23rd February 1944 – a day of genocide

Today is World Chechnya Day, not because of current events in Chechnya, but to mark the mass deportation of an entire people during the Second World War.

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 to be forcibly transported died in transit or in massacres committed by Soviet troops. Those who survived the journey were left facing starvation and disease in the harsh winters of Siberia and Central Asia.

Why it’s not named World Chechen and Ingush day, I’m not entirely sure.

Today is also Russian Men’s Day, more commonly known as Army Day.

And finally, today is my birthday, so I’m off to enjoy a few days well deserved rest. See you Monday.

Update: Joined the Beltway traffic jam.

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