CAIRO – Reflecting human ethics of Crimean Muslims, members of the religious community were seen distributing food to Ukrainian soldiers trapped inside their bases in Crimea.
The video was published by official Ukrainian news agency showing Muslims offering food for inspection by Russian forces who surrounded the military base before allowing it to Ukrainian soldiers.
Russian forces have been surrounding Ukrainian military bases in Crimea as Russian Premier Vladimir Putin threatened a looming intervention in the autonomous region of Crimea.
The threats escalated Muslims fears, watching cautiously the dramatic developments in Ukraine.
The Crimean Tatars, who have inhabited Crimea for centuries, were deported in May 1944 by Stalin, who accused them of collaborating with the Nazis.
The entire Tatar population, more than 200,000 people, was transported in brutal conditions thousands of miles away to Uzbekistan and other locations. Many died along the way or soon after arriving.
The Soviets confiscated their homes, destroying their mosques and turning them into warehouses. One was converted into a Museum of Atheism.
It was not until perestroika in the late 1980s that most of the Tatars were allowed back, a migration that continued after Ukraine became independent with the Soviet collapse in 1991.
More than 250,000 Tatars now live in Crimea, about 13 percent of its population of 2 million people.
The Tatars’ return has repeatedly touched off legal clashes over restitution of land and property, much of which is now owned by ethnic Russians.
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