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Deportation and Exile of Crimean Tatars under Soviet Rule*
Timeline: 1944-1989

November 1920. Bolsheviks consolidate control over Crimea.

October 1921. Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic is created.

September - November 1941. German army captures most of the Crimean peninsula.

May 1944. Soviets recapture Crimea. Stalin issues the notorious decree 5859ss, ďAll Tatars are to be exiled from the territory of CrimeaÖ."

18-20 May 1944. Stalinís government deports over 183,000 Crimean Tatars to Siberia and Central Asia. Another 11,000 Crimean Tatar men mobilized into forced labor brigades.

20 July 1944. Soviet forces massacre Crimean Tatar villagers remaining on Arabat Stip.

Places of resettlement

78% of the Crimean Tatars were sent to Uzbekistan (Map Credit: Krym Realii)

August 1944. Soviet authorities allow the settlement of 50,000 Russians and Ukrainians in Crimea to replace the deported Crimean Tatars.

December 1944. Soviet government orders the replacement of all Crimean Tatar, German and Greek place names in Crimea with Russian ones.

June 1945. The Crimean ASSR is officially dissolved.

November 1948. Soviet government makes the exile of Crimean Tatars and other deported nationalities permanent.

April 1956. After Stalinís death in 1953, Crimean Tatars are freed from restrictions, but cannot return to Crimea. They report that 45% of the Tatar deportees die within two years in exile.

March 1966. A delegation of 65 Crimean Tatars delivers a 33-page petition with over 130,000 signatures attached to the 23rd Congress of the CPSU.

May 1966 - November 1986. Over a period of two decades, Mustafa Jemilev is sentenced six times, serving time in Soviet prisons and labor camps for anti-Soviet activities.

September 1967. Soviet authorities issue decree 493, lifting charges of treason leveled against the entire Crimean Tatar population in 1944.

September 1967 - July 1968. Over 12,000 Crimean Tatars return to Crimea, but very few people (18 families and 13 individuals) are able to obtain residency permits, and the rest are expelled.

March 1968. Petro Grigorenko's famous speech to Crimean Tatars, urging them to take an aggressive stand and demand the right to return to Crimea.

May 1968. KGB rounds up and expels from Moscow over 300 Crimean Tatars, seeking their rights to return to homeland Crimea.

January 1974. Andrei Sakharov, Soviet scientist and dissident, appeals to Kurt Waldheim, UN Secretary-General, about the plight of Crimean Tatars.

May 1975. Mubeyyin Batu Altan, Fikret Yurter and Emmanual Stein in New York conduct a five-day hunger strike in front of the UN.

1975. Mustafa Jemilev stages the longest hunger strike known in the history of human rights movement, lasting 303 days, but survives due to forced feeding.

June 1978. Protesting the move to deport him from homeland Crimea once again, Musa Mamut commits suicide by self-immolation.

July 1987. Over 2,000 Crimean Tatars demonstrate in Red Square, Moscow, drawing the world's attention to their demands to repatriate.

May 1989. Organization of Crimean Tatar National Movement (OKND) founded, and Mustafa Jemilev elected chairman.

November 1989. The permission to return to Crimea finally comes with the publication of a Soviet decree "On Recognizing the Illegal and Criminal Repressive Acts Against Peoples Subjected to Forcible Resettlement and Ensuring their Rights."

1989-1994. Over 220,000 Crimean Tatars, return to Crimea, the number of repatriates eventually reaching nearly 300,000.

March 2014. Russian Federation occupies and annexes Crimea in response to Euromaidan demonstrations in Kyiv and Ukrainian revolution (November 2013-February 2014).

*Condensed from: Otto Pohlís Timeline:

Posted: 12 May 2019

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