An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
                     In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

                      Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
         Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World 
        "We are now standing in Ukraine's biggest cemetery of the victims of
        political repressions. Commemorating that terrible tragedy, each of us
        remembers this sorrowful and holy place," he said, urging the nation to
        learn its history, as "it is only possible to speak about the future through
        the prism of the historical truth." 
President Viktor Yushchenko
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer

               --------  INDEX OF ARTICLES  --------
            Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
   Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article

1.                             BYKIVNYA: ETERNAL MEMORY
          It is fitting that we should be united at this time in honouring every 
      innocent victim of Soviet crimes. Yet while the truth remains sketchy, the 
     graves hidden, and pitifully few details known about the true scale of the 
     Terror and its victims, can we truly speak of honouring their memory?
COMMENTARY: By Halya Coynash
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #845, Article 1
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, May 21, 2007
UT1, Kiev, in Ukrainian 0930 gmt 20 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Sunday, May 20, 2007

3.                            REMEMBRANCE DAY AT BYKIVNYA
        President Yushchenko is planning to issue a Decree making the third
   Sunday in May each year Day in Memory of the Victims of the Communist
   Regime. He spoke of this during a ceremony to honour the victims of the
                              Stalinist regime at the "Bykivnya Graves
UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, May 20, 2007 (in Ukrainian)
Translated by Halya Coynash, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #845, Article 3
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, May 21, 2007

              Ukraine's largest cemetery of the victims of political repressions
Press office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, May 20, 2007
5.                             THE PATH THROUGH BYKIVNYA
By Yaroslava Muzychenko, Ukrainska Moloda
Kyiv, Ukraine, May 25, 2006

                                UKRAINIAN NATIONAL MEMORY
By Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #845, Article 6
Washington, D.C., Monday, May 21, 2007 
7.                                1937 AND THE PRESENT DAY
The International Memorial Society, Moscow, Russia
Human Rights In Ukraine website
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG)
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, April 5, 2007
                                    70 years after the Great Terror
By Stanislav Kulchytsky, Professor and Historian
The Day Weekly Digest #12, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 17 April 2007
9                             UKRAINE: WHAT IS HORROR?
        Sufferings and deaths were everyday companions of my childhood.
By Volodymyr Senchenko, The Ukrainian Observer magazine #228
The Willard Group, Kyiv, Ukraine, February 2007
                                       IN UKRAINE'S CRIMEA
TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1200 gmt 18 May 07
 BBC Monitoring Service, Friday, May 18, 2007

                                  Under the iron fist of totalitarianism
STATEMENT: Andrew Grigorenko
President of General Petro Grigorenko Foundation
New York, New York, Friday, May 18, 2007

Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 1353 gmt 20 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Sunday, May 20, 2007

By Vladimir Matveyev, JTA, New York, NY, May 3, 2007

14.                       WHEN WILL IT BE UKRAINA'S TURN?
From: M Y (Myron Yatskiv)
To: [email protected] ; [email protected]
Sent: Saturday, May 19, 2007 1:23 PM
Subject: [politics] When will it be Ukraina's turn?

                  Computer security specialists say it is originating in Russia
By Peter Finn, Washington Post Foreign Service
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C.
Saturday, May 19, 2007; Page A01
       It is fitting that we should be united at this time in honouring every 
   innocent victim of Soviet crimes. Yet while the truth remains sketchy, the 
  graves hidden, and pitifully few details known about the true scale of the 
  Terror and its victims, can we truly speak of honouring their memory?

COMMENTARY: By Halya Coynash
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
For the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #845, Article 1
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, May 21, 2007

On Sunday 20 May 2007 thousands gathered in the Bykivnya forest near Kyiv.
This was no spring outing, they came to join President Yushchenko in
honouring the victims of a bacchanalia of killing which began 70 years ago,
in 1937.

Many present had reason to believe that the remains of their relatives lie
in this terrible forest graveyard.

Others came because they have no graves:

All victims.

