President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky paid tribute to the victims of the genocide of the Crimean Tatar people

“4 am… Knock on door …15 minutes to get ready…”
Such words begin the memories of all those who survived the events of 18 May 1944, when the house of every Crimean Tatar family was haunted. 76 years ago, the forced deportation of the indigenous people from the Crimean peninsula began.

Today, on the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Genocide of the Crimean Tatar People, we recall the horrendous crime that has resulted in thousands of human lives and a crippled destiny. People were put in carriages and sent thousands of kilometres from their native land. Many Crimean Tatars returned from the war with medals for the capture of Berlin. And they saw empty houses. Many people weren’t even told where their families were sent or where to look for them.

That morning is called a tragic dawn in the life of the Crimean Tatar people. It was not until more than 40 years later that they were able to return home. All the troubles seemed to be behind us. And in 2014, as a result of the attempted annexation of Crimea, many Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars were forced to leave their land again. And those who remain suffer from confinement, search and harassment.

We believe that the day when Crimea return to Ukraine will come. Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians will return to their homes, gather at the same table to say together: Bizim ve siziñ azatlığıñız içün! To your freedom and ours!

Today, light illumination in solidarity with the Crimean Tatar people is placed on the buildings of the Office of the President of Ukraine and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Today, every Ukrainian shares with him the pain of the tragedy of May 18, 1944. That date was a reminder that it was possible to take away the land of a people, but it was impossible to take away the spirit and will of a people.

Eternal memory of all the victims of the genocide of the Crimean Tatar people.

Volodymyr Zelensky