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Tuesday, May 18, 1999 Published at 16:03 GMT 17:03 UK


World: Europe

Tatars commemorate deportation by Stalin


More than thirty-five thousand Crimean Tatars have held a rally in the capital of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea to mark the fifty-fifth anniversary of their deportation to central Asia by the Soviet dictator, Josef Stalin.

The rally, in the central square of Simferopol, was also a protest against alleged discrimination in acquiring citizenship and finding jobs.

More than quarter of a million Tatars have returned to Crimea since the collapse of the Soviet Union and have been demanding a quota representing them in Crimean governing bodies. The Ukrainian President.

Leonid Kuchma, met Tatar leaders in Kiev on Monday and agreed to establish a presidential council of Tatar representatives to help resolve their problems.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service



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