The killing began, as it so often did, with monstrous paperwork: the
allocation of land to the NKVD "for special purposes". From 1937 to 1941,
the land was used to bury those whom a diseased regime labelled "enemies
of the people".

Murdered in NKVD cells, their bodies were brought to this forest each night
and flung into deep common graves cordoned off by a high fence.

Nobody knows the exact figures, although it is believed the forest may hold
the last earthly remains of around 100 thousand victims of the Terror.

So sparse the detail, so glaring the crime.

And yet it doesn't end there, the grotesque monstrous lies continued
throughout the Soviet era.  And even recently this no-man's land has again
been the source of bewildering conflict.
Each of two regimes of evil competed for political points against the other
using the unmarked graves of innocent victims.

The Nazis, as at Katyn, and other places of Stalin's atrocities, took
pleasure in trumpeting the crimes of the Soviet regime.

The latter as conquerors were swift to add their own heinous deeds to the
terrible toll of Nazi crimes.

New generations have grown up, and one can anticipate bewilderment as to
how such lies were perpetuated. Were there no witnesses?  Were there no
voices crying for the truth to be told?

There were indeed witnesses who had, however, every reason to fear for their
lives if they said anything, There were also courageous voices, especially
among the Shestydesyatnyky [the Sixties activists], many of whom were
themselves to end up in Soviet labour camps.

There was also a State machine with no qualms about using the endless
suffering of Ukrainians during the Second World War for their own aims.

Thus, when the terrible graves in the Bykivnya Forest could no longer be
concealed, nothing was easier than to attribute the crime to the Nazis.

It was only in 1989 that a commission concluded that Bykivnya holds the
remains of victims of the NKVD.  The lies on the memorial plaque were
removed, leaving only "Eternal Memory".

In 2001, with Viktor Yushchenko then Prime Minister, the Cabinet of
Ministers passed a Resolution creating a State Historical Memorial Complex -
the "Bykivnya Graves".

In 2006, just before remembrance services at Bykivnya, President Yushchenko
signed a Decree creating an Institute of National Remembrance.

Anything but a "happy ever after" ending, however it would still be good to
end on that positive note.

Unfortunately, in the year that has passed since then, Kyiv "Memorial" has
tried desperately to raise public attention to unsanctioned excavations
being carried out in the Bykivnya Forest.

Some of these are being undertaken by a Polish team who believe there may
be Polish victims of Stalin's carnage in the forest.

There almost certainly are, however any disruption to this place of horror
must be carried out properly and openly.

And a year on, after a speech in which President Yushchenko affirmed: "We
need to stop being frightened to talk about our history. We have to write
truthful pages of that history", so very little has in fact taken place.

It is fitting and proper that we should be united at this time in honouring
all victims of Soviet crimes.

We remember each innocent victim, regardless of nationality, regardless of
the diseased pretext for their execution.

On the other hand, while the truth remains sketchy, the graves hidden, and
pitifully few details known about the true scale of the Terror and its
victims, can we truly speak of honouring their memory?

"Eternal Memory" can and must have no hollow ring.               -30-
Contact: Halya Coynash, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group,
E-mail: [email protected], http://khpg.org/en/index.php
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

UT1, Kiev, in Ukrainian 0930 gmt 20 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko on 20 May commemorated victims of
Stalin terror buried in the Bykivnya forest near Kiev. The ceremony was
broadcast live by Ukrainian TV. Yushchenko urged compatriots to be aware
of their tragic past and to learn lessons from it.

"The public and the nation become stronger when they can openly talk about
historical truth. We are a free nation and a free state.

Why should they prohibit us from talking about the victims of the great
famine, about the victims of political repression, why do we know so little
about the totalitarian Communist regime?

I am sure that very many political players are still uncomfortable with the
historical truth, because this political history gives them no room in the
current political life and no political prospects," Yushchenko said.

He regretted that his decree on setting up a national reserve at the site of
the Bykivnya graves signed last year has not been implemented.

