Remembrance Day for the Victims of Communist Repression in the Bykivnya Forest
At 12.00 on Sunday 20 May a memorial gathering will take place to honour the Victims of Communist Repression buried in the “Bykivnya Graves” near Kyiv
At 12.00 a Requiem Service [panykhida] will be held by Church leaders near the common graves, followed from 13.00 to 14.00 by a gathering to honour the memory of all those victims whose remains lie buried in this forest.
Transport: from the metro station “Lisova” – 4 buses will be available for those wishing to attend the memorial events. Return will be between 14.00 and 16.00
The Bykivnya Forest holds the last earthly remains of victims of the communist regime. It is believed that 150 thousand people were buried there.
The burials date from 1937 to 1941 however there are also victims killed by the Bolsheviks from the end of the 1920s. The number of victims is so great that two or three victims lie buried on each square metre of the territory. Up to half of those buried were executed in the modern “Kinopalats” [“Cinema Palace”, which is the former Zhovtnevy [October] Palats, the premises of the NKVD].
Those attending the annual gathering of remembrance include people whose relatives lie buried in this place, as well as others whose relatives are buried in Siberia or Mordova. There are also many who to this day do not know where those graves lie.
The Chair of the Kyiv Vasyl Stus “Memorial” Society Roman Krutsyk believes that the “Bykivnya Graves are important not only for the relatives of the Victims, but for the nation as a whole – for “the dead, the living and those not yet born”.
“It is the duty of each Ukrainian to remember the terrible crimes committed by the occupation regime against the Ukrainian people”.
The memorial gathering is initiated by the Kyiv Vasyl Stus “Memorial” Society. Youth patriotic organizations are taking part in organizing the memorial events, as well as representatives of the central and local authorities. Over several years Viktor Yushchenko has attended the ceremonies. In 2002 Pope John Paul II visited the “Bykivnya Graves.