This year on the 15th of May Ukraine honors memory of millions of victims of political repressions – all those who were affected during the communist regime in Ukraine. We remember everyone who was groundlessly accused in crimes, deprived of his home and exiled, sent to labor camps or destroyed by the punitive system.
On June 2nd, 1937, decree by the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union "On anti-Soviet elements" was approved, based on this decree on August 5th, 1937, NKVD issued its order N0044 which started massive repressions. 1930s-1950s were among the most tragic pages of Ukraine history. Holodomor, political repressions, dekulakization, deportation of the Crimean Tatars and the residents of Western Ukraine to the Central Asia and Siberia... According to official data, at least 2.8 million Ukrainian were victims of political repression.
In 1937 alone, nearly seventeen thousand people were executed. Stalinism fought anyone who just might have his own opinion. Later, after the so-called Khrushchev Thaw, new repressions followed – the repressions of Brezhnev era.
The victim could be anyone who tried to resist the system. State-minded, intellectual and creative elites, clergy, workers and peasants were under the pressure. Moral and physical afflictions did not touch only those directly repressed, but also their relatives and friends. Millions of innocent people and entire families were labeled “enemies of the people”.
Ukraine remembers those terrible pages of its history and every year on the third Sunday of May commemorates the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repressions, established by the President of Ukraine’s decree № 431 of May 21, 2007. Thus, this year with participation of government officials ceremonies of laying wreaths will be held at the Memorial monument of the victims of totalitarianism, at the Mass graves and Bykivnia Graves. Commemorative activities will be held in every corner of Ukraine and abroad.
Remembering these terrible events, Ukraine condemns any manifestations of aggression in XXI century. Even now few regimes use methods of political terror. Thus, on the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories, repression against the Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars are under way, many people are missing, Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers, taken hostages by militants, are exposed to physical and moral torture.
On this day of sorrow, we bow our heads to the memory of millions of our compatriots who fell victims of political repression, and sympathize with all the people who have suffered and continue to suffer from totalitarian regimes.