"Not a single, even technical, point from the decree, which was signed in
May last year, has been implemented. I believe this is not just bureaucratic
machinations, this is not just the tricks of the authorities, of the prime
minister or any deputy prime minister.

There is still strong resistance to this historical truth," Yushchenko said.

"We come here not to forget this history and therefore not to repeat it.
Another conclusion we drew is in the realm of political power and politics.

We should not be indifferent to current debates in the government, we
should not think that they do not apply to us or to our life, that they are of
secondary importance.

We do not care about politics as long as the economy is doing well and our
are business is making progress. Actually, if we forget to talk about
politics, politics begin to talk about us and decide our fates.

In that case, dozens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of people had
to pay this heavy historical price, without any guilt and without any logic,"
Yushchenko said.                                  -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
    President Yushchenko is planning to issue a Decree making the third
Sunday in May each year Day in Memory of the Victims of the Communist
  Regime. He spoke of this during a ceremony to honour the victims of the
                           Stalinist regime at the "Bykivnya Graves

UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, May 20, 2007 (in Ukrainian)
Translated by Halya Coynash, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #845, Article 3
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, May 21, 2007

KYIV -According to a decree which President Yushchenko is planning to sign
in the next few days, Ukraine will remember the Victims of the Communist
Regime on the third Sunday in May each year.

The President spoke of this during his address at a ceremony to honour the
victims of the Stalinist regime at the State Historical Memorial Complex -
the "Bykivnya Graves".

President Yushchenko said that he couldn't understand why up till now there
are still those who try to stop a free people and free nation from speaking
about the victims of political repression and Holodomor. [the Famine of

"Why do we know so little about the communist, totalitarian regime? I'm
sure that there are many political players who will hate such historical
truth since with such political history there is no place for them in today's
political life, they have no political future".

Speaking about the victims of Bykivnya, the President stressed that this was
not an issue of any political expediency.  "I am first of all basing this on
our Christian morality". He added that Ukrainians must definitely uncover
the historical truth.

He paid attention to the need to create a fully-fledged national reserve in
the Bykivnya Forest and the need to have both proper financing and a
supervisory council. He promised that the reserve would be complete. At
the same time he pointed out that at the political level decisions on the
creation of the reserve did not come easily.

"We have been creating it for years, and it is constantly being torpedoed.
There is the permanent wish to make us forget, to ensure that our children,
our great grandchildren do not know about this event. This was exactly what
happened around the Great Famine, about the victims of collectivization, the
same as about the 1920s".

He expressed sorrow that we live in an age where the nation cannot answer
the question how many people it lost in the 1920s and 30s, nor in the War
and post-War years.

"We are speaking of this not just to stir up emotions. I am convinced that
it is only possible to speak of the future through the spectrum of the
truth, whatever this may be".

President Yushchenko thanked all those who come here every year in May to
honour the memory of the victims of the communist repression. He stressed
that we must come here, in order to remember our history, and to
consequently not repeat its mistakes.

It was also necessary for the authorities and political order, "so that
we're not indifferent to what debates are presently going on among those in
power, so that we don't think it doesn't concern us, our life, that it's secondary
as long as the economy and business are moving.

So that we don't think that politics doesn't concern us. In fact, when we
forget about politics, politics begins to speak about us and determine our
fate and then tens and hundreds of innocent people pay a heavy historical
"I would like to say to each of you that it is crucial to talk about past
history, understanding what you do it for. I am convinced that of those 120
thousand (people whose remains are buried in the Bykivnya Forest), not one
who was guilty lies buried here.

Today no person who has found out about the Bykivnya Tragedy can tell his
or her grandchildren why their grandfather or grandmother was shot and
buried in this place. There was no reason".

He stressed that the regime hadn't liked being priests or simply Ukrainian.

"The main guilt for this tragedy lies, undoubtedly, with the regime - that
was the political order of the time."

