Victor Yushchenko and his family took part in a mournful procession to commemorate victims of genocide famines and political repressions in Ukraine. Thousands of people from different regions of Ukraine walked from Sophia Square to the St. Michael’s Cathedral. They carried gonfalons, state flags with black ribbons, flowers, ears of wheat, and candles.
Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn, Premier Yuriy Yekhanurov, Secretariat Chief of Staff Oleh Rybachuk, First Deputy Secretariat Chief of Staff Ivan Vasyunyk, NSDCU Secretary Anatoly Kinakh, Kyiv Mayor Oleksandr Omelchenko, Humanitarian Premier Vyacheslav Kyrylenko, Energy Minister Ivan Plachkov, Culture Minister Ihor Likhovy, CEC Head Yaroslav Davydovych, parliamentarians, diplomats and famine survivors took part in the event.
They laid flowers on the monument to all victims of
genocide famine and then attended a service at the St. Michael’s
Victor Yushchenko urged the international community to acknowledge 1932-33 famines as genocide against the Ukrainian nation, the President's press office reported.
“All of us should know the truth about this tragedy,” Yushchenko said near the St. Michael’s Cathedral in Kyiv.
The Head of State said that famine “definitely has political aspects” and stressed that “the communist system did not repent of what it had done.”
“A sin that is not repented causes new tragedies,” he stressed. “A murderer is punished for killing one man, but no one has been punished for killing millions of people.”
Speaking about historical aspects of the tragedy, the President said special research institutes should study them.
“We should at least condemn the political regime that made those
atrocities possible,” he stressed, adding that “each generation of
Ukrainians must know the truth about the genocide famine.”
Yushchenko announced that a “grand museum” would be built in Kyiv to honor all victims of that tragedy.
Then he thanked scholars, journalists, and prisoners of conscience for making the world aware of this crime.
“Today, I signed a decree to decorate these people with state orders,” he said.
After his speech, the President silently honored millions of those who had starved to death in 1932-33.
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