“Hostages of the Occupation”: CTRC opened an exhibition devoted to the fate of Crimean Tatar families

February 27, 2020

On Wednesday, February 26, in the assembly hall of the Vernadsky Taurida National a presentation of the album and the “Hostages of the Occupation” exhibition was held. The exhibition tells about the fate of 20 Crimean Tatar families after the annexation of the peninsula. The project was prepared by the Crimean Tatar Resource Center with the support of the Democracy Grants Program of the US Embassy to Ukraine

The opening of the exhibition began with the performance of the anthem of Ukraine and the Crimean Tatar people.

At the beginning of the event, the Head of the Board of the CTRC, a member of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Eskender Bariiev gave a welcoming speech. He explained that the occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation caused fundamental changes in the lives of hundreds of thousands of different people, and this can be clearly seen in the “Hostages of the Occupation” exhibition.

“We believe that your acquaintance with the Crimean Tatars' families in Crimea and in mainland Ukraine will facilitate the establishment of intercultural and inter-religious dialogue, attract more attention of state bodies of Ukraine and the international community to the problems of the Crimean Tatar people and the annexation of Crimea”,- Bariiev said.

John Ballard, Acting Deputy Chairman of the US Embassy in Ukraine, during his speech, once again recalled the unshakeable position of the United States regarding the sovereignty of Ukraine and emphasized that the “Hostages of the Occupation” exhibition reminds us of the fundamental truth: Crimea is Ukraine!

Rector of TNU Volodymyr Kazarin greeted the guests and emphasized the importance of the exhibition.

At the opening of the exhibition, Oleksandr Tereshchenko, Deputy Minister for Veterans, Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internal Displaced Persons of Ukraine, Ilmi Umerov, Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, Serhii Rudyk, Ukrainian MP, held their speeches.

Heroes of the exhibition themselves took part in the presentation, namely, the ones, who were forced to leave their home because of the occupation: Murtaza and Fatime Osmanov, painters, Rustem Skybin, ceramic artist, designer and Elmira Kataki, a Crimean Tatar embroiderer. They emphasized the importance of this exhibition and expressed gratitude to the organizers. They noted that the project allowed them to tell about their story and pain. Despite all the difficulties, each of them believes to return back home to Crimea as soon as possible.

At the event, the song “Güzel Qırım” was performed by the Crimean Tatar singer Aliie Khadzhabadinova, which became a symbol of the struggle of the Crimean Tatars to return to Crimea, and the children from the "Crimean Family" cultural and educational center, Sabrina Seitmemetova, Mustafa Osmanov, Elmaz Kurtmollaieva and Emir Bariiev, read patriotic poems about Crimea.