30 years since the death of General Petro Grigorenko
February 21, 2017 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the death of General Petro Grigorenko, the world-renowned fighter for human rights, and defender of Crimean Tatars and other religious and ethnic minorities, scientist, professor, head of the Department of Cybernetics, a veteran of World War II. Many years of his life Petro Grigorenko devoted to the defense of the Crimean Tatar people and their right to repatriation, he was among the founders of the Moscow and the Ukrainian Helsinki Groups, one of the founders of the commission for inquiry into the abuse of psychiatry, he defended the rights of ethnic Germans and Jews to repatriation, opposed religious and ethnic discrimination, including a Ukrainian people. The general was one of the first authors to debunk the myth of the initial phase of the Nazi-Soviet engagement during the Second World War and showed that the USSR was not preparing for a defensive but rather an aggressive war.
During his human rights activities Grigorenko was subjected to repressions: two prison terms, demotion to private, constant surveillance, perlustration of his correspondence, wiretapping, and as the final conclusion - deprivation of Soviet citizenship and exiled.
In exile, Petro Grigorenko continued the struggle for human rights: he headed overseas representation of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group, spoke at international forums, met with heads of state, including US presidents Carter and Reagan, UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and many others. General Grigorenko was also a tireless publicist, his articles were published in the international and in the Ukrainian and Russian emigre press, a few of his books have been published and translated into many languages. Especially popular was the book of his memoirs (the original title "In the underground one can meet only rats ...")
General Petro Grigorenko died in exile and was buried with military honors at the Ukrainian Orthodox cemetery in New Jersey, USA.
Andrew P. Grigorenko
President of General Petro Grigorenko Foundation