Comment by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on the day of the beginning of the Great Terror of the 1930s
05 August 2020 10:25

On August 5, Ukraine commemorates the victims of the Great Stalinist Terror. It was on this day in 1937 that the resolution of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) "On Anti-Soviet Elements" came into force and launched the process of mass extermination.

Millions of people fell victim to repression. No one was insured against unjust arrest, concentration camps and execution as the purpose of terror was to break everyone, to kill the very possibility of having one's own opinion.

Therefore, in Ukraine, the Great Terror became a continuation of the Holodomor, only this time the main blow was aimed not at the peasantry, but the intellectual elite of the nation. The repression was particularly severe in Ukraine, where the Kremlin was to subdue not only the society but also the rebellious Ukrainian nation, who had just attempted to form its independent state.

Thus, in just a few days in October-November 1937, almost three hundred of the best Ukrainian writers, artists, and scientists, including Les Kurbas, Mykola Kulish, Mykola Zerov, Marko Vorony, and Valerian Pidmohylny, were executed in the Karelian tract of Sandarmokh. Now we call them the Executed Renaissance.

Unfortunately, Stalin's terrible past has not become the past. Today, the cult of Stalin is being actively revived in Russia, and his crimes are being silenced, belittled, or even justified. Moreover, there occurs repression in the spirit of the Stalinist NKVD. Repression is especially brutal and widespread in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories of Crimea and Donbas. Murders, disappearances of people, arrests, unjust trials, and cruel torture have become commonplace there. The victim of persecution in the Crimea has become a whole nation - the Crimean Tatars, who are the indigenous nation of the peninsula. The deportation of 1944, which killed almost half of the Crimean Tatar people, was also a manifestation of Stalinist terror.

The worldwide attention should be drawn to the frequent cases of political persecution in Russia of those who are fighting for the establishment of historical justice. On July 22 this year, a well-known historian and human rights activist, Yuri Dmitriev, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison on trumped-up charges. It was namely Yuri Dmitriev who exposed the truth about Sandarmokh to the world. And it was Yuri Dmitriev's thirty years-long activity in exposing the crimes of the Soviet regime during the Great Terror that became the real reason for his persecution.

The international community has no right to turn a blind eye to such flagrant human rights abuses in Russia, as well as to the collapse of democracy, the rehabilitation of Stalin and the censorship of history. After all, the actual Kremlin leadership Stalin's needs spirit to secure unlimited power and to implement its aggressive plans to restore the Russian Empire.


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