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Putin supports idea to rehabilitate all Crimea’s ethnic groups suffering from Stalin rule

October 14, 2014, 20:13 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Putin promised to address the issue of thousands of Crimea's Germans, Armenians, Bulgarians, and Greeks who suffered during the rule of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin

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Vladimir Putin (left)

Vladimir Putin (left)

© Alexey Nikolsky/TASS

MOSCOW, October 14. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has supported the idea of preparing a program to rehabilitate people of all ethnic groups of Crimea who suffered during the rule of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.

Speaking at a meeting of the presidential human rights council on Tuesday, Putin promised to address the issue taking into account all the peninsula’s ethnic minorities.

One of the council’s members, Yelena Masyuk, recalled the president’s decree, signed in April, to rehabilitate Crimea's Tatars and other ethnic minorities who suffered during Stalin's repressions. She expressed fears that only the Crimean Tatars would get help in reality while thousands of Germans, Armenians, Bulgarians, and Greeks would receive no support.

This could happen because the decree concerned only those who had already returned to Crimea, and these were mainly the Crimean Tatars, Masyuk said, suggesting that separate rehabilitation programs should be set up for each ethnic group.

Putin said the issue will be considered in due course. “The problem is with budget restrictions,” he said, noting that there are moral obligations which should be fulfilled despite difficulties in budgeting.

The president added that information about people of various ethnicities living in Crimea would be more precise after a regional census, which started Tuesday on the peninsula and will last through to October 25. It is the first census after the republic of Crimea reunited with Russia in March this year.

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