Human Rights in Ukraine. Website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Deported peoples

Light a flame in your heart


In Simferopol on the eve of the anniversary of the Deportation of the Crimean Tatars which began i64 years ago on 18 May 1944 two thousand candles were lit in memory of the victims of that terrible crime.

The candles were shaped to form a symbolic map of the Crimea with the figure 64 in the centre, a sign reading “No genocide” and the Crimean Tatar national emblem the tamga.

The remembrance action, organized by the Crimean Tatar Youth Centre, was attended by 300-400 people.

First Deputy Leader of the Mejilis of the Crimean Tatar People Refat Chubarov hopes that the action “Light a flame in your heart”, which was held for the second year running, will with time involve ever more young people. “I truly see in this flame purification – purification for young people. Many now take part in this action as though in some spectacle, perhaps not fully comprehending what happened 64 years ago, yet, taking par in the action, they are cleansed.”

Around 18 May in 1944, up to190 thousand Crimean Tatars were forced from their homes in the Crimea.  Huge numbers died in the course of the deportation. During that same year deportations were carried out of Greeks, Bulgarians and Armenians.

The return of the Crimean Tatars to their homeland began at the end of the 1980s – beginning of the 1990s.  18 May has been commemorated as Remembrance Day for the Victims of the Deportation since 1993.

At present the population of the Crimea is more than 1.9 million, with over 280 thousand Crimean Tatars.

Based on a report at

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