Ukraine parliament recognises Crimean Muslims ‘genocide’

General Assembly in Ukraine passes legislation recognising deportation of Muslim minority from Crimea in World War Two as 'genocide'

Photo by: AP (Archive )
Photo by: AP (Archive )

Newly elected Ukrainian parliament deputies swear their oath during the inauguration cermeony in Kiev, Ukraine in November 27, 2014

Ukraine’s unicameral parliament, the Verkhovna Rada on Thursday adopted resolution number 2493, supported by 245 deputies to recognise the deportation of Crimean Tatars in May 1944 as a genocide.

"In May 1944, based on decisions of the State Defense Committee of the USSR, the Crimean Tatars were forcibly evicted from the territory of Crimea. As a result, more than 180 thousand of ethnic Crimean Tatars were forced to leave their homeland. According to various historical sources, the eviction was carried out in a rough way, with the confiscation of belonging to Crimean Tatars property and with the introduction of discrimination based on national origin. According to various estimates, more than 46 percent of migrants have died as a result of deportation carried out by the Soviet government. The exact number of victims is unknown," said in an explanatory note to the draft resolution.

Former Soviet leader Josef Stalin ordered the deportation of 180,000 Crimean Tatars for their alleged collaboration with advancing Nazi soldiers, at the end of World War Two.

Approximately half of the population, deported from the USSR died of starvation on their way to Soviet Central Asia.

It is noted that the adopted resolution aims to attract the attention of the international community over the crimes that were committed against Crimean Tatars and to prevent the commitment of such acts to be repeated again in the future.

Tatars came to Crimea in the late 1980s without compensation for lost family members and property. They faced problems on their resettlements with ethnic Russians and Ukrainians, who moved to the peninsula following their deportation.

Meanwhile, Tatar leaders have accused Ukrainian authorities stating that they deliberately prevented them from taking part in government jobs.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Ukraine worked closely with the Russian Federation, including its security policies.

In March 2014 Russia annexed Crimea and pro-Russian activists that hastily organised a referendum where most of Crimea voted for “returning” the peninsula to Russia, however, Crimean Tatars did not participate in this referendum.

Crimea is the strategic place that is a part of the Great Silk Road of northern countries and Tsarist Russia conquered Crimea in 1788, as a new administration prompted masses of Crimean Tatars to Turkey.

TRTWorld and agencies