|Population transfer in the Soviet Union|
|Part of Dekulakization and Forced settlements in the Soviet Union|
Romanian refugees after the 1940 Soviet occupation of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina
|Target||Kulaks, peasants, and ethnic minorities|
|population transfer, ethnic cleansing, forced labor|
|Perpetrators||OGPU / NKVD|
|Part of a series on|
| Population transfer|
in the Soviet Union
|WWII POW labor|
|Massive labor force transfers|
Population transfer in the Soviet Union was the forced transfer of various groups from the 1930s up to the 1950s ordered by Joseph Stalin. It may be classified into the following broad categories: deportations of "anti-Soviet" categories of population (often classified as "enemies of workers"), deportations of entire nationalities, labor force transfer, and organized migrations in opposite directions to fill the ethnically cleansed territories. Dekulakization marked the first time that an entire class was deported, whereas the deportation of the Soviet Koreans in 1937 marked the first instance of an ethnic deportation of an entire nationality.
In most cases, their destinations were underpopulated remote areas (see Forced settlements in the Soviet Union). This includes deportations to the Soviet Union of non-Soviet citizens from countries outside the USSR. It has been estimated that, in their entirety, internal forced migrations affected at least 6 million people. Of this total, 1.8 million kulaks were deported in 1930–31, 1.0 million peasants and ethnic minorities in 1932–39, whereas about 3.5 million ethnic minorities were further resettled during 1940–52.
Soviet archives documented 390,000 million perishing as a result of the deportations – of those deaths, the deportation of the Crimean Tatars and the deportation of the Chechens and Ingush were recognized as genocides by Ukraine (plus 3 other countries) and the European Parliament respectively.deaths during kulak forced resettlement and up to 400,000 deaths of persons deported to forced settlements during the 1940s; however, Steven Rosefield and Norman Naimark put overall deaths closer to some 1 to 1.5
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Kulaks were a group of relatively affluent farmers and had gone by this class system term in the later Russian Empire, Soviet Russia, and early Soviet Union. They were the most numerous group deported by the Soviet Union.Resettlement of people officially designated as kulaks continued until early 1950, including several major waves.
Large numbers of kulaks regardless of their nationality were resettled to Siberia and Central Asia. According to data from Soviet archives, which were published in 1990, 1,803,392 people were sent to labor colonies and camps in 1930 and 1931, and 1,317,022 reached the destination. Deportations on a smaller scale continued after 1931. The reported number of kulaks and their relatives who had died in labour colonies from 1932 to 1940 was 389,521. million kulaks and their families were deported by 1937, during the deportation many people died, but the full number is not known.It is estimated that 15
During the 1930s, categorisation of so-called enemies of the people shifted from the usual Marxist–Leninist, class-based terms, such as kulak, to ethnic-based ones.The partial removal of potentially trouble-making ethnic groups was a technique used consistently by Joseph Stalin during his government; between 1935 and 1938 alone, at least ten different nationalities were deported. Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union led to a massive escalation in Soviet ethnic cleansing.
The Deportation of Koreans in the Soviet Union, originally conceived in 1926, initiated in 1930, and carried through in 1937, was the first mass transfer of an entire nationality in the Soviet Union.Almost the entire Soviet population of ethnic Koreans (171,781 persons) were forcefully moved from the Russian Far East to unpopulated areas of the Kazakh SSR and the Uzbek SSR in October 1937.
Looking at the entire period of Stalin's rule, one can list: Poles (1939–1941 and 1944–1945), Kola Norwegians (1940–1942), Romanians (1941 and 1944–1953), Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians (1941 and 1945–1949), Volga Germans (1941–1945), Ingrian Finns (1929–1931 and 1935–1939), Finnish people in Karelia (1940–1941, 1944), Crimean Tatars, Crimean Greeks (1944) and Caucasus Greeks (1949–50), Kalmyks, Balkars, Italians of Crimea, Karachays, Meskhetian Turks, Karapapaks, Far East Koreans (1937), Chechens and Ingushs (1944). Shortly before, during and immediately after World War II, Stalin conducted a series of deportations on a huge scale which profoundly affected the ethnic map of the Soviet Union. million were deported to Siberia and the Central Asian republics. By some estimates, up to 43% of the resettled population died of diseases and malnutrition.It is estimated that between 1941 and 1949 nearly 3.3
The deportations started with Poles from Byelorussia, Ukraine and European Russia (see Polish minority in Soviet Union) between 1932 and 1936. Koreans in the Russian Far East were deported in 1937. (See Deportation of Koreans in the Soviet Union.)
