On 8 March 1944, during World War II, the Soviet authorities ordered the deportation of the Balkar people of the North Caucasus to Central Asia. The expulsion was ordered by Joseph Stalin and Lavrenty Beria, the latter then head of the NKVD. All Balkars living in the North Caucasus – about 40,000 people – were deported in a single day. In 1989 the Soviet government declared the deportation illegal.
‘Deportation of the Balkars,’ Wikipedia
RFE/RL, 8 March 2021: Balkars in Russia’s North Caucasus region of Kabardino-Balkaria are marking the 77th anniversary of their mass deportation to Central Asia by Soviet leader Josef Stalin. Balkars are a Turkic-speaking and predominantly Muslim ethnic group that numbers an estimated 110,000 people. Prayers in the region’s mosques on March 8 were dedicated to those who died during their deportation to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan between 1944 and 1957.