Called ‘Crimea is ours’, an art exhibition commemorating the 72nd anniversary of the 1944 deportation of Crimean Tatars launched in Kiev. The opening ceremony was attended by Crimean Tatar artists, actors and poets.

On display were paintings of young Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian artists, such as Mustafa Murtazayev, Sergei Korabelnikov, Renata Berkutsy, Helila Dervis, Karim Nazhet, Adeline Bayeva and Feride Bulatov.

Representing the sun, sea and ancient history, the paintings invoked the warmest and most vivid memories of Crimea one has had in one’s heart since childhood.

“The affection with which Crimean Tatars talk about their homeland, culture and customs, as well as the amazing way they show it in their paintings, really impress me,” said Vitalina, a guest of the evening.

In his opening speech, Mufti of Ukrainian Muslims Said Ismagilov read an abstract from the Koran, thus commemorating victims of the 1944 genocidal deportation of Crimean Tatars.

“Everybody in Ukraine and all over the world is concerned about what is going on with Crimean Tatars and Crimea. It is my spiritual duty to be with my co-believers. Crimean Tatars are Muslims. It is an accepted practice in Islam to read a sacred text, a passage from the Koran, before any important event because that way it gets Allah’s blessing,” said Ismagilov.

Refat Chubarov, Chairman of Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, who also attended the evening, said that events like this help promote stronger ties between Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar people.

“This is a valuable contribution to the liberation of occupied Crimea. We are here today to share recollections of our homeland which has been illegally taken away from us. It is under occupation now, but not for long. Together we are stronger, and soon we will return to our homeland,” said Refat Chubarov.

Poets and writers, including Erwin Umerov, Ablyaziz Valiyev, Eskender Fazil, Lily Bujurova and others, read abstracts from their books in Crimean Tatar, Russian and Ukrainian languages.

The guests also saw a documentary called ‘On Kunler" ("Those Days") and listened to a Crimean Tatar folk song called "Hey, Guzel Qırım".

According to students of the National Academy of Art and Culture, who organized the event, they came up with idea of ​​spending an evening dedicated to Crimea and everything to do with it spontaneously, and it was the Al-Raid National Association of Social Organizations that helped them make the event possible.

“We got in touch with the management of the museum, and they provided us with a room for the evening. This is our first event, but we hope that there will be more,” said Sergey Korabelnikov, an artist and one of the organizers.

Under Stalin’s order, Crimean Tatars, who were accused of collaboration with the Nazis, got deported from Crimea on May 18, 1944. Of some 238,000 Crimean Tatars, mostly elderly people, women and children, 46% died in special settlements in the first years of exile.

A number of events dedicated to the Day of Remembrance of the Deportation Victims were held in Kiev on May 18.