Crimean Tatars pray during a protest in front of a local government building in Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
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Only six days ago, Tatars of Ukraine's Crimea came out in their thousands, chanting "Allahu akbar" in a show of loyalty to the new authorities in Kiev and opposition to separatist demands by the region's Russian ethnic majority.Last Wednesday, thousands of Tatars turned out in the streets of Simferopol, the regional capital, marching in favor of Kiev's new government at a counter demonstration to one held by Russian separatists.Since then, there has been no sign of further Tatar protests.It is Simferopol's oldest building and a testament to the Tatars' deep roots here.In 1944, Soviet dictator Josef Stalin deported the entire Crimean Tatar population to central Asia, thousands of miles away.It was reborn in the late 1980s, the beginning of a restoration that saw most Crimean Tatars return from exile to their homeland, first under Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and then after Ukraine became independent.
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