An international campaign aimed at having Ukraine's president, Viktor Yuschenko, establish an official Commission of Inquiry on Soviet War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity in Ukraine has now begun.
Thousands of postcards addressed to President Yuschenko are being sent into Kyiv from around the world, asking for Ukraine's new government to establish an official commission that would determine the nature and extent of Soviet war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated in Ukraine between 1917-1991.
Organized by the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and enjoying the support of other Ukrainian organizations in the USA, Australia, Canada, Poland, Estonia, France, the United Kingdom and Ukraine itself, the project is timed to coincide with the forthcoming 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, commemorated on 8 May, 2005.
Speaking about this international initiative, UCCLA's chairman, John B Gregorovich, said:
"After the Second World War a major effort was made to bring Nazi war criminals to trial, and fittingly so, given that Ukraine lost more of its people than any other nation in Nazi-occupied Europe. Unfortunately, no comparable effort has ever been made to identify and prosecute the individuals who were responsible for communist atrocities on Ukrainian lands - before, during and after the war. Many millions of Ukrainians perished during the genocidal Great Famine of 1932-1933 in Soviet Ukraine, the Holodomor. And millions of others were enslaved or murdered for resisting Soviet tyranny. Today some of those responsible for these crimes against humanity are still alive, living not only in Ukraine, but in Russia, throughout western Europe, in Israel and North America. We have insisted, consistently and over many years, that all war criminals found in Canada should be brought to justice in our country's criminal courts. We also believe that those who ravaged Ukraine should be identified and punished, before it is too late. We call upon President Yuschenko to establish a Commission on Soviet War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity in Ukraine. And the rest of the world can help Ukraine purge itself by ensuring that no place remains a safe haven for Soviet war criminals. There should be no statute of limitations, anywhere, that prevents such persons from being extradited to stand trial. Ukraine's Orange Revolution offers us a welcome last chance to see justice done. With this campaign we offer President Yuschenko a mandate to do just that."
For more about the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association go to www.uccla.ca
For an interview please contact Dr Lubomyr Luciuk, UCCLA's director of research, (613) 546-8364