Crimean Tatars are a Turkic ethnic group that formed in the Crimean Peninsula in the 13th-17th centuries, primarily from the Turkic tribes that moved to the land that is now known as Crimea in Eastern Europe from the Asian steppes beginning in the 10th century, with contributions from the pre-Cuman population of Crimea.
Crimean Tatars constituted the majority of Crimea's population from the time of its ethnogenesis until mid-19th century, and the relative largest ethnic population until the end of 19th century. Almost immediately after the liberation of Crimea, in May 1944, the USSR State Defense Committee ordered the removal of all of the Tatar population from Crimea, including the families of Crimean Tatars serving in the Soviet Army - in trains and boxcars to Central Asia, primarily to Uzbekistan.
MFA of Ukraine shared on Facebook:
'During the deportation of Crimean Tatars about 8,000 people died, most of them were children and the elderly people. The most common causes of the death were thirst and typhus.
Watch more stories presented by the Ministry of Information Policy about Crimean Tatars who survived genocide and moved back home after spending many years abroad.'
Embassy of Ukraine in the USA shared on Facebook:
'In the early years of exile the Crimean Tatar people lost 46.2 % of the total population.
The vast majority of the Crimean Tatars was moved to the so-called special settlements - surrounded by armed guards, checkpoints and barbed wire fenced.
The newcomers were cheap labour, they were used to work in collective farms, state farms and industrial plants.
This nationality was banned to indicate in the passport.
Follow the project 'I survived genocide' prepared by the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine on Embassy's Facebook page to learn more about deportation of the Crimean Tatars.'
The forcible deportation of the Crimean Tatars from Crimea was ordered by Joseph Stalin as a form of collective punishment for alleged collaboration with the Nazi occupation regime in Taurida Subdistrict during 1942–1943. The state-organized removal is known as the Sürgünlik in Crimean Tatar.
A total of more than 230,000 people were deported, mostly to the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic.
On 21 April 2014, President of Russia Vladimir Putin signed a decree that rehabilitated Crimean Tatars and other ethnicities who suffered from Stalinist repressions in Crimea.
On November 12, 2015 parliament of Ukraine adopted a resolution recognizing the event as a genocide and declared 18 May as a Day of Remembrance for the victims of Crimean Tatar genocide.