Ukrainians honor victims of political repressions

19 May 2019, 11:49 | National religious question | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

On May 19, Ukraine commemorates victims of political repressions. This day, the victims of Soviet policy in the 1920s-1980s are remembered, Gazeta ua reports.

During this time, almost 1.5 million people were arrested on political charges. A large number of them were shot. Others went to jail, suffered exile, deportation, hard labor, camps, forced hospitalization to psychiatric facilities. Repressions affected all population strata – peasants, scholars, politicians, military, priests, cultural figures.

The largest number of victims of repressions was in 1937-1938. At that time, 197,617 people were sentenced to death in Ukraine, of which 122,237 were shot. Sentences were made by extrajudicial bodies - the “NKVD troikas”. Night arrests of neighbors, suspicions of colleagues at work, friends, relatives, the search for spies and pests, the fear of denunciations and the duty to publicly brand enemies of the people have become commonplace. One could make a report on colleagues to prevent them from reporting on him first. This has become a typical means of resolving personal conflicts with leadership, teachers and relatives.

The Soviet authorities carefully hid the traces of their crimes. Classified facilities were built on the places of burial, the land was poured over with concrete, or it was flattened by bulldozers and planted with trees.

Ukraine’s largest burial for mass political repression victims is the Bykivnya forest near Kyiv. There was a special classified facility of the NKVD, where in the late 1930s and 1940s mass burials of all those shot and slaughtered took place. About 100,000 repressed persons were buried there.

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