On the 80th anniversary of the mass shooting in Babyn Yar in Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy laid flowers at a monument to the citizens executed by Nazis in Babyn Yar and put an icon lamp at the foot of the Menorah memorial.
The ceremony was also attended by Head of the Office of the President Andriy Yermak.
The memory of the victims was honored by the moment of silence.
Flowers from the President were also laid at the monument to Roma executed by Nazis, as well as at the monument to Ukrainian poet Olena Teliha.
Honoring the memory of all those killed in Babyn Yar, the Head of State stressed that this tragedy took more than 100,000 lives and caused millions of mutilated fates.
“Babyn Yar. Two short words that sound like two short shots, but carry long and horrible memories of several generations. Because they know and remember that, unfortunately, not two shots were fired in Babyn Yar, but hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of times more,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The President noted that today all Ukrainian schools will have a national lesson dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the great tragedy of Babyn Yar.
"Today, depending on age and education, someone will hear these two terrible words and these terrible numbers again, and someone for the first time. They will hear the fact that 80 years ago, on September 29, 1941, the Nazi invadrs began mass executions in Babyn Yar. The fact that in the next two days they killed almost 34,000 people. The fact that in the next two years in Babyn Yar, the Nazis, according to various estimates, executed from 100 to 200 thousand people. In addition to Jews, they were Ukrainians and Roma, prisoners of war, and patients from a psychiatric hospital. The fact that a total of at least six million Jews have fallen victim to the Holocaust in Europe. And that one and a half million of them, i.e. every fourth killed, were from Ukraine," the Head of State stressed.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that future generations need to know the terrible numbers about the crimes of Nazism, so that these terrible tragedies do not happen again in the history of mankind.
"Preserving the memory of World War II, in particular the tragedy of Babyn Yar and the Holocaust, is our duty to future generations. Honoring the memory of all those who perished is our duty to past generations," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The Head of State added that since 2019, everything is being done to turn Babyn Yar from a territory of oblivion into a worthy place of remembrance of the hundreds of thousands of victims killed in 1941-1943.
"The tragedy of Babyn Yar, which happened in Ukraine 80 years ago, must never happen again. Neither in Ukraine nor in other parts of Europe. Nowhere in the world," the President summed up.