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Crimean Tatars in Lviv commemorate anniversary of deportation

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Crimean Tatars who moved to Lviv after Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 gather on May 18 near the Taras Shevchenko memorial in Lviv to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the Crimean Tatar's deportation from their homeland in 1944 by Soviet authorities.

Crimean Tatars now living in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv gathered at one of the city's monuments on May 18 to commemorate the anniversary of their people's deportation from their homeland.

Next to the monument to Ukraine’s national poet, Taras Shevchenko, the Crimean Tatars laid out candles in the shapes of the Crimean Tatar symbol, the tamga, the Ukrainian trident, and a map of the Crimean peninsula.

They also laid candles in the shape of the number 72 — the number of years since the Crimean Tatars were deported by force from their homeland in 1944 on the orders of the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

Almost half of the nearly 240,000 Crimean Tatars who were deported had died of starvation or disease by Jan. 1, 1947, according to a survey carried out by Crimean Tatar activists in the 1960s.

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