Accompanied by First Deputy Secretariat Chief of Staff Ivan Vasyunyk, Security Council Secretary Ivan Plyushch, Kyiv Governor Vira Ulyanchenko, Kyiv Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky and Our Ukraine Bloc leader Vyacheslav Kyrylenko, President Victor Yushchenko on Sunday took part in a wreath-laying ceremony and attended a church service to honor the victims of the totalitarian regime in Bykivnya, President's press office reported..

“We are now standing in Ukraine’s biggest cemetery of the victims of political repressions. Commemorating that terrible tragedy, each of us remembers this sorrowful and holy place,” he said, urging the nation to learn its history, as “it is only possible to speak about the future through the prism of the historical truth.”

Yushchenko said certain politicians “constantly desire to make us, our children and great grandchildren forget those events.” “Very many political players are haunted by this truth, realizing that it deprives them of their place in politics and their political prospects,” he said. “However, when I am speaking about the Bykivnya tragedy, I do it not because it is politically expedient but because it is my moral and Christian obligation.”

The President said its was quite difficult “at political level” to implement his 2006 decree to develop the Bykivnya site, as well as his ideas to recognize Ukraine’s Soviet-era famine as genocide or honor the victims of collectivization.“I understand that this is not only political sabotage… There is still much defiance of this historical truth,” he said.

Yushchenko, however, pledged to create a memorial complex in Bykivnya.

“We will spare no effort to have a real national complex here, find money for it, appoint its supervisory board and set up commissions to work out and propose a concept to develop it. I am convinced we will do it,” he said, adding that he would soon issue a decree to mark each third Saturday of May as a day to remember the victims of the Communist repressions.

The Ukrainian leader thanked those present for attending the event and asked them to observe one minute of silence.


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