On the Svoboda Avenue near the monument to Taras Shevchenko in Lviv, the campaign "Spark a light in your heart" was held. The event is timed to the 73rd anniversary of the genocide of the Crimean Tatar people. The participants made up the outlines of the Crimean peninsula and the number 73 with the lit candles, as well as national symbols of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars - trident and tamga.

The event was organized by the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, the World Congress of the Crimean Tatars, the Crimean SOS public organization, the Crimean Tatar cultural center Crimean House in Lviv and the representatives of the Spiritual Board of Muslims of Crimea in Lviv.

Among the participants were also Lviv residents and displaced persons, guests of the city, as well as representatives of the authorities, in particular Mayor Andrei Sadovy.

During the memorial event, co-founder of the Crimean SOS NGO Alim Aliyev recalled that "on May 18, the 73rd anniversary of Stalin's deportation of the Crimean Tatar people, which claimed the lives of almost half of the indigenous people of Crimea, is commemorated all over the world. In the fourth year of the Russian occupation of Crimea, the fate of the local Crimean Tatars is again threatened." He noted that almost two thousand Crimean Tatars found shelter in hospitable Lviv.

“We are together, we are one. Kobzar sees us, he has undergone a lot in his life, but he always believed. We are also united by faith. I believe that the time will come when our friends and colleagues will feel free in our Ukrainian Crimea, that we love so much. Today I want to thank all those who took part in this action of solidarity, unity and support. I think that here, in Lviv, everyone suffered this pain in the last century - eviction, repression, death camps. We understand you, like no one understands.  And we are with you. Glory to Ukraine!” The mayor of Lviv finished his speech.

Also on Svobody Avenue, the collection of signatures began under an appeal to international structures calling to take measures to end the occupation of the Crimea by the Russian Federation and to protect citizens of Ukraine on the territory of the peninsula.

Furthermore, on May 18, on the day of the 73rd anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatar people, a funeral meeting is to be held in Lviv on Svobody Avenue, and the film "Mustafa" about the life of the leader of the Crimean Tatar people Mustafa Dzhemilev will be screened in the First Lviv Library.

Reference: May 18, 1944, deportation of Crimean Tatars began in the Crimea. Soviet power accused the whole nation of cooperation with Nazi Germany during World War II. Thousands of Crimean Tatars were taken to Central Asia. During the trip and the first year of exile, more than 30,000 people died from hunger and disease. Crimean Tatars were allowed to return to their homeland in the Crimea only in 1989.

On November 12, 2015, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a resolution recognizing the deportation of the Crimean Tatars in 1944 as genocide of the Crimean Tatar people. In October 2016 Prosecutor's Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea initiated the investigation into the deportation of the Crimean Tatars.

Igor Galuschak