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“Hostages of the Occupation”: an exhibition about the fate of 20 Crimean Tatar families opened in Vinnytsia (photo)

11 March 2020

On Tuesday, March 10, in the Vinnytsia regional youth center “Kvadrat”, a presentation of the album and an exhibition “Hostages of the Occupation” was held, which is dedicated to the fate of Crimean Tatar families who became hostages of the occupation of Crimea. How do these people live, how have their lives  changed, what difficulties  do they face with , how do they fight for their  bright future - the residents and guests of Vinnytsia found out the answers to these questions at the opening of the exhibition of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center.

At the beginning of the event, the Head of the Board of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center, member of Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Eskender Bariiev made a welcoming speech. He noted that the main goal of this initiative is to contribute to a deeper understanding of the fate of the Crimean Tatar people through photographs and stories of Crimean Tatar families who became hostages of the occupation of Crimea.

“Our task is to systematically remind society and international organizations that Crimea is occupied, that it is an integral part of Ukraine, that there are people in Crimea who are fighting and will fight for the peninsula. These people preserve the values of the Ukrainian independent democratic state and the rule of law”,- Bariiev emphasized.

The event was welcomed by David Mike Reinert, Press, Education and Culture Advisor of the US Embassy.

“The stories that are presented here today - families who have moved from Crimea or who remain to live in Crimea - have one thing in common: the desire to live freely with guarantees of respect for universal human rights. At the same time, Russia has neglected human rights through its illegal actions in Crimea over the past six years. We stand next to the people of Ukraine, including Crimea, and urge Russia to immediately stop its aggression in Crimea and the Donbas”,- said the US Embassy  a representative.

The opening of the exhibition was attended by one of its heroes, Isa Akayev, who, after the occupation of Crimea, was forced to move to the Vinnytsia region, and subsequently defended the territorial integrity of Ukraine in the east of the country.

“All Crimean Tatars living in Nova Hreblya are determined to fight for their homeland as well as to establish a peaceful life in the territory where they provided us with an accommodation”,- says Isa Akayev, adding: “But we will definitely return Crimea. It will just take time.”

The event was also attended by the representatives of local authorities, in particular, Nataliia Zabolotna, Deputy Chairman of the Vinnytsia Regional State Administration.

At the opening of the exhibition, Denis Tyapkin, actor of the youth documentary theater “Theater of Real People”, performed a piece of the play “Crimean Tatars: when we will return ...”

The partners of the event in Vinnytsia were NGO “Vetan” and the Vinnytsia regional youth center “Kvadrat”. At the opening, Eskender Anafiiev, the head of the NGO “Vetan”, held a speech and emphasized on the importance and value of this initiative.

The project was implemented by the Crimean Tatar Resource Center with the support of the Democracy Grants Program of the US Embassy  to Ukraine.