Moscow reads Viktor Yushchenko’s preface to the book on Sandarmokh


The second edition of the book: “To the slaughtered sons and daughters of Ukraine. Sandarmokh” has been presented in the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow. The book, published in Karelia, names the Ukrainians murdered in the Sandarmokh Clearing near Medvezhegorsk in 1937-1939.

The book also provides information about how the Monument to the Victims was constructed, Ukrinform’s correspondent in the Russian Federation explains.

The preface to the book was written by Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko. This period, the events and places are of personal meaning to him since his father Andriy Yushchenko worked on the construction of Belomor Kanal.

“Karelian land was destined to become forever the pantheon of the Executed Ukrainian Renaissance. One of the blackest pages of Ukraine’s history is written in the blood of the murdered geniuses of our nation. This history must for ever remain before us as a reminder and warning for future generations”, the preface reads.

Those who were to find their last resting place in the Karelian Sandarmokh Clearing included the well-known Ukrainian cultural figures Les Kurbas, Mykola Zerov, Valeryan Pidmohylny, Mykhailo Kulish, Yevhen Pluzhnyk and many others. According to the Chairperson of the Board of the Karelia Republic Society for Ukrainian Culture “Kalyna” and author of the book Larisa Skrypnykova, the issue gives the names of almost 70 of the Ukrainians murdered there, with information about another 37 people having come from St Petersburg Archive a few days ago.

The memory of all those executed in the Sandarmokh Clearing was first properly honoured in October 1997 when a Memorial was formally opened at the site of the mass executions. On 5 August 2005, on Remembrance Day for Victims of Stalin’s Repression, at the place where 139 Ukrainians were executed a Cossack Cross “To the Slaughtered Sons and Daughters of Ukraine”.in granite was officially presented 

The forest clearing also holds Russian Orthodox and Polish Catholic Crosses, a Memorial Muslim Plaque and a Jewish Stone.

The Cossack Cross which weighs 20 tonne was constructed entirely from donations of 20 thousand dollars from individuals and Ukrainian cultural societies in Ukraine, Russia, the USA and Canada.

The Sandarmokh Tragedy was a crime not only against Ukraine, but against humanity. Here lie buried thousands of works not written, plays not performed and discoveries prevented from being made. Whole pages of Ukrainian and world history were brutally annihilated.

The mass campaign of repression against million of people in the Soviet Union began on 2 July 1937, approved by Resolution R 51/94 «On anti-Soviet elements» of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik) “… to once and for all be rid of unreliable and socially dangerous citizens”.  On the personal instruction of the People’s Commissar for Internal Affairs Yezhov, the Head of the Solovky Special Purpose Prison (SLON), was to “repress 1200 people”. 165 Ukrainians were among the prisoners of the “Solovky Embarkation”.

Moscow 20 October (Ihor Solovei, Ukrinform)

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