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November 25, 2011

Yushchenko: The government and the public must make an effort to preserve historical memory

Today at the National Cultural Art and Museum complex "Mystetskyi Arsenal" opened an exhibition project "Truth saves from death ..." dedicated to the tragedy that happened in Bykivnia forest, and the memory of hundreds of thousands of murdered innocent people.

The initiator of this project is the leader of "Our Ukraine", the President of Ukraine (2005-2010) Viktor Yushchenko.

"The main purpose of the exhibition is to open to the Ukrainians the truth not only about the Bykivnia tragedy, but also about all the cursed twentieth century, to answer for what our grand-grandfathers and our grandfathers paid... I know the answer to this question. It's all was done for one reason - they really wanted to live on their land, live in their own country ", - Yushchenko said at the opening of the exposition.

Responding to the question, why it was decided to do an exhibition about Bykivnia, President of Ukraine (2005-2010) stressed that this is the biggest Ukrainian tomb, in which with no forgiveness, no prayer were buried more than 100,000 murdered Ukrainians. He stressed that in Bykivnia was buried the nation’s elite - writers, teachers, priests.

"I would really like if people who will attend this exhibition and learn about Bykivnia tragedy, at least somehow have their hearts aching" - President said.

During the approach to the press Yushchenko said that the artifacts for the exhibition were collected by various museums, but the basis of exposure are the materials from the excavations of the Ukrainian-Polish expedition, which this year held excavations in Bykivnia.

Yushchenko emphasized that he personally, his Institute, his team and just caring people put a lot of efforts to make Ukraine and the world know the truth about Bykivnia tragedy. However, in his opinion, this is not enough. "Certainly, the government should necessarily take care of these issues, but the public should make an effort to preserve our memory. This will form a nation "- Yushchenko is convinced.


In Bykivnia is the largest mass burial of political repression victims in Ukraine. Here was an object of special purpose of NKVS, where the in late 30's - 40's were held mass burials of the shot and tortured.

According to scientists, for 5 years in Bykivnia were murdered more than 100 thousand people - representatives of more than forty nationalities that were ruthlessly destroyed the Communist government. Most of these nameless graves are burials of a peacetime, the result of conscious destruction of the best representatives of the society by the totalitarian regime.

Herewith, it should be noted that most cases were not considered by the court. The cases were sentenced by the extra-judicial bodies - the boards, "triyky", "dviyky", special moving councils of the NKVS USSR (Unit of Soviet Socialistic Republics) and NKVS USSR (Ukrainian Soviet Socialistic Republic), extra-judicial prosecution. Family members weren’t provided with any information or it was reported to them that a person was sentenced to 10 years without the right to correspondence.

For the first time, crime of NKVS in 30’s has been claimed by the authorities under public pressure only in 1989. Number of Bykivnia victims’ burials is not finally set, there are different numbers - from 70 to 225 thousand. The most reasonable figure is 120 thousand of victims.

Today according to detected and processed by employees of the SBU documents, are found 14,191 names. Other names of victims of Stalin's regime still await publication.

Exhibition of artifacts that were found during the excavations in the National Historical Memorial Reserve "Bykivnia graves" from 2001 to 2011, will be held on November 25-27, 2011.

The exhibition features more than three thousand items that belonged to innocent people who died during the totalitarian repressions of 1937-1941. In addition, all applicants are able to see the concept of the National Historical Memorial Reserve "Bykivnia graves” development.

Tags: Yushchenko, communist repressions victims, Bykivnia