Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ukrainian Muslims in the 20th century

At the time of the Russian Revolution, Muslims were one third of population of Crimea. Nearly all major cities in Crimea had a significant Muslim population.
Crimean Muslims were subjected to mass deportation in 1944 when Stalin accused them of collaborating with the Nazi Germany. Nearly 200,000 Crimean Tatars were deported to Central Asia, mainly Uzbekistan but also to Kazakhstan and some regions of Russian SFSR. The main deportation occurred on May 18, 1944. It is estimated that about 45% of all Crimean Muslims died in 1944–1945 from hunger and disease.[citation needed] The property and territory abandoned by Crimean Tatars were appropriated by the mostly ethnic Russians who were resettled by the Soviet authorities. This led to demographic changes in Ukraine with huge impact in the future. Although a 1967 Soviet decree removed the charges against Crimean Tatars, the Soviet government did nothing to facilitate their resettlement in Crimea and to make reparations for lost lives and confiscated property. The repatriation of Crimean tatars to their homeland began only in 1989.

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