Official World Chechnya Remembrance Day
23rd February is World Chechnya Day. It commemorates the dignity and resiliance of a people who, against all odds, refused to be erased from existence.
On 23 February 1944, Stalin ordered the deportation of the entire Chechen and Ingush population to Central Asia. More than half of the 500,000 people who were forcibly transported died in transit or in massacres committed by Soviet troops. Those who survived the journey were left to face starvation and disease in the harsh winters of Siberia and Central Asia.
Overnight, Chechnya and Ingushetia were emptied of their native inhabitants, and within days an entire people had been erased from their ancestral land. Every reference to Chechnya was removed from official maps, records and encyclopaedias.
Sixty years after the event, in 2004, the European Parliament passed a motion to recognise this catastrophe as Genocide.
"It is a day that few are aware of and yet none should forget."
Many around the world have marked this day by holding a commemoration in their communities.
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