This week, Ukraine honours the memory of the sons and daughters of the indigenous people of Ukraine – the Crimean Tatars – who died 80 years ago as a result of the criminal policy of forced deportation by the soviet government.

The Speaker of the Parliament of Ukraine Ruslan Stefanchuk took part in the opening of the exhibition at the Mission of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, which reminds of the tragedy of the Crimean Tatar people – the genocide of 1944.

“People died both during transportation and as a result of inhuman conditions in exile. Seventy years later, history repeated itself. In February 2014, russian troops invaded the territory of Ukrainian Crimea, launching a new wave of terror,” said the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, noting that Crimean Tatars have become one of the main targets of russian attacks.

He also stressed that human rights violations in the occupied Crimea have become systemic: “Extrajudicial executions and abductions, imprisonment and torture, intimidation and persecution, restrictions on political and civil rights, forced imposition of russian citizenship and conscription into the occupation army, restrictions on the exercise of the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion have been the daily reality of the occupied Crimea for ten years.”

“War is the nature of modern russia. Genocidal practices are their instrument of governance in the occupied territories, and mass repression is at the centre of their domestic policy,” said Ruslan Stefanchuk, stressing that, nevertheless, for all these long ten years, Ukrainians have been resisting the occupier, fighting for independence, for the choice to be free and choose their own path.

“We are fighting for our future. We are also fighting for the truth about our past. For us, winning this war means preserving the future of our children, preserving the memory of our ancestors,” said the Speaker of the Parliament of Ukraine.

“In this exhibition, we raise the topic of pain not of one day, but of centuries. For generations, the indigenous people of Ukraine have been exterminated. And today it continues. But it is important not to hush up the crimes, but to talk about them. Otherwise, they will be repeated,” said Tamila Tasheva, the Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

She noted that today russia is conducting massive searches in the homes of Crimean Tatars in the occupied Crimea, detaining them and accusing them of fabricated cases: “What russia failed to do in 1944 is being made up for today. And Ukraine is doing everything possible to return Crimea and put an end to russia's crimes.”

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