the issue after the Parliamentary elections in autumn 2019.