After the Soviet invasion of Poland following the corresponding German invasion that marked the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviet Union annexed eastern parts (known as Kresy to the Polish or as West Belarus and West Ukraine in the USSR and among Belarusians and Ukrainians) of the Second Polish Republic, which since then became western parts of the Belarusian SSR and the Ukrainian SSR. During 1939–1941, 1.45 million people inhabiting the region were deported by the Soviet regime. According to Polish historians, 63.1% of these people were Poles and 7.4% were Jews. Previously it was believed that about 1.0 million Polish citizens died at the hands of the Soviets, but recently Polish historians, based mostly on queries in Soviet archives, estimate the number of deaths at about 350,000 people deported in 1939–1945.
The same followed in the Baltic republics of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia (see Soviet deportations from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania).More than 200,000 people are estimated to have been deported from the Baltic in 1940–1953. In addition, at least 75,000 were sent to the Gulag. 10% of the entire adult Baltic population was deported or sent to labor camps. In 1989, native Latvians represented only 52% of the population of their own country. In Estonia, the figure was 62%. In Lithuania, the situation was better because the migrants sent to that country actually moved to the former area of Eastern Prussia (now Kaliningrad) which, contrary to the original plans, never became part of Lithuania.
Likewise, Romanians from Chernivtsi Oblast and Moldovia had been deported in great numbers which range from 200,000 to 400,000.(See Soviet deportations from Bessarabia.)
During World War II, particularly in 1943–44, the Soviet government conducted a series of deportations. Some 1.9 million people were deported to Siberia and the Central Asian republics. Treasonous collaboration with the invading Germans and anti-Soviet rebellion were the official reasons for these deportations. Out of approximately 183,000 Crimean Tatars, 20,000 or 10% of the entire population served in German battalions. Consequently, Tatars too were transferred en masse by the Soviets after the war. Vyacheslav Molotov justified this decision saying "The fact is that during the war we received reports about mass treason. Battalions of Caucasians opposed us at the fronts and attacked us from the rear. It was a matter of life and death; there was no time to investigate the details. Of course innocents suffered. But I hold that given the circumstances, we acted correctly." Historian Ian Grey writes "Towards the Moslem peoples, the Germans pursued a benign, almost paternalistic policy. The Karachai, Balkars, Ingush, Chechen, Kalmucks, and Tatars of the Crimea all displayed pro-German sympathies in some degree. It was only the hurried withdrawal of the Germans from the Caucasus after the battle of Stalingrad that prevented their organizing the Moslem people for effective anti-Soviet action. The Germans boasted loudly, however, that they had left a strong "fifth column" behind them in the Caucasus."
Volga Germansand seven (non-Slavic) nationalities of the Crimea and the northern Caucasus were deported: the Crimean Tatars, Kalmyks, Chechens, Ingush, Balkars, Karachays, and Meskhetian Turks. All Crimean Tatars were deported en masse, in a form of collective punishment, on 18 May 1944 as special settlers to Uzbekistan and other distant parts of the Soviet Union. According to NKVD data, nearly 20% died in exile during the following year and a half. Crimean Tatar activists have reported this figure to be nearly 46%. (See Deportation of Crimean Tatars.)
Other minorities evicted from the Black Sea coastal region included Bulgarians, Crimean Greeks, Romanians and Armenians.
After World War II, the German population of the Kaliningrad Oblast, former East Prussia was expelled and the depopulated area resettled by Soviet citizens, mainly by Russians.
Poland and Soviet Ukraine conducted population exchanges; Poles who resided east of the established Poland–Soviet border were deported to Poland (c.a. 2,100,000 persons) and Ukrainians that resided west of the established Poland-Soviet Union border were deported to Soviet Ukraine. Population transfer to Soviet Ukraine occurred from September 1944 to April 1946 (ca. 450,000 persons). Some Ukrainians (ca. 200,000 persons) left southeast Poland more or less voluntarily (between 1944 and 1945).
In February 1956, Nikita Khrushchev in his speech On the Personality Cult and its Consequences condemned the deportations as a violation of Leninist principles. His government reversed most of Stalin's deportations.
