Crimean Tatars are today marking the 62th anniversary of their deportation by Soviet leader Josef Stalin by laying wreathes in ceremonies in the Crimea and in Kyiv, according to RFE/RL.

      In a statement, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko reiterated his government`s pledges to help reintegrate Tatars, who say they still face difficulties in obtaining citizenship, finding jobs, or getting back their land.

      More than 250,000 Tatars have returned to the Crimea since 1989, when they were allowed to return from exile.

      Some 200,000 were deported to Central Asia on Stalin`s orders in 1944, who accused them of collaborating with the Nazis. Nearly half died on their way there or during the first years of exile.