: Ukraine celebrates Crimean Tatar Flag Day

13:39 Jun. 26, 2016

Ukraine celebrates Crimean Tatar Flag Day

Activists carry Crimean Tatar national flags in Kyiv's centre (UNIAN Photo)

Crimean peninsula was illegally annexed by Russia in March 2014

June 26 marks Crimean Tatar National Flag Day.

This festival was launched in 2009.

The Crimean Tatar flag was first adopted by the Congress of Crimean Tatars in 1917, immediately after the February revolution (the first of two revolutions in Russia in 1917).

The Crimean Tatar flag is light blue with a tamga (scales) - the yellow-colour emblem of the Giray Khan dynasty. The tamga like scales means justice, whereas blue is a traditional colour of Turkic peoples, symbolizing the sky and freedom.

Watch also Crimean Tatar Battalion raises its flag above checkpoint with Russia-occupied peninsula

The day before, on June 25, the 40 metre-long Crimean Tatar flag was brought from Turkey to Ukraine. Ukrainians plan to carry it across Kyiv's capital.

Ukraine's Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) officially declared February 20, 2014, a beginning of Russia's illegal occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol. Numerous world leaders strongly condemned the illegal annexation and launched a range of economic sanctions against Russia.

Despite the overall resentment, Moscow rejects the notion "occupation", naming its deeds instead "a renewal of historical justice".

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