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On the 75th anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatars…

13:43 19.05.2019

Today we honor the victims of political repression and the 75th anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatars…a significant event for Ukraine.

At international meetings I am often told that Ukrainians too often “celebrate” all sorts of sad anniversaries… My best response is to site Peruvian writer and Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, who wondered how the Ukrainian people even managed to survive and remain relevant in history.

Lllosa, in his review of Anne Applebaum’s Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine, writes about “the extremes that ideological fanaticism can lead to, the blindness and imbecility that accompany it.” In essence, we lived in such total idiocy for several centuries. But we survived…

There was a punishment in ancient Greece worse than the death penalty: exile.

To deprive a person of their roots and native land was considered worse than death. In the USSR entire nations were condemned to this, in particular the Crimean Tatars.

The repressions against this proud and unbroken people continue to this day, in occupied Crimea. I admire their character, courage and invincibility…

It is with a mix of admiration and sympathy, empathy and a sense of shared destiny that I can with confidence say that we will return Crimea and restore peace in Ukraine. It can be no other way! We will live together peacefully as friends in our beautiful country. Crimea is Ukraine!

I want to also recommend that you watch Akhtem Seitablayev’s moving film “Haytarma” about the deportation of the Crimean Tatars.

Let’s stand together!

Yulia Tymoshenko