Myroslav Marynovych and Mustafa Dzemilev honoured in US capital
The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation awarded the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom to UCU Vice Rector, a community activist, dissident Myroslav Marynovych, and to the spiritual leader of the Crimean Tatars, Mustafa Dzhemilev.
The award ceremony took place on June 11 in Washington near the Memorial to the Victims of Communism. This year particular attention was paid to victims of Communism in various parts of the globe with several of the speakers mentioning the situation in Ukraine where Putinism as a successor to communism, roared its ugly head in Crimea with Putin attempting to restore the Soviet empire.
Executive Director of the Victims of Communism Foundation Marion Smith stated at the ceremony that this year there was no doubt who should get the award, since both leaders had dedicated their whole lives to the struggle against Communism, were subject to persecution, and spent many years in the Soviet gulags.
Voice of America reported that there were many ambassadors of foreign countries present at the ceremony. Václav Klaus, former president of the Czech Republic gave the welcoming comments.
The memorial to the Victims of Communism was established in the USA twenty years ago, with the support of George Bush, Sr. Among the past laureates are: Elena Bonner, Viktor Bukovskyj, Stanislav Shushkevych, Pope Paul II, Václav Havel, Lech Wałęsa.