Some peoples were deported after Stalin's death: in 1959, Chechen returnees were supplanted from the mountains to the Chechen plain. The mountain peoples of Tajikistan, such as the Yaghnobi people, were forcibly settled to the desert plains in the 1970s.
According to a secret Soviet ministry of interior report dated December 1965, for the period 1940–1953, 46,000 people were deported from Moldova, 61,000 from Belarus, 571,000 from Ukraine, 119,000 from Lithuania, 53,000 from Latvia and 33,000 from Estonia.
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Punitive transfers of population transfers handled by the Gulagand the system of forced settlements in the Soviet Union were planned in accordance with the needs of the colonization of the remote and underpopulated territories of the Soviet Union. (Their large scale has led to a controversial opinion in the West that the economic growth of the Soviet Union was largely based on the slave labor of Gulag prisoners.) At the same time, on a number of occasions the workforce was transferred by non-violent means, usually by means of "recruitment" (вербовка). This kind of recruitment was regularly performed at forced settlements, where people were naturally more willing to resettle. For example, the workforce of the Donbass and Kuzbass mining basins is known to have been replenished in this way. (As a note of historical comparison, in Imperial Russia the mining workers at state mines (bergals, "бергалы", from German Bergbau, 'mining') were often recruited in lieu of military service which, for a certain period, had a term of 25 years).
There were several notable campaigns of targeted workforce transfer.
When the war ended in May 1945, millions of Soviet citizens were forcefully repatriated (against their will) into the USSR.On 11 February 1945, at the conclusion of the Yalta Conference, the United States and United Kingdom signed a Repatriation Agreement with the USSR.
The interpretation of this Agreement resulted in the forcible repatriation of all Soviet citizens regardless of their wishes. British and U.S. civilian authorities ordered their military forces in Europe to deport to the Soviet Union millions of former residents of the USSR (some of whom collaborated with the Germans), including numerous persons who had left Russia and established different citizenship many years before. The forced repatriation operations took place from 1945–1947.
At the end of World War II, more than 5 million "displaced persons" from the Soviet Union survived in German captivity. About 3 million had been forced laborers (Ostarbeiter) in Germany and occupied territories.
Surviving POWs, about 1.5 million, repatriated Ostarbeiter , and other displaced persons, totally more than 4,000,000 people were sent to special NKVD filtration camps (not Gulag). By 1946, 80% civilians and 20% of PoWs were freed, 5% of civilians, and 43% of PoWs re-drafted, 10% of civilians and 22% of PoWs were sent to labor battalions, and 2% of civilians and 15% of the PoWs (226,127 out of 1,539,475 total) transferred to the NKVD, i.e. the Gulag.
Several historians, including Russian historian Pavel Polianand Lithuanian Associate Research Scholar at Yale University Violeta Davoliūtė consider these mass deportations of civilians a crime against humanity. They are also often described as Soviet ethnic cleansing. Terry Martin of Harvard University observes:
... the same principles that informed Soviet nation building could and did lead to ethnic cleansing and ethnic terror against a limited set of stigmatized nationalities, while leaving nation-building policies in place for the majority of nonstigmatized nationalities.
Other academics and countries go farther to call the deportations genocide. Raphael Lemkin, a lawyer of Polish-Jewish descent who initiated the Genocide Convention and coined the term genocide himself, assumed that genocide was perpetrated in the context of the mass deportation of the Chechens, Ingush, Volga Germans, Crimean Tatars, Kalmyks and Karachay.Professor Lyman H. Legters argued that the Soviet penal system, combined with its resettlement policies, should count as genocidal since the sentences were borne most heavily specifically on certain ethnic groups, and that a relocation of these ethnic groups, whose survival depends on ties to its particular homeland, "had a genocidal effect remediable only by restoration of the group to its homeland". Soviet dissidents Ilya Gabay and Pyotr Grigorenko both classified the population transfers as genocide. Historian Timothy Snyder included it in a list of Soviet policies that "meet the standard of genocide". French historian and expert on communist studies Nicolas Werth, German historian Philipp Ther, Professor Anthony James Joes, American journalist Eric Margolis, Canadian political scientist Adam Jones, professor of Islamic History at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Brian Glyn Williams, scholars Michael Fredholm and Fanny E. Bryan also considered the population transfers genocides. German investigative journalist Lutz Kleveman compared the deportations to a "slow genocide".
