September 29, 2022 – Kyiv. 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. The total number of Babyn Yar victims is estimated to be as high as 100,000, among whom also were 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 deliberate and cynical bombing of the Babyn Yar National Memorial in Kyiv in early March 2022.
“It is repugnant that Putin manipulates the Holocaust to justify an illegal invasion of Ukraine and begins his war by bombing the site of largest Nazi massacre – Babyn Yar,” stated UWC President Paul Grod. “Babyn Yar, a shared tragedy for both the Jewish and Ukrainian people, remains an open wound for Ukraine and for all humanity. It reminds us of the fragility of human life and of the deadly essence of the totalitarian and authoritarian regimes.”
Today, the horrors and terror of World War II are being repeated on Ukrainian soil. The massacres in Bucha and Izyum, as well as sadistic and inhumane atrocities, committed by the Russian armed forces throughout the occupied territories of Ukraine, have shocked the world. In the liberated areas, investigators discover more and more mass graves. By some accounts, Russian soldiers have been instructed by their military commanders to kill Ukrainian civilians, which is a clear demonstrates genocide. As of today, a total of 8 countries, including Canada, Ireland, Poland, and the Baltic states, have already officially recognized Russian atrocities in Ukraine as genocide.
“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 independence of their country and physical existence of their nation!” Paul Grod added.
On September 29, the Ukrainian World Congress, jointly with the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory, organized a commemorative Interfaith Prayer Service for the victims of Babyn Yar near the Monument to the Babyn Yar Victims in Kyiv.