Natalya Kryzhko, a member of the Russian-organized and imposed “parliament” in occupied Crimea, who is upset by Crimea Tatar efforts to restore historic place names, has threatened to “load them on barges and drown them in the Black Sea,” thus repeating one of the most barbaric actions carried out by Stalin’s henchmen in 1944.
Crimean Tatar outlets have called attention to this latest horrific example of Russian state continuity.
On July 19, 1944, after the Soviet NKVD [later known as “KGB” – Ed.] had deported most of the Crimean Tatars, its officers discovered that villages on Crimea’s Arab Spit had somehow escaped that fate. The residents were then locked up, put on a boat, taken out into the Azov Sea, and killed by machine-gun fire before being drowned.
Obviously, the Soviet authorities did not celebrate this “heroic” action, and when emigres reported it in the mid-1950s, even many anti-communist experts in the West were convinced that this couldn’t be true. But at the very end of Soviet times, Moscow ethnographers published a chronology that acknowledged it was true.
Since that time, Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian historians like Gulnara Abdulayeva have documented this event more fully, even taking the testimony of one former NKVD major who told them that the Soviet secret police had acted in this way because “we didn’t have a lot of time.”
- Deportation, genocide, and Russia’s war against Crimean Tatars
- I survived genocide. Stories of survivors of Crimean Tatar deportation
- Deportation, autonomy, and occupation in the story of one Crimean Tatar
- Ukrainian parliament declares 1944 Soviet deportation of Crimean Tatars an act of genocide
- Russia bans Crimean Tatars by banning the Mejlis