On 12 December 2015, the Ukrainian Parliament issued a resolution recognizing the deportation of Crimean Tatars as genocide and established 18 May as the "Day of Remembrance for the victims of the Crimean Tatar genocide."The parliament of Latvia recognized the event as an act of genocide on 9 May 2019. The Parliament of Lithuania did the same on 6 June 2019. Canadian Parliament passed a motion on 10 June 2019, recognizing the Crimean Tatar deportation of 1944 (Sürgünlik) as a genocide perpetrated by Soviet dictator Stalin, designating 18 May to be a day of remembrance. The deportation of Chechens and Ingush was acknowledged by the European Parliament as an act of genocide in 2004:
...Believes that the deportation of the entire Chechen people to Central Asia on 23 February 1944 on the orders of Stalin constitutes an act of genocide within the meaning of the Fourth Hague Convention of 1907 and the Convention for the Prevention and Repression of the Crime of Genocide adopted by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1948.
Experts of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum cited the events of 1944 for a reason of placing Chechnya on their genocide watch list for its potential for genocide.The separatist government of Chechnya also recognized it as genocide. Some academics disagree with the classification of deportation as genocide. Professor Alexander Statiev argues that Stalin's administration did not have a conscious genocidal intent to exterminate the various deported peoples, but that Soviet "political culture, poor planning, haste, and wartime shortages were responsible for the genocidal death rate among them." He rather considers these deportations an example of Soviet assimilation of "unwanted nations." According to Professor Amir Weiner, "...It was their territorial identity and not their physical existence or even their distinct ethnic identity that the regime sought to eradicate." According to Professor Francine Hirsch, "although the Soviet regime practiced politics of discrimination and exclusion, it did not practice what contemporaries thought of as racial politics ." To her, these mass deportations were based on the concept that nationalities were "sociohistorical groups with a shared consciousness and not racial-biological groups". In contrast to this view Jon K. Chang contends that the deportations had been in fact based on ethnicity; and that "social historians" in the west have failed to champion the rights of marginalized ethnicities in the Soviet Union.
The number of deaths attributed to deported people living in exile is considerable. The causes for such demographic catastrophe lie in harsh climates of Siberia and Kazakhstan, disease, malnutrition, work exploitation which lasted for up to 12 hours daily as well as any kind of appropriate housing or accommodation for the deported people.
|Ethnicity||Estimated number of deaths||References|
|Date of transfer||Targeted group||Approximate numbers||Place of initial residence||Transfer destination||Stated reasons for transfer|
|April 1920||Cossacks, Terek Cossacks||45,000||North Caucasus||Ukraine, northern Russian SFSR||"Decossackization", stopping Russian colonisation of North Caucasus|
|1930–1931||Kulaks||1,679,528- 1,803,392||"Regions of total collectivization", most of Russian SFSR, Ukraine, other regions||Northern Russian SFSR, Ural, Siberia, North Caucasus, Kazakh ASSR, Kirghiz ASSR||Collectivization|
|1930–1937||Kulaks||15,000,000||"Regions of total collectivization", most of Russian SFSR, Ukraine, other regions||Northern Russian SFSR, Ural, Siberia, North Caucasus, Kazakh ASSR, Kirghiz ASSR||Collectivization|
|November–December 1932||Peasants||45,000||Krasnodar Krai (Russian SFSR)||Northern Russia||Sabotage|
|May 1933||People from Moscow and Leningrad who had been unable to obtain an internal passport||6,000||Moscow and Leningrad||Nazino Island||"cleanse Moscow, Leningrad and the other great urban centers of the USSR of superfluous elements not connected with production or administrative work, as well as kulaks, criminals, and other antisocial and socially dangerous elements."|
|February–May 1935; September 1941; 1942||Ingrian Finns||420,000||Leningrad Oblast, Karelia (Russian SFSR)||Vologda Oblast, Western Siberia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Siberia, Astrakhan Oblast; Finland|
