The Canadian Parliament unanimously recognized the deportation of Crimean Tatars as genocide

Anhelina Sheremet

The House of Commons of Canada unanimously approved a resolution recognizing the mass deportation of Crimean Tatars by the Soviet regime in 1944 as genocide.

This was announced by the Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada Yulia Kovalev.

From now on, May 18 will be celebrated every year in Canada as the Crimean Tatar Deportation (“Sürgünlik”) Memorial Day.

Deportation of Crimean Tatars

On May 11, 1944, Joseph Stalin personally signed a resolution of the State Defense Committee on the organization of the deportation of Crimean Tatars. The NKVD-controlled forced eviction operation began early in the morning of 18 May. Everyone was deported — children, women, the elderly, and people with disabilities. People were taken by truck to railway stations. From there they were sent immediately or in two or three days to remote areas of Central Asia, the Urals, and Siberia.

The main phrase of the deportation operation ended on the evening of May 20. Almost 70 echelons were sent from Crimea to the east. In the few weeks spent on the road, about eight thousand people died, mostly old people and children. The remaining Crimean Tatars were deported during the deportation of Armenians, Greeks, and Bulgarians from the peninsula in late June of that year. Two hundred thousand people — is the approximate number of deported Crimean Tatars, according to unofficial data, they were twice as many.

After the deportation of Crimean Tatars, migrants were sent to the peninsula on Stalinʼs orders, primarily from the Russian hinterland — Kursk, Voronezh, Belgorod regions, the Volga region, and the northern regions.

Crimean Tatars were forbidden to return to the peninsula until 1989. Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, and Canada have recognized the deportation of Crimean Tatars as genocide. But Russia, as the successor to the USSR, did not conduct any investigation into this crime and did not pay any compensation.