Holocaust memorial site bombed in Ukraine, Zelensky says
A Holocaust memorial site was bombed in Kyiv amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday.
The Babyn Yar Holocaust memorial site in Kyiv honors the estimated 70,000 to 100,000 people who died between 1941 and 1943 during the Holocaust by the Nazis at Babyn Yar, according to the memorial center. The center said that most of its Jewish population in Kyiv died during that period.
“To the world: what is the point of saying «never again» for 80 years, if the world stays silent when a bomb drops on the same site of Babyn Yar? At least 5 killed. History repeating,” Zelensky tweeted.
The striking of the memorial site was also confirmed by Andriy Yermak, head of the Office of the President of Ukraine.
“Just now, a powerful barrage is underway. A missile hit the place where Babyn Yar memorial complex is located! Once again, these barbarians are murdering the victims of Holocaust!” he tweeted.
Natan Sharanksy, the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center advisory board chairman, condemned the bombing and warned that truth could not become “the victim of war.”
“Putin seeks to distort and manipulate the Holocaust to justify an illegal invasion of a sovereign democratic country is utterly abhorrent. It is symbolic that he starts attacking Kyiv by bombing the site of the Babyn Yar, the biggest of Nazi massacre,” Sharanksy said in a statement on Tuesday.
“We, at the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center, built on Europe’s largest mass grave of the Holocaust, work to preserve historical memory following decades of Soviet suppression of historical truth, so that the evils of the past can never be repeated,” he added.
It is a sobering development that comes less than a week since Russia invaded its neighbor. Russian President Vladimir Putin has referred to the Ukrainian government as “neo-Nazis” despite the fact that Zelensky is Jewish and has family members who died during the Holocaust.
In a joint interview with CNN and Reuters, Zelensky urged Russia to stop bombing before the two sides meet for further negotiations.
“It’s necessary to at least stop bombing people, just stop the bombing and then sit down at the negotiating table,” the Ukrainian president said, according to Reuters.