|February–March 1935||Germans, Poles||412,000||Central and western Ukraine||Eastern Ukraine|
|May 1936||Germans, Poles||45,000||Border regions of Ukraine||Ukraine|
|July 1937||Kurds||1,325||Border regions of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan||Kazakhstan, Kirghizia|
|September–October 1937||Koreans||172,000||Far East||Northern Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan|
|September–October 1937||Chinese, Harbin Russians||9,000||Southern Far East||Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan|
|1938||Persian Jews||6,000||Mary Province (Turkmenistan)||Deserted areas of northern Turkmenistan|
|January 1938||Azeris, Persians, Kurds, Assyrians||6,000||Azerbaijan||Kazakhstan||Iranian citizenship|
|January 1940 – 1941||Poles, Jews, Ukrainians (including refugees from Poland)||320,000||Western Ukraine, western Byelorussia||Northern Russian SFSR, Ural, Siberia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan|
|July 1940 to 1953||Estonians, Latvians & Lithuanians||203,590||Baltic states||Siberia and Altai Krai (Russian SFSR)|
|September 1941 – March 1942||Germans||855,674||Povolzhye, the Caucasus, Crimea, Ukraine, Moscow, central Russian SFSR||Kazakhstan, Siberia|
|August 1943||Karachais||69,267||Karachay–Cherkess AO, Stavropol Krai (Russian SFSR)||Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, other||Banditism, other|
|December 1943||Kalmyks||93,139||Kalmyk ASSR, (Russian SFSR)||Kazakhstan, Siberia|
|February 1944||Chechens, Ingush||478,479||North Caucasus||Kazakhstan, Kirghizia||1940-1944 insurgency in Chechnya|
|April 1944||Kurds, Azeris||3,000||Tbilisi (Georgia)||Southern Georgia|
|May 1944||Balkars||37,406 –40,900||North Caucasus||Kazakhstan, Kirghizia|
|May 1944||Crimean Tatars||191,014||Crimea||Uzbekistan|
|May–June 1944||Greeks, Bulgarians, Armenians, Turks||37,080|
(9,620 Armenians, 12,040 Bulgarians, 15,040 Greeks )
|June 1944||Kabardins||2,000||Kabardino-Balkarian ASSR, (Russian SFSR)||Southern Kazakhstan||Collaboration with the Nazis|
|July 1944||Russian True Orthodox Church members||1,000||Central Russian SFSR||Siberia|
|November 1944||Meskhetian Turks, Kurds, Hamshenis, Pontic Greeks, Karapapaks, Lazes and other inhabitants of the border zone||115,000||Southwestern Georgia||Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia|
|November 1944 – January 1945||Hungarians, Germans||30,000–40,000||Transcarpathian Ukraine||Ural, Donbass, Byelorussia|
|January 1945||"Traitors and collaborators"||2,000||Mineralnye Vody (Russian SFSR)||Tajikistan||Collaboration with the Nazis|
|1944–1953||Families of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army||204,000||Western Ukraine||Siberia|
|1944–1953||Poles||1,240,000||Kresy region||postwar Poland||Removal of indigenous population from the new territory acquired by Soviet Union|
|1945–1950||Germans||Tens of thousands||Königsberg||West or Middle Germany||Removal of indigenous population from the new territory acquired by Soviet Union|
|1945–1951||Japanese, Koreans||400,000||Mostly from Sakhalin, Kuril Islands||Siberia, Far East, North Korea, Japan||Removal of indigenous population from the new territory acquired by Soviet Union|
|1948–1951||Azeris||100,000||Armenia||Kura-Aras Lowland, Azerbaijan||"Measures for resettlement of collective farm workers"|
|May–June 1949||Greeks, Armenians, Turks||57,680 |
(including 15,485 Dashnaks)
|The Black Sea coast (Russian SFSR), South Caucasus||Southern Kazakhstan||Membership in the nationalist Dashnaktsutiun Party (Armenians), Greek or Turkish citizenship (Greeks), other|
|March 1951||Basmachis||2,795||Tajikistan||Northern Kazakhstan|
|April 1951||Jehovah's Witnesses||8,576–9,500||Mostly from Moldavia and Ukraine||Western Siberia||Operation North|
|1920 to 1951||Total||~20,296,000|
By 1937, 18,5 million were collevtivized but there were now only 19.9 million households: 5.7 million households, perhaps 15 million persons, had been deported, many of them dead
|journal=(help)CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
Deportation is the expulsion of a person or group of people from a place or country. The term expulsion is often used as a synonym for deportation, though expulsion is more often used in the context of international law, while deportation is more used in national (municipal) law. Forced displacement or forced migration of an individual or a group may be caused by deportation, for example ethnic cleansing, and other reasons.