In ending, the President called for a minute's silence.                 -30-
LINK: www.unian.net
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
     Ukraine's largest cemetery of the victims of political repressions

Press office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, May 20, 2007

KYIV - Accompanied by First Deputy Secretariat Chief of Staff Ivan
Vasyunyk, Security Council Secretary Ivan Plyushch, Kyiv Governor Vira
Ulyanchenko, Kyiv Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky and Our Ukraine Bloc leader
Vyacheslav Kyrylenko, President Victor Yushchenko on Sunday took part in
a wreath-laying ceremony and attended a church service to honor the victims
of the totalitarian regime in Bykivnya.

"We are now standing in Ukraine's biggest cemetery of the victims of
political repressions. Commemorating that terrible tragedy, each of us
remembers this sorrowful and holy place," he said, urging the nation to
learn its history, as "it is only possible to speak about the future through
the prism of the historical truth."

Yushchenko said certain politicians "constantly desire to make us, our
children and great grandchildren forget those events." "Very many political
players are haunted by this truth, realizing that it deprives them of their
place in politics and their political prospects," he said.

"However, when I am speaking about the Bykivnya tragedy, I do it not
because it is politically expedient but because it is my moral and Christian

The President said its was quite difficult "at political level" to implement
his 2006 decree to develop the Bykivnya site, as well as his ideas to
recognize Ukraine's Soviet-era famine as genocide or honor the victims of

"I understand that this is not only political sabotage. There is still much
defiance of this historical truth," he said.

Yushchenko, however, pledged to create a memorial complex in Bykivnya.

"We will spare no effort to have a real national complex here, find money
for it, appoint its supervisory board and set up commissions to work out and
propose a concept to develop it.

I am convinced we will do it," he said, adding that he would soon issue a
decree to mark each third Saturday of May as a day to remember the victims
of the Communist repressions.

The Ukrainian leader thanked those present for attending the event and asked
them to observe one minute of silence.                      -30-
LINK: http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/data/1_15879.html
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
    Send in names and e-mail addresses for the AUR distribution list.

By Yaroslava Muzychenko, Ukrainska Moloda
Kyiv, Ukraine, May 25, 2006

"We need to know the truth. How, without any war, could our nation have lost
over 10 million people?". These words formed part of Viktor Yushchenko's
address to the memorial gathering to honour the victims of communist terror
in Bykivnya.

In his speech to the thousands who attended, the President stressed that the
tragedy of Bykivnya should be remembered together with other such crimes,
those of Oswiecim (Auschwitz), Buchenwald and Dachau.

"We speak today not only about Bykivnya, but about the Vinnytsa, Kharkiv,
Sumy and Lviv graves. They are not only in each regional centre, and in
district centres. They are also "parts" of the Bykivnya Mass Graves".

More than 2 thousand people came to the Bykivnya Memorial to honour the
dead. Leaders of Ukraine's Churches held a requiem service near the mass

From 1936 to 1941, each night the bodies of political prisoners, shot by the
NKVD, were buried in this pine forest on the eastern outskirts of Kyiv.  A
special zone was organized for the secret burials.

The archives of the Kyiv land development service have a document on
allocating land to the capital's NKVD in 19 - 20 quarters of the Darnytsa
forest area near the village of Bykivnya "for special purposes".

The first victims were buried there at the end of the 1920s, being taken
there from the Lukyanivska Prison (in Kyiv).

The bodies of approximately 100 thousand people murdered in the NKVD
torture cells were thrown into deep graves between the roots of the pine trees.
Some decades later bad weather washed up bones from the sandy earth.

However, the number of victims, as well as the "political affiliation" of
the perpetrators of this bloody carnage, were made public only fifty years
after the crime.

For a long time the Soviet bodies of state security assured anxious local
residents that the terrible forest held the graves of victims of Nazism.

However precisely the Germans, who had an interest in exposing the previous
region, made public information from their own excavations of the massive
grave in Bykivnya which stretched for 15 thousand squared metres.

