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Putin says decree prepared to rehabilitate Crimean Tatars, victims of Stalin repression

April 17, 2014, 15:55 UTC+3
Other Crimean ethnic groups repressed by Stalin would also be rehabilitated, he said, listing Armenians, Germans and Greeks
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Citizens of a mostly Crimean Tatar populated city Bakhchisaray (archive)

Citizens of a mostly Crimean Tatar populated city Bakhchisaray (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

MOSCOW, April 17. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin told studio and television audiences on Thursday he will sign a decree to “rehabilitate” Crimean Tatars and other peoples of Crimea who suffered from Stalin-era repression.

“We are preparing a decree — I am working on this as well as my colleagues in the government and the presidential staff — for rehabilitation of Crimean Tatar people,” Putin told the public at his annual question-and-answer session.

Other Crimean ethnic groups repressed by Stalin would also be rehabilitated, he said, listing Armenians, Germans and Greeks among them in a move reaching out to some 250,000 mainly Sunnite Tatars in a modern Crimea home to about 300 Muslim communities today.

“Crimean Tatar people suffered much during Stalin-epoch repressions and were deported from Crimea, from their homeland,” the president said. “We should do everything that depends on us to link the process of incorporation in the Russian Federation with rehabilitation and reinstatement of legitimate rights and interests of Crimean Tatar people.”

Putin recalled that after Crimea’s unification with the Russian Empire in 1783, Russian Empress Catherine the Great issued a decree envisaging Crimean Tatars would be taken into Russia as its nationals with all ensuing consequences and having their rights and religion fully respected.

“This was a very wise, correct policy,” Putin noted, adding that “We intend to adhere to this policy in our modern times.”

The global diaspora of Crimean Tatars makes around 500,000 people.

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