On the third Sunday of May independent Ukraine annually pays homage to millions of innocent people whose life was cut short by the Soviet repressive totalitarian machine that destroyed our people with marked cruelty in the 1920s-1950s.
In Kyiv the Memorial Day is annually observed in the horrible Bykivnia Forest, the place of last repose of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians, Poles, Russians, Jews, people of other ethnic groups who were condemned to death by the tyrannical Stalinist government, often in retaliation for their desire to think like free individuals. In the 1930s-1940s, Ukraine was inflicted heavy losses. The Stalinist repressive machine destroyed all who attempted to resist it. Anyone — a peasant, intellectual, schoolteacher, engineer, worker or scientist — could fall prey to it… It was a time of disillusionment, despair, and hopelessness. Our memory and prayers must become the best homage to those who died, just as we must take daily care of the people who survived those horrible years… May our joint memories become a guarantee that such tragedies will never happen again.
It is surely a telling sign that monuments and posters of Joseph Stalin, one of the bloodiest dictators of the twentieth century, the main instigator of the bloodiest political repressions, should be emerging in Russian-occupied Crimea and areas of Donbas under Kremlin-backed militant control.