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30.05.2007

Work on the National Historical Memorial Reserve “Bykivnya Graves” is being sabotaged

   

The Kyiv city organization of the Vasyl Stus Memorial Society has addressed an appeal to President Yushchenko over sabotage of measures to develop and run the National Reserve “Bykivnya Graves”.

Civic society in Ukraine has observed with concern and indignation how the executive structures under the Cabinet of Ministers and Kyiv City State Administration have responded with pointed indifference to the Cabinet of Ministers Resolution “On the creation of a National Historical Memorial Reserve “Bykivnya Graves” and the Presidential Decree “On giving the Reserve national status”.

For over 6 years there have been official letters and senseless meetings which have simply pushed the implementation of the Resolution and Decree further into a dead end.

Meanwhile, the State Inter-departmental Commission on Honouring the Memory of the Victims of the War and Political Repression (chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Dmytro Tabachnyk), without gaining the proper permission and without reinstating the criminal case according to the place of the crime, and with disregard for the Law “On the protection of cultural heritage”, has been carrying out unsanctioned excavations, resulting in attempts to divide the victims buried at Bykivnya according to nationality.

The executive authorities are, through their selective attitude to the victims of repression, dividing them into better and worse, into “ours” and “not ours”. Yet another place where a terrible crime was perpetrated – Babi Yar – has finally, though a Cabinet of Ministers Resolution No. 308 from 1 March 2007, been declared a National Reserve Area.  From 1 January an advance is even envisaged of 1.2 million UAH for its directorate.

We fully endorse the creation of a National Reserve Area Babi Yar.

It causes pain, however, and incomprehension to see how the treatment of the National Reserves of “Bykivnya Graves” and Babi Yar is different. After all, both hold the remains of thousands of people. In both Babi Yar and in Bykivnya Ukrainians, Jews, Russians, Poles, Roma, and people of other nationalities were brutally slaughtered.

Is it now becoming the practice of those in power to divide not only Ukraine, the people of Ukraine into “ours” and “not ours” but also murdered victims into better and worse?

In deep concern over such disrespect for tens of thousands of innocent victims, we turn to you Mr President, and ask for your intervention in finally resolving the problems around the National Historical Memorial Reserve “Bykivnya Graves”.

Adopted at the Memorial Society’s Conference on 26 May 2007

 

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