Mass evacuation, forced displacement, expulsion, and deportation of millions of people took place across most countries involved in World War II. A number of these phenomena were categorised as violations of fundamental human values and norms by the Nuremberg Tribunal after the war ended. The mass movement of people – most of them refugees – had either been caused by the hostilities, or enforced by the former Axis and the Allied powers based on ideologies of race and ethnicity, culminating in the postwar border changes enacted by international settlements. The refugee crisis created across formerly occupied territories in World War II provided the context for much of the new international refugee and global human rights architecture existing today.
The Kalmyk deportations of 1943, codename Operation Ulusy was the Soviet deportation of more than 93,000 people of Kalmyk nationality, and non-Kalmyk women with Kalmyk husbands, on 28–31 December 1943. Families and individuals were forcibly relocated in cattle wagons to special settlements for forced labor in Siberia. Kalmyk women married to non-Kalmyk men were exempted from the deportations. The government's official reason for the deportation was an accusation of Axis collaboration during World War II based on the approximately 5,000 Kalmyks who fought in the Nazi-affiliated Kalmykian Cavalry Corps. The government refused to acknowledge that more than 23,000 Kalmyks served in the Red Army and fought against Axis forces at the same time.
Crimean Tatars, or Crimeans, are a Turkic ethnic group and nation, who are an indigenous people of Crimea. The formation of Crimean Tatars occurred during the 13th–17th centuries, primarily from Cumans that appeared in Crimea in the 10th century, with strong contributions from all the peoples who ever inhabited Crimea. Since 2014, Crimean Tatars have been officially recognized as an indigenous people of Ukraine. Russian sources define them as an "indigenous people", as opposite to a "national minority".
Amet-khan Sultan was a highly decorated Crimean Tatar flying ace with 30 personal and 19 shared kills who was twice awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. Amet-khan was able to avoid deportation to Uzbekistan when the entire Crimean Tatar nation was repressed in 1944 due to his father's Lak ancestry, although he refused to change his passport nationality listing to Lak from Crimean Tatar throughout his entire life despite having personally witnessed the deportation of his nation while on vacation in Alupka. After the end of the war, he worked in Moscow as a test pilot and mastered piloting 96 different aircraft types before he was killed in a crash while testing a new engine on a modified Tupolev Tu-16 bomber. Amet-khan remains memorialized throughout Ukraine and Russia, with streets, schools, and airports named after him as well as a museum dedicated to his memory.
Forced settlements in the Soviet Union were the result of the population transfers in the Soviet Union performed in a series of operations organized according to social and national criteria of the deported. Resettling of entire populations by ethnicity was a method of political repression in the Soviet Union, although separate from the Gulag system of penal labor. Involuntary settlement played a role in the colonization of remote areas of the Soviet Union. This role was specifically mentioned in the first Soviet decrees about involuntary labor camps.
Forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union was considered by the Soviet Union to be part of German war reparations for the damage inflicted by Nazi Germany on the Soviet Union during the Axis-Soviet campaigns (1941-1945) of World War II. Soviet authorities deported German civilians from Germany and Eastern Europe to the USSR after World War II as forced laborers, while ethnic Germans living in the USSR were deported during World War II and conscripted for forced labor. German prisoners of war were also used as a source of forced labor during and after the war by the Soviet Union and by the Western Allies.
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was a federation made up of 15 Soviet socialist republics, and existed from 1922 until its dissolution in 1991. Six of the 15 republics had a Muslim majority: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. There was also a large Muslim population in the Volga-Ural region and in the northern Caucasus region of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Many Tatar Muslims also lived in Siberia and other regions.
The deportation of the Crimean Tatars or the Sürgünlik ("exile") was the ethnic cleansing of at least 191,044 Crimean Tatars in 18–20 May 1944 carried out by the Stalinist regime, specifically by Lavrentiy Beria, head of the Soviet state security and secret police, acting on behalf of Joseph Stalin. Within three days, Beria's NKVD used cattle trains to deport mostly women, children, the elderly, even Communists and members of the Red Army, to the Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan, several thousand kilometres away. They were one of the ten ethnicities who were encompassed by Stalin's policy of population transfer in the Soviet Union.
