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Vandals Smash New Monument To Crimean Tatar WWII Victims

The desecrated monument contained the names of Crimean Tatars who died during World War II.

Unknown vandals on May 9 desecrated a memorial outside the city of Sevastopol in Ukraine's Crimea region to Crimean Tatars who died during World War II.

The Crimean Tatar community on May 9 published photographs of the monument, which consisted of two black marble tablets inscribed with the names of 64 local people – including 57 Crimean Tatars – who died during the war.

The memorial was erected just three days earlier in the village of Orlovka by the Crimean Tatar community.

Ukraine's Black Sea region of Crimea was annexed by Russia in 2014. Since then, the Crimean Tatar community has been subjected to repression by the de facto authorities for its opposition to the annexation.

In May 1944, Soviet dictator Josef Stalin ordered the mass deportation of the entire Crimean Tatar community from the region, baselessly accusing it of collaboration with the Nazis.

Tens of thousands of them died during the operation and the first severe months in Kazakhstan and other remote parts of the Soviet Union.

They were only allowed to begin returning to Crimea in the late 1980s under Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachov.

The de facto authorities in Crimea have not reacted to desecration of the Orlovka monument.