June 26 was marked as Crimean Tatar Flag Day in Ukraine, and the capital was no exemption. In the very morning official congratulations from the President Of Ukraine and the Office of the Crimean Tatar People’s Affairs Commissioner for the President of Ukraine were published; Crimean Tatar flag streamed next to Ukrainian State Flag at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and a lot of themed events was held. In Crimea, at the same time, Crimean Tatar activists were thrice denied of their right to hold any themed event on that date, so Crimean Tatars who were forced to leave the occupied peninsula were actively involved in such events in Kyiv and other cities, both as hosts and guests.
Thus, despite the gloomy weather and drizzling rain, many Crimeans and Kyivites gathered in Taras Shevchenko Park. After the joint prayer, Head of Mejlis Refat Chubarov and Crimean Tatars’ leader Mustafa Dzhemilev addressed to the people and expressed their conviction that Crimea will soon be free from occupation, and two flags will stream in its cities side by side — Ukrainian State Flag and Crimean Tatar official Flag.
Since 7 PM different contests began; artists performed, children recited patriotic poems, and photo exhibitions were presented. A huge Crimean Tatar banner was unfurled.
As the Crimean Tatar Flag Day happened to be during the Holy month of Ramadan this year, the feast completed with a joint iftar.
It bears reminding that Crimean Tatar Flag Day was first celebrated in 2009. This year, volunteers filmed a short video entitled “Two flags — One Country” this year, symbolizing the unity of ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars.
As the occupational authorities has thrice banned celebrating this Day on the peninsula, the Mejlis asked the Crimean Tatars on the occupied land to mark it with installing flags in their homes or in their cars.