On September 29, Ukrainians remembered one of the most tragic pages in the history of World War II: 78 years ago Babyn Yar Ravine in Kyiv became a site of mass killings of innocent civilians carried out by the Nazis. On the occasion, President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed Ukrainian people with the following words, “With deep sorrow we remember today one of the most tragic events of our past. Seventy-eight years ago, the Nazis began the massacres of civilian population in Babyn Yar Ravine. The policy of unheard-of attrocities designed by Third Reich apologists for racial purity led to the planned extermination of Jews in the countries occupied by the Nazis”. In his address, the President said that in Babyn Yar Ravine the Nazi regime had executed thousands of Soviet prisoners of war, members of Ukrainian liberation movement, so called “regime violators”, and all those who prevented the occupants from established their man-hateful New Order.

Volodymyr Zelensky has stressed that Ukraine remembers with gratitude those ordinary people who risking their lives rescued their countrymen from imminent death. “We should remember tragic events of history not only to revere the memory of the killed but also to draw conclusions from the past so that we won’t make mistakes in the future. The memory of Babyn Yar and Holocaust has to be a warning to all the mankind that the ideology of hostility and violance can throw us back into that horrible past when man’s life, the most precious thing on Earth, was the small coin in the hands of dictators. I’m convinced that Ukrainian people will always be unanimous in their efforts to stop any manifestation of racial or ethnic hatred”, said the President.

The march of memory to commemorate the Babyn Yar tragedy took place on September 29 in Kyiv. Hundreds of people from across Ukraine came to Kyiv and marched to the monument “Menorah” in Babyn Yar. They walked along the same road that the Jews went to their death on September 19-20, 1941.

From September 1941 to the end of September 1943, Babyn Yar was a site of regular shootings and burials perpetrated by the Nazis. Their victims were the Jews, Romanies, Soviet prisoners of war, Ukrainian patriots. Babyn Yar has become a necropolis of more than 100 000 civilians and soldiers.

The newspaper Holos Ukrainy