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Crimean Tatars Oppose Stalin-Churchill-Roosevelt Monument

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine -- Crimean Tatars protested a decision by the annexed region's Kremlin-backed government to erect a monument to Josef Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill.

In an appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian parliament, the National Movement of Crimean Tatars said a monument featuring Stalin would aggravate tension in Crimea, whose Muslim Tatar minority says it has faced discrimination and abuses from the authorities since Moscow seized control in March.

The movement urged Putin and parliament to "stop the amoral behavior of the Crimean authorities," saying that would show "you really condemn the Stalin regime's crimes."

The Russian authorities earlier announced plans for a monument in Yalta to mark the 70th anniversary of the February 1945 conference during which Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill discussed Europe's postwar reorganization.

In 1944, Stalin ordered the mass deportation of some 180,000 Crimean Tatars to Central Asia, and many died on the journey or after arrival.

Many Crimean Tatars returned in the late 1980s and 1990s. Most of them opposed Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.