May 18 marks the remembrance day of one of Stalin’s and the Soviet regime’s most brutal crimes — the deportation of the Crimean Tatars.

The deportation operation began early on the morning of May 18, 1944, and concluded on the evening of May 20. It was the beginning of a cruel and inhumane operation carried out by the NKVD, which left an indelible scar in the history of the Crimean Tatar people. Residents were given just a few minutes to gather their belongings before being loaded into overcrowded cattle cars.

The 80th Anniversary of the Deportation of the Crimean Tatars

Those who refused to leave, resisted, or simply could not move were shot on the spot. Witnesses tell of bodies lying in the streets and courtyards, of screams and pleas for mercy that went unanswered. The conditions in the wagons were unbearable with overcrowding and lack of sanitation. People suffocated, died of dehydration, and lacked medical assistance, suffering from heat and suffocation. Mothers gave birth and lost their babies right before the eyes of other prisoners, and the dead were thrown directly onto the railway tracks.

About 200,000 people were sent to forced labor in Asian republics and Siberia. Upon arrival at their destinations, they faced not life, but a slow demise. Half of those who survived the hellish journey died in the first year of resettlement from hunger, cold, and unbearable working conditions. Many died from infections spread in overcrowded barracks. People were forced to work to exhaustion, often without clothing or footwear in the bitter cold.

This tragedy serves as a reminder that behind the facade of the “happy” life of the Soviet Union, which many now perceive as a time of stability and prosperity, lies the suffering and death of thousands of innocent people. Stalin’s totalitarian regime turned the lives of millions into an endless nightmare filled with horror and bloody crimes.

Contemporary Impact and Ongoing History

As highlighted in the statement by the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, the tragedy of the Crimean Tatars finds parallels in Russia’s actions in Crimea following its illegal annexation in 2014. Russian authorities continue policies of infringing upon the rights of the Crimean Tatars, destroying their cultural heritage, replacing historical names, and persecuting those who oppose the annexation. Canada and the international community recognize these actions as a continuation of the policy of repression and support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in response to ongoing aggression.

Additional Resources for Study

📕 Article on the deportation of the Crimean Tatars on English Wikipedia
📕 Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada on the 80th anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatars
📕 Official statement by the Government of Norway on the 80th anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatars

Vladimir Mikhalev
I’m Vladimir Mikhalev, the Docker Captain, but my friends can call me Valdemar.

DevOps Community

hey 👋 If you have questions about installation or configuration, then ask me and members of our community: