Volodymyr Zelenskyy: It is our duty to make Babyn Yar a place of memory, not a place of oblivion
This was stated by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the opening of the All-Ukrainian Forum "Ukraine 30. Humanitarian Policy" in Kyiv.
The Head of State reminded that next year Ukraine would honor the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor-Genocide of 1932-1933. He noted that there are almost no survivors of this terrible tragedy nowadays. So today it is necessary to preserve and pass on to future generations the memory of the Holodomor and to convey to the world community truthful information about the events in Ukraine in those years.
"As a nation, can we assume that we are fulfilling this duty if the Holodomor Memorial Museum has not been completed in the country for years? I think we can’t. That is why by the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor-Genocide, the second stage of the National Museum "Memorial to the Victims of the Holodomor" will be completed and will appear on the slopes of the Dnieper in Kyiv in full. We really keep this issue under personal control. It is very important to finish such a great, important historical work for all of us and for future generations," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The President also called it important to honor the memory of other nations. In particular, this year September 29 marks the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the mass shootings in Babyn Yar, which is a symbol of the Holocaust and the great tragedy on the Ukrainian land.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that modern generations cannot change history, but can honor the memory of all those who perished.
"Babyn Yar is a terrible symbol of the Holocaust on our Ukrainian land. We cannot get rid of it, but we can win by honoring the memory of all the victims, all the deceased. The issue of historical justice is very acute. We are responsible to all past and all future generations for historical justice," Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed.
According to the President, 1.5 million Ukrainian Jews were executed, and in Babyn Yar - about 100 thousand people.
"We have no right to forget and will not forget this. It is extremely important for Ukraine to honor, at a high level, all the victims of this tragedy," the President said.
He reminded that at the end of last year he signed the Decree "On measures on the 80th anniversary of the tragedy of Babyn Yar and additional measures for the further development of the National Historical and Memorial Reserve "Babyn Yar".
In particular, the development of the territory of this reserve is underway, conceptually new facilities have already been created, invitations have been sent and many foreign guests are expected to attend the events to honor the 80th anniversary of the Babyn Yar tragedy.
"We will hospitably receive on our land everyone who comes on this day to share with us our common pain, to honor the memory of the tragedy that shocked the whole world, to remember the dead, to thank - first of all our Righteous," the Head of State stressed.
"It is our duty to make Babyn Yar a place of memory, not a place of oblivion. There should be no shooting range or any other complex. As a state, we strive to make this place worthy of the memory of more than 100,000 Holocaust victims. It is very important that these aspirations are shared by our community. I am sure that all Ukrainians share them," the President said.