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Thousands Of Crimean Tatars Rally To Demand Land Restitution

Crimean Tatars rally in Kyiv.

Crimean Tatars rally in Kyiv.

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine -- Some 2,000 Crimean Tatars have protested to demand the restitution of land that they lost when they or their relatives were deported more than 60 years ago, RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service reports.

Representatives of the Crimean Tatar National Congress met with Crimean Supreme Council Speaker Anatoliy Hrytsenko to discuss the Tatars' demands.

Crimean Tatars have also been protesting in front of the Ukrainian Parliament in Kyiv for some 60 days, with some of the protesters engaging in hunger strikes.

Hundreds of thousands of Crimean Tatars were deported to Central Asia in 1944. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, they began returning to Crimea and demanding the return of their land. Their ongoing protests typically escalate during the summer.

The Crimean Parliament has adopted a law on land restitution, but any return of land has been rejected by the Simferopol State Council.