UK & World News
Crimea: Tatar Muslims Plan Referendum Boycott
On the eve of Crimea's controversial referendum, the region's Tatar muslims have called for a boycott, nervous of what a future under Russia might hold.
Groups of Tatar men have begun street patrols to try to reassure their communities as Russian military manoeuvres revive painful memories from the past.
The population was deported out of Crimea en masse under Stalin in 1944 as part of a collective punishment, accused of collaborating with the Nazis. Around half died from starvation or disease.
Sky News met an 88-year-old woman who survived the journey to Uzbekistan as a teenager.
Her sister-in-law died in transit, along with the baby she was nursing.
"Early, early in the morning they came and woke us up," Beyan Edilerskaya said.
"We were frightened, of course. They wouldn't allow us to take anything with us; no food, no clothes, we had to leave everything behind.
"We were tormented like that, they loaded us onto cars and trains and drove us to Uzbekistan."
She told us they survived by eating salty fish, and had to bury the dead in shallow graves by the side of the railway track.
"We were hungry and naked on the road, they gave us salty fish, we were hungry so some of us ate it, some didn't.
"People were dying and bodies were left at railway stations, no-one knows where exactly."
She returned with her family to Crimea 25 years ago, where they have rebuilt their home in a suburb of the capital, Simferopol.
"We came back because Crimea is our motherland," Mrs Edilerskaya said.
"Who doesn't want to live in their motherland? All my ancestors lived here, all my grandmothers and grandfathers lived in Crimea.
"Uzbekistan wasn't bad but it was a foreign country for us; God forbid you ever go through this like we did."
She was clearly agitated and anxious about what is happening in Crimea and said she wants only peace for her children.
"I'm not a politician, don't ask me difficult questions, I know one thing - I don't want war and I don't want my children to see what I've seen."