P. Kolmus wrote about this as early as September 1941 in the newspaper
Berliner Morgen Zeitung.

After the area again came under Soviet rule, at various times three state
commissions "worked" in Bykivnya, "trying to find out the truth" about the
mass burials.

At the same time the poet Vasyl Symonenko with likeminded friends from the
"Klub tvorchoyi molodi" ["Club for Creative Young People"] "stirred people
up" circulating information about the real, not the fictitious, perpetrators
of the atrocities.

In 1963 the poet died after being brutally beaten by unidentified
individuals [1].  Then in May 1968 at the fork in the road coming up to the
forest, the guardians of hammer and sickle consciousness erected a stone
with a sign reading: "Here lie buried 6,329 Soviet fighters, partisans,
underground activists and civilians tortured by the fascist occupiers from
1941 to 1945".

"A window into memory" opened at the end of the 1980s. Today, thanks to the
historical and educational Society "Memorial", scholars and publicists, the
truth about Bykivnya is available to all.

And on the Day in Memory of the victims of communist repression, the
relatives of those murdered in the labour camps of Siberia and Solovky, as
well as the dissident - "Shestydesyatnyky" ["Sixties activists"] who
themselves were subjected to "Soviet re-education", come here as a central
symbolic place of remembrance near the capital

"We need to stop being frightened to talk about our history. We have to
write truthful pages of that history", the President said, adding his
disappointment that a car show and concerts with stars performing would
today attract more people, than those who would come to honour the memory
of those murdered.

"However I am not trying to reproach the people", he stressed, "there will
come a day when tens of thousands will come to the Bykivnya Graves to honour
the dead".

In 2001, the Cabinet of Ministers which was at that time headed by Viktor
Yushchenko, passed a Resolution "On creating a state historical memorial
protected land "Bykivnya Graves".

Now in the last few days Yushchenko as President signed a Decree on giving
"Bykivnya Graves" the status of national protected land. 2005 was a crucial
year for objectifying knowledge about the past.

For the first time at state level the question was raised of an Institute of
National Remembrance, of the need to make museums up-to-date and support
them, and of the creation of a memorial for the victims of Holodomor [the
artificially-induced Famine of 1932-1933].

And on the eve of this year's Day in Memory of victims of the communist
terror, on the instructions of the President, and carrying out two of his
Decrees, the government passed a decision on creating an institute of
National Remembrance as a central executive body.

The President's Press Service reports that, in accordance with the decision
of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the newly created State Committee of
National Remembrance should deal with a number of issues, among them
being to:

     [a] ensure the implementation of state policy as regards renewing
     and maintaining the national memory of the Ukrainian people,
     [b] coordinating the activity of other bodies of power and
     [c] promoting a comprehensive teaching of the history of the
     Ukrainian nation, and the
     [d] dissemination of objective information about Ukrainian history
     in the world.

The new State Committee will also work on immortalizing the memory of the
victims of the Holodomors[2] and the political repression in Ukraine, as
well as the participants in the national liberation struggle.

"This program is entirely new for us", our "UM" correspondent was told by
the Minister of Culture, Ihor Likhovy.  "It will be a state executive body
which has never existed before in Ukraine".

The Minister believes that one of the main objectives for the newly created
Committee will be to coordinate the efforts of the various ministries and

These museums and protected reservations are presently divided between
several executive bodies and need to be coordinated. Questions of national
heritage, the history of Ukraine are today dealt with by the Academy of
Sciences, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Ministry of Construction.

The Minister does not deny that the creation of an Institute of National
Remembrance could be the starting point for a change in attitude to Ukraine's
historical legacy, however he stresses that this is "only the form, the
vector", while filling it with specific work will not be easy.

For example there is no provision in the staffing of regional state
administrations for a subdivision dealing with issues involving the
protection of cultural heritage.

