war crimes in Ukraine

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President Yushchenko unveils a Memorial to the Heroes of Kruty

25.08.2006    source:
In paying tribute to the 300 students who were killed, the President stressed that their act had been concealed for almost 90 years and that there were many places in Ukraine which still hide the remains of such innocent victims

On 25 August 2005, in the Chernihiv region, President Viktor Yushchenko paid tribute to the Heroes of Kruty -  the students who died in January 1918 in a battle with Bolshevik troops.

Viktor Yushchenko called the Memorial to the Heroes of Kruty a historical event.

The President spoke a little about history, reminding those present that for almost 90 years nothing had been known[1] about the event, and that there are many places in Ukraine where the remains lie of innocent victims. He said that the events near Kruty are noteworthy in the meaning and the heroism of the students’ action. “The battle of Kruty should be a lesson, a conclusion, how to win and consolidate independence”, the President said, adding that the children had been upholding their parents’ choice and defending the honour of their country.

The President thanked all those who had been involved in erecting the Monument, noting that Ukrainian businesspeople had known of these events and had been happy to respond to the initiative of patriotic groups.

The ceremony was attended by State Deputies, the authorities of the region and the city of Chernihiv, members of political parties and around 2 thousand people from the surrounding villages.

On 29 January 1918 near Kruty in the Chernihiv region a battle took place between a military unit of many thousand Bolsheviks led by Muravyov and three hundred Kyiv students who were defending the Ukrainian National Republic. The students were all killed, and the Bolsheviks reached the capital where they killed thousands of residents. The remains of the students were later reburied at Askold’s Grave in Kyiv.

[1]  Nothing, that is, in Soviet Ukraine.  The Ukrainian Diaspora kept the memory alive (translator’s note)

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