Deportation of the Crimean Tatars

in 1944 and forced emigration

During World War II, the Crimean Tatars were deported by the Soviet Union. The pretext was an accusation
of collaboration with the German occupation forces.

The Deportation Operation

The deportations started in the early morning of 18 May 1944 and ended at 4:00 pm on May 20th.

The deportation “operation” occurred from 18 to 20 May 1944. 193,865 Crimean Tatars were deported from their historical homeland, and 46.2% of them perished due to the deportation. It was a moral and physical destruction of a people – essentially, genocide of the Crimean Tatars.

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At the end of the 1930s, the Stalinist regime had already doubled down on the repression and Russification of the Crimean Tatars. A large part of the national intelligentsia was killed, sent to prisons and labour camps. They were later deported along with the rest of the people. After the deportation ended, the activities of the Crimean Tatar institutions on the peninsula were terminated; geographic place names were Russified; and towns and villages were resettled with people from the other Soviet republics.