"Last year the issue of activity for ensuring remembrance was submitted at
sessions of the Verkhovna Rada three times. The majority of deputies did not
vote, not wanting to have any influence on the situation", the Ministry of
Culture explained.

In Bykivnya, the President announced the name of the Head of the newly
created State Committee of National Remembrance.

The new Head will be academician Ihor Yukhnovsky, a major figure in
Ukrainian science and in civic life, a State Deputy from the bloc "Nasha
Ukraina" ["Our Ukraine"] and the Head of the All-Ukrainian Association of
Veterans.                                            -30-
[1]  While this attack certainly took place, Vasyl Symonenko in fact died of
cancer.  More about the attempts to reveal the true crimes committed can be
found in the KHPG History of Dissent section (specifically Vasyl Symonenko,
Alla Horska and Les Tanyuk)  (translator's note)
[2]  There were three major famines in Ukraine under Soviet rule.  It has
become common to call them all Holodomor, since none was a purely natural
catastrophe, but rather involved political motives. However Holodomor still
usually refers to the Famine of 1932-1933 when the harvest was literally
taken away, and from 7 to 10 million people starved to death.  (translator's
http://khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1148583481; http://www.umoloda.kiev.ua/
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                         UKRAINIAN NATIONAL MEMORY

By Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #845, Article 6
Washington, D.C., Monday, May 21, 2007

WASHINGTON - The Institute of National Memory, a rather new
organization created by the government of Ukraine, directed by Ihor
Yukhnovsky [nominated by President Yushchenko] has created a not-for-
profit, non-governmental organization, in Ukraine, the International
Charitable Foundation for Ukrainian National Memory.

The main purpose of the new Foundation is to provide financial and
other support to the Institute of National Memory from private sources.
Borys Ponomarenko, a former member of Parliament has been selected
to head the Foundation.

Ihor Yukhnovsky and Borys Ponomarenko told me the International
Charitable Foundation for Ukrainian National Memory plans to have
representative offices around Ukraine. The Foundation also plans to
have a presence in counties were there are strong Ukrainian communities
such as Canada, and the United States.

The official documents of the Foundation, given to me by Bory
Ponomarenko, are found below.  They were translated from Ukrainian
to English for the Action Ukraine Report (AUR).
                           OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS OF THE
                      OF UKRAINIAN NATIONAL MEMORY

PROGRAM of Activities of the International Charitable Foundation
for Ukrainian National Memory

The Foundation is focused on explanatory and educational activities,
distribution of information about Ukraine, its history, contemporary and
its future in the world, fostering the process of self-identification of
Ukrainians, forming a sense of national well-being, national pride, national
perspective and financial support for the implementation of the program of
the Institute of National Memory.

The sense of national well-being will increase with the dynamic development
of the middle class.  New quality of life standards and a worthy place in
the European Community will encourage strengthening of the feeling of
national perspective, while better knowledge of its own complicated but true
history will promote a feeling of patriotism and national pride.

The main areas of the Foundation's program are:

[1] fostering development of historical studies, implementation of
     scientific, educational and historical research programs, assistance to
     scholars, university students, teachers, school students, veterans;
[2] fostering development of  research with the help of modern mathematic
     methods for the purpose of developing optimal models for Ukraine's
[3] fostering cultural development, including implementing national and
     cultural development programs accessible to the general public;
     fostering preservation of cultural values of the Ukrainian nation;
[4] fostering exploration, protection and preservation of the cultural
     heritage, historic and cultural environment, historic and cultural
     monuments, burial places of distinguished representatives of the
     Ukrainian people;
[5] providing assistance in the development of publishing and mass media

For the purpose of implementation of its statutory goals the
Foundation, following in the order established by law, shall:

