Dedicated to the 72nd anniversary of deportation of the Crimean Tatars, a large-scale rally participated by over 500 people is being held at the central square of Henichesk near the ‘Ukraina’ cinema and Henichesk Regional Administration, a QHA correspondent reports.

The coordinator of the Civil blockade of Crimea Lenur Islyamov addressed the rally in Crimean Tatar language.

“Those who have hoisted black flags in Crimea today are the heroes! Those who are now burning tires in Crimea are the heroes! Some people still have a Stalinist model in the minds. As of now, 14 people have been kept in prison and 26 gone missing in Crimea! We have never surrendered, as our grandfathers did, and will never give up. We'll enter Crimea very soon!” he assured.

A rally to mark the anniversary of the Deportation began with the anthem of Ukraine followed by the Crimean Tatar hymn performed by ‘Dalgalar’ ensemble. Then, Membet-aga recited the prayer for the Deportation victims. 

The head of Kherson Regional Administration Andrey Gordeev, shook hands with pensioners - the Deportations witnesses sitting in the front row - and read out the Ukrainian President’s appeal to the audience.

In memory of the victims of atrocities committed by the NKVD officers, the wreaths from the President of Ukraine were brought out in a fishing village of Chokrak by the Sea of Azov. According to the activists, those wreaths will be cast into the sea.

At the meeting, the activists formed a column (ten for ten people) bearing Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian flags. The entrance to the ‘Ukraina’ cinema was also decorated with Ukrainian and Crimean Tatars flags with a poster between them bearing names of Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia: Oleg Sentsov, Alexander Kol'chenko, Alexander Kostenko, Nadezhda Savchenko, Gennady Afanasiev, Ali Asanov, Ahtem Chiygoz and Mustafa Degermendzhi. 

On May 18, 1944, the Soviet government forcibly deported the Crimean Tatars from Crimea, accusing them of collaborating with the Nazis. About 238 thousand Crimean Tatars were deported, 46% of whom, mostly elderly people, women and children, died in special settlements in the first years of deportation.

To commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the Crimean Tatars’ deportation, a number of events, including rallies, flash mobs, lessons at schools and NGOs and activists’ initiatives will be held in Kyiv and all over Ukraine on May 18, 2016.