May 17, 2023, 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 May, 2022, Canada’s House of Commons unanimously recognized that the mass deportation of the Crimean Tatar People from their homeland in 1944 by the Soviet Communist regime – was an act of Genocide against the Crimean Tatar People. The House of Commons designated May 18th of each year as Crimean Tatar Deportation (“Sürgünlik”) Memorial Day.
In 2014, Russia invaded and occupied Crimea. Today, the Crimean Tatar 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. We are certain that Ukraine will defeat Russia and that one day soon, Crimea will once again be free.