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UWC honors the memory of Babyn Yar

#UWC news
September 29,2023 868
UWC honors the memory of Babyn Yar

Today, the Ukrainian World Congress joins Ukraine and the international community in mourning the tragic anniversary of the Babyn Yar massacre and hallows the memory of its innocent victims. 

On September 29-30, 1941, nearly 34,000 Jews were killed in the Babyn Yar ravine on the outskirts of Kyiv in what has become one of the largest mass murders of the Holocaust. Babyn Yar victims are estimated to be as high as 100,000, including Ukrainians, Roma, and POWs of various nationalities, political affiliations, and religious beliefs.  

For decades, the Soviet totalitarian regime tried to hide and erase the sorrowful memory of Nazi crimes committed in Babyn Yar. Only after Ukraine restored its independence, were Ukrainians and Jews able to honor their relatives and loved ones. Following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Russian forces carried out a deliberate and cynical bombing of the Babyn Yar National Memorial in Kyiv in early March 2022. 

Today, the horrors and terror of World War II are being repeated on Ukrainian soil. The massacres in Bucha, Izyum, and many other towns and villages across Ukraine, as well as mass sadistic and inhumane atrocities committed by the Russian armed forces, have shocked the world. The goal of the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine is not merely the conquest of territories; it includes eliminating Ukrainian national identity and the genocide of the Ukrainian people. 

In their policy in the occupied Ukrainian territories, the Russians are repeating the worst practices of Nazism: mass shootings and violence against the civilian population, deliberate looting, theft of private property and valuables, and mass deportations of the civilian population, including children. 

In early May 2023, the parliament of Ukraine officially recognized Russia’s state ideology as Rashism and condemned its principles and practices as totalitarian and misanthropic. Ukrainian MPs also called on the United Nations, as well as the governments and parliaments of foreign countries, to support the condemnation of the Rashism ideology, politics, and practices.

“Babyn Yar, a shared tragedy for Jewish and Ukrainian people, remains an open wound for Ukraine and all humanity. It reminds us of human life’s fragility and the deadly essence of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes,” stated UWC President Paul Grod. “Honoring the memory of the victims of the Babyn Yar, the world cannot say “Never again!” with any confidence, as long as evil and hatred in the form of Putinist Russia exists. The international community must join all possible efforts to stop this evil and help Ukrainians win this war for their country’s independence and the physical existence of their nation!”

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