May 17, 2022. OTTAWA, ON. On May 18, the world marks the Day of Remembrance of the Genocide of the Crimean Tatar People. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) joins the Crimean Tatar People in mourning, grief and solemn commemoration of the memory of the victims of the Sürgünlik.
In 1944, the totalitarian Soviet communist regime exiled the Crimean Tatar People, the Іndigenous people of Crimea, from their homeland. Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children were forcibly and violently deported to Siberia and Central Asian regions of the USSR. Nearly half lost their lives during the first year of exile. The Soviet regime prohibited the Crimean Tatar People from returning to Crimea for almost 50 years.
May the Memory of the Victims be Eternal. Вічная Пам’ять.
In 2014, Russia invaded and occupied Crimea. Today, the Crimean People, who are bravely resisting the Russian occupation of their ancestral homeland, are once again subject to systemic repressions, arbitrary arrests and attacks on their inalienable rights and freedoms by the Russian occupation regime. The Representative Assembly of the Crimean Tatar People, the Mejlis, has been illegally banned. The Crimean Tatar People are once again the victims of a cruel and ruthless occupation regime.
The UCC stands in solidarity with the Crimean Tatar People and calls on the international community to increase pressure on Russia to end its illegal occupation of Crimea. Today, as Russia wages a genocidal war against Ukraine, the Crimean Tatar People, as all citizens of Ukraine, stand in defence of their homeland against Russia’s aggression. The same evil spirit of totalitarianism, colonialism and oppression that drove the Soviet genocide against the Crimean Tatar People today drives the Russian genocide against Ukrainians.
In November 2015, Ukraine’s Parliament recognized the Sürgünlik an act of Genocide against the Crimean Tatar People and established May 18 as the Day of Remembrance of the Genocide of the Crimean Tatar People. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress calls on Canada to recognize the deportation of the Crimean Tatar People as an act of Genocide.