18 May, Odessa joined other Ukrainian cities in commemorating victims of deportation of Crimean Tatars that started 71 years ago by Stalin’s order.
Odessa commemorated deportation of Crimean Tatars.
These days, those tragic events acquire new meaning, since after Crimea was annexed by Russia in 2014, Crimean Tatars have been facing repressions on their native land again. Russian occupiers even banned them from holdng rally to commemorate deportation anniversary. That’s why people all over Ukraine and abroad not only commemorate victims of deportation, but also express support to those who have to face Russian aggression and struggle for their rights in Crimea.
Odessa residents gathered near Duc de Richelieu monument, lit candles in the form of Crimean Tatar emblem and hold a moment of silence in memory of the deportation victims. The gathering was a unique combination of Odessa residents and Crimean Tatars who had to flee from Crimea (some of them leaving their families there), Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian flags, representatives of Christians and Muslims, adults and children – all this showing that despite Russian aggression and the difficulties Ukraine is facing, the country remains united in its diversity.
“Under occupation of Crimea, our brothers – Crimean Tatars – are becoming only stronger; we do hope that one day we will free our brothers from Russian captivity”, activists said.
Aleksandra Demskaya, EMPR, photo credits to Stanislav Rico, EMPR, and Ivan Strahov, mayak.org.ua.
The article is also available in Russian.