The Deportation of the Chechens and Ingush, also known as Aardakh, Operation Lentil ; Ingush and Chechen: Вайнах махкахбахарVaynah Mahkahbahar) was the Soviet forced transfer of the whole of the Vainakh populations of the North Caucasus to Central Asia on February 23, 1944, during World War II. The expulsion, preceded by the 1940–44 insurgency in Chechnya, was ordered by NKVD chief Lavrentiy Beria after approval by Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, as a part of a Soviet forced settlement program and population transfer that affected several million members of non-Russian Soviet ethnic minorities between the 1930s and the 1950s.
The Greek Operation was an organised mass persecution of the Greeks of the Soviet Union that was ordered by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Greeks often use the term "pogrom" (πογκρόμ) for this persecution, though this term usually refers to mob violence rather than persecution by police acting under direct orders, as this one was. It began on December 15, 1937 and marked the beginning of the repressions against Greeks went on for 13 years. Depending on the sources, it is estimated that between 20,000 and 50,000 Greeks died by the end of this campaign.
The Chechen–Russian conflict is the centuries-long conflict, often armed, between the Russian government and various Chechen forces. Formal hostilities date back to 1785, though elements of the conflict can be traced back considerably further.
Soviet leaders and authorities officially condemned nationalism and proclaimed internationalism, including the right of nations and peoples to self-determination. In practice however, they conducted policies which were the complete opposite of internationalism and these policies included but were not limited to: the systematic large-scale cleansing of ethnic minorities, political repression and various forms of ethnic and social discrimination, including state-enforced antisemitism, Tatarophobia, and Polonophobia.
The Deportation of the Balkars was the expulsion by the Soviet government of the entire Balkar population of the North Caucasus to Central Asia on March 8, 1944, during World War II. The expulsion was ordered by NKVD chief Lavrentiy Beria after approval by Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin. All the 37,713 Balkars of the Caucasus were deported from their homeland in one day. The crime was a part of a Soviet forced settlement program and population transfer that affected several million members of non-Russian Soviet ethnic minorities between the 1930s and the 1950s. Officially the deportation was a response to the Balkars' supposed collaboration with occupying German forces. Later, in 1989, the Soviet government declared the deportation illegal.
The deportation of the Soviet Greeks was a forced transfer of Greeks of the Soviet Union that was ordered by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. It was carried out in 1942, 1944 and 1949 and affected mostly Pontic Greeks along the Black Sea coast. By one estimate, around 50,000 Greeks were deported.
The Deportation of the Meskhetian Turks was the forced transfer by the Soviet government of the entire Meskhetian Turk population from the Meskheti region of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic to Central Asia on 14 November 1944. During the deportation, between 92,307 and 94,955 Meskhetian Turks were forcibly removed from 212 villages. They were packed into cattle wagons and mostly sent to the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic. Members of other ethnic groups were also deported during the operation, including Kurds and Hemshils, bringing the total to approximately 115,000 evicted people. They were placed in special settlements where they were assigned to forced labor. The deportation and harsh conditions in exile caused between 12,589 and 14,895 deaths, at a minimum.
Yuri Bekirovich Osmanov was a Soviet dissident, activist in the Crimean Tatar national movement during the late 1980s and early 1990s and scientist. He was one of the founders and a leader of the National Movement of Crimean Tatars; the goal of the movement was for the Crimean Tatar people to be fully rehabilitated and allowed to return to their homeland.
Anti-Tatar sentiment or Tatarophobia refers to the fear, hatred towards, demonization of, or prejudice against people generally referred to as Tatars, including but not limited to Volga, Siberian, and Crimean Tatars, although negative attitudes against the latter are by far the most severe, largely in part due to the long history of Soviet media only depicting them in a negative way as and promoting negative stereotypes to help politically justify their deportation and marginalization.
The Deportation of the Karachays, codenamed Operation Seagull, was the forced transfer by the Soviet government of the entire Karachay population of the North Caucasus to Central Asia in November 1943, during World War II. The expulsion was ordered by NKVD chief Lavrentiy Beria after approval by Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin. Nearly 70,000 Karachays of the Caucasus were deported from their native land. The crime was a part of a Soviet forced settlement program and population transfer that affected several million members of non-Russian Soviet ethnic minorities between the 1930s and the 1950s.
The de-Tatarization of Crimea refers to the Soviet and Russian efforts to remove traces of indigenous Crimean Tatar presence from the peninsula. De-Tatarization has manifested in various ways throughout history, from smaller measures such as the burning of Crimean Tatar books in the 1920s to the full-scale deportation and exile of Crimean Tatars in 1944.