May 18 is commemorated as a memorial day of the victims of the genocide of the Crimean Tatar people. On that day in 1944, Joseph Stalin began an operation to deport the entire population of Crimean Tatars who survived the German occupation of the peninsula. Over 200,000 Tatars, baselessly accused of collaborating with the Nazis, were expelled in just two days. In packed and locked railroad cattle cars and with few provisions and water, they were sent on an arduous journey to remote rural locations in Central Asia and Siberia. Over 46 percent of the Crimean Tatar people perished during the trip and in the first two years of the exile due to the harsh conditions. A year after the deportation, when World War II ended, demobilized Crimean Tatar soldiers were sent from the Soviet Army directly into exile too.
76 years after deportation, Crimean Tatars are again being erased from history in Crimea
By Staff6 Mins Read