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Self-return to Crimea. Part 3







38 min.






‘Our 30 years. A Living History’


‘Our 30 years’ is a multimedia project ( of the Ukrainian public broadcaster, exploring the history of Ukraine’s independence and the years that followed – as told by Ukrainians themselves. The project gives a platform for Ukrainians’ memories and reflections on the 1990s – on the formative lived experiences that are common to Ukrainians of different backgrounds and opinions.


The project created by the Public Interest Journalism Lab comprises 9 documentaries, 20 podcasts and dozens of short videos with oral histories. The documentaries can be watched on YouTube with English subtitles.


‘Self-return to Crimea’

What did Crimean Tatars go through when returning to Crimea after decades of exile in the late 1980s? The right to buy a house, get a residence permit without which they cannot be hired – these rights were the ones that Crimean Tatars had to fight for through numerous protests, constant pressure, and negotiations with local officials. Moreover, they faced blatant racism on a daily basis. The government-controlled media pummeled the population with propaganda. Yet pickets from Moscow to Taman and throughout Crimea, petitions, peaceful marches, self-immolation, and, finally, the return to the homeland, which the authorities called squatting – all this eventually worked. This is the story of an entire people’s return, a story of victory in opposition to the system and thanks to cohesion. However, many had to lose their home for the second time after the Russian occupation of the peninsula in 2014.

Part 3 voiced by a famous singer Jamala tells a story about the environment in which the Crimean Tatars returned in the early 1990s. How children found friends at school, and adults – at work. How they celebrate Easter and Eid al-Adha together. How they found themselves under occupation in the spring of 2014, and what gives them hope of the return to their homeland. 

Narrator Jamala 

Editor-in-Chief, Executive Producer Nataliya Gumenyuk 

Director Anna Tsyhyma 

Journalists Nataliya Gumenyuk, Zarema Yalyboilyu

Podcast Script Oksana Oliinyk

Podcast Editor Vlad Azarov 

Podcast Sound Designer Maksym Nykytenko

Translation Algirdas Fediajevas

Subtitles Ignas Balčius

Nataliya Gumenyuk

A well-known Ukrainian journalist, author specializing in foreign affairs and conflict reporting. She is the founder and CEO of the Public Interest Journalism Lab, and the founding member of ‘The Reckoning Project’, which documents war crimes during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Gumenyuk is the author of several documentaries and books, including “The Lost Island: Tales From The Occupied Crimea” and “Maidan Tahrir”. Since the start of the Russian invasion to Ukraine she regularly writes for The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Rolling Stone, Die Zeit, The Atlantic. She also provides commentaries for CNN, MSNBC, Sky News, Monocle, etc. Gumenyuk was the co-founder, and for 5 years Head of Independent Hromadske TV and Hromadske International, and is currently a Board member. Gumenyuk is a member of the Council for Freedom for Speech Under the President of Ukraine and Independent Media Council.

Anna Tsyhyma

A ilmmaker and director, the chief director at Public Interest Journalism Lab. She reported the war in Ukraine since 2014 working in the Donbas, occupied Crimea, Russia. Her films on human rights and political prisoners won numerous Ukrainian awards. She served as chief director for the independent Ukrainian media Hromadske TV, TVI; and worked as a director for ICTV. Tsyhyma is the finalist of many Ukrainian television awards and a participant at the film festival DOK LEIPZIG 2019.

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