Ukrainian president: Ukraine to not leave Crimean Tatars on their own

Published 08.08.2019 00:33

Ukraine will not abandon the Crimean Tatars who were forcibly displaced, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskiy said Wednesday.

Attending the inauguration ceremony of the Crimean Turks Culture and Solidarity Foundation in Ankara, Zelenskiy underlined the importance of unity of Ukrainians and Tatars.

"I believe that Crimea will once again be a part of Ukraine," said the president, adding that when that day comes, those who had to leave will be able to return.

Speaking of Russia's actions against the Tatars, Zelenskiy said many Tatars had to leave their homes. He also underlined that people who remained were still facing pressures in the region.

"While all the sufferings that a society had to go through should have been ended already, in 2014 this catastrophe resurrected," said Zelenskiy, referring to the sufferings and tragedies that the Tatar community has had to go through.

"They undermine you in the media by using only the word Tatar," said the president.

Crimean Tatars are a Muslim community indigenous to the Black Sea peninsula.

Under Joseph Stalin's rule, they were sent into exile to Uzbekistan and the Urals and only returned after the fall of the USSR.

Most Crimean Tatars opposed Moscow's annexation of the peninsula in 2014 and subsequently, Russian authorities cracked down on the community, banning their assembly and television channel as well as detaining and jailing dozens of activists.

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