May 18 is the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Genocide of the Crimean Tatar People, an indigenous people of Ukraine

In 2015, the Ukrainian state recognized the 1944 deportation as genocide of the Crimean Tatar people. This example has already been followed by Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Canada. And Ukraine is doing everything it can to ensure that as many countries as possible join this list.

On May 18, 1944, the Soviet authorities deployed 32,000 security forces and used 67 trains to deport more than 180,000 Crimean Tatars in the first three days, and this is only according to official figures. In exile, representatives of the indigenous people were forced to live like prisoners, without the right to leave the special settlement areas and under constant police surveillance. The deportation of 1944 killed tens of thousands of Crimean Tatars, the Crimean economy collapsed, the culture and history of the peninsula were distorted, and the Crimean Tatar language was on the verge of extinction.

The return of the Crimean Tatars to their homeland without obstacles from the authorities became possible only after Ukraine gained independence. The struggle for the right to live in their native land lasted almost half a century. The Crimean Tatars are still returning, or rather, they were returning before the occupation of Crimea.

With the armed invasion of the Ukrainian peninsula, Russia has once again closed the way home for the indigenous people, and those who managed to return to the occupation are once again prevented from living freely, using its criminal law and branding them extremists or terrorists, persecuting, imprisoning and expelling them from their native peninsula. The occupiers in Crimea have suspended the activities of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people and, after a year of occupation, banned Crimean Tatars from holding a traditional mourning rally on May 18 to honor the victims of this crime against humanity.

This day should be known and remembered by the whole world in order to prevent such tyranny in the future!