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A CRIME WITHOUT REPENTANCE
According to researched data, the mass burials in Bykivnia are the largest ones in Ukraine. Preliminary estimates indicate that during 1937-1941 more than 100,000 Ukrainians were destroyed and secretly buried here. Four state commissions were created in connection with the Bykivnia burials: in 1944, 1971, and 1988-1989. The last state commission was created on 8 December 1988 following an instruction, no. 534, issued by the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR. Following the excavations, partial exhumations of the victims, and testimony of more than 200 eyewitnesses, the commission determined that victims of Communist repressions in the 1930s were buried in Sectors 19 and 20 of the Darnytsia Forestry. After the government commission submitted its findings, the incorrect inscription was removed from the memorial cross that had been erected by the Soviet government; the inscription incorrectly stated that the people buried in Bykivnia were victims of Nazism. To this day law the law enforcement organs have not initiated any criminal proceedings in connection with Bykivnia; cases were launched several times and then abruptly closed. The last time a case was launched was in 1999, when citizens and families of victims buried in Bykivnia demanded that the General Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine reopen the case. In 2001 the military prosecutor's offices once again closed the case. The burials in Bykivnia symbolize the sites of all mass burials of victims of repression during the period of totalitarianism. Every year, on the second Sunday of May people come here from every oblast in Ukraine to honor the memory of their relatives, even those citizens who have been informed by the law enforcement organs that their loved ones are buried in Siberia, the Solovetsky Islands, Kingir, Magadan, and other places, where Soviet concentration camps were located. On the initiative of the “Memorial” Society the Cabinet of Mini-sters of Ukraine approved a resolution dated 22 May 2001, no. 546, “About the Creation of a State Historical-Memorial Preserve 'The Bykivnia Graves', which would become a center for research into the mass burials of victims of Bolshevik repressions in Ukraine.”
Another symbol of terror is the large village of Bykivnia, situated in the northeastern area of Kyiv next to the Chernihiv highway. Here mass burials of people repressed and executed by the NKVD organs in Kyiv were buried in 1936-1941. The first victims, who as a rule were brought from Luk'ianivka Prison, were buried here in the late 1920s. Officially, the construction of a special zone for secret burials was begun in 1936. From that time destroyed victims of the Communist regime were secretly and systematically buried here.
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