[1] popularize the Foundation's activities by distribution of information
     and promotion of its ideas and goals with the aim of attracting
     charitable donations, as well as expanding the geography of the
     Foundation's activities;
[2] participate in reception and free distribution of material, financial,
     humanitarian, technical and other assistance;
[3] organize cultural exchange programs between Ukraine and other countries;
[4] foster creation of scientific and methodological developments with
     regard to statehood building direction of the development of Ukraine's
     history for the purpose of development of educational and information
     programs and free distribution of relevant information;
[5] prepares, provides financial support and promotes the realization of
     meetings, seminars, conferences, etc. on the noted issues;
[6] represents the legal interests of the members of the Foundation in
     state, civic and other organizations;
[7] supports the education of the wishful (groups, communities,
     associations, individuals, etc.) according to existing approved
     educational programs;
[8] attracts, according to the established procedure, financial means from
     physical and legal persons for the realization of statutory
[9] organizes and takes part in the realization and financial support of
     national and international cultural events;
[10] supports the establishment of mass media;
[11] forms international contacts with NGO's, takes part in events, that do
       not contradict the statutory goals of the Foundation with the aim of
       multifaceted cooperation in the spheres of education, culture,
       science and the joint running of conferences, symposiums, seminars, etc.;
[12] provides financial support to pay for business trips to foreign
       countries for education, internships and research, and to study the
       local experience in centers of education, culture and science;
[13] supports the reproduction, restoration and reconstruction of structures
       and buildings, which are historical and cultural monuments, as well
       as the material-technical base of the Institute;
[14] materially supports the work of scholars researching problematic issues
       in Ukrainian history, economics and state-building and supports the
       publication of scholarly works on these issues;
[15] works with Ukrainian civic organizations, centers of culture, education
       and science, as well as with corresponding organizations, centers,
       funds and private institutions of foreign countries;
[16] supports the creation of centers of Ukrainian culture and education
       abroad, is the executor of key charitable programs, grants, dues.

As such, the charitable program of the Foundation is directed at supporting
processes of trying to understand the past and the mobilization of the
Ukrainian people in creating a flourishing Ukraine.

Founders of the International Charitable Foundation for
Ukrainian National Memory

Ihor Rafayilovych YUKHNOVSKY
Oleksandr Lvovych IVANKIV
Borys Josypovych PONOMARENKO
Valentyn Pavlovych SHEVCHENKO
Vitaliy Fedorovych SHEVCHENKO

Honorary President of the Foundation -
Ihor Rafayilovych YUKHNOVSKY

Board of Directors of the Foundation:
Ihor Rafayilovych YUKHNOVSKY
Oleksandr Lvovych IVANKIV
Borys Josypovych PONOMARENKO
Mykhaylo Dmytrovych SYROTA
Vitaliy Fedorovych SHEVCHENKO
Valentyn Pavlovych SHEVCHENKO
Oleksandr Viacheslavovych SLOBODIAN

APPROVED by conference decision of the International Charitable
Foundation for Ukrainian National Memory Protocol # 1 from 25
January 2007

STATUTE of the Supervisory Council of the International Charitable
Foundation for Ukrainian National Memory

The Supervisory Council of the International Charitable Foundation for
Ukrainian National Memory (the Foundation) controls the
financial-administrative activities of the Foundation, in accordance with
the Statute, decisions of the Foundation Conference, and adherence to
statutory regulations by the Foundation's officials.

The Supervisory Council is elected by the Foundation's Conference for
a term of 5 years and is accountable to it.

The Supervisory Council conducts inspections of the activities of the
Foundation per the Foundation' Conference or under its own initiative.

At the request of the Supervisory Council, it is to be given all materials,
accounting or other documents and personal explanations by the
Foundation's officials.

The Supervisory Council reports on the results of the inspections conducted
of the Foundation's Conference.

The Supervisory Council draws up conclusions on the annual reports and
balance sheets of the Foundation.  Without the conclusion of the Supervisory
Council, the Foundation's Conference does not have the right to approve this
balance sheet.

The Supervisory Council can demand an extraordinary convocation of the
Foundations' Conference in case of the emergence of threats to substantial
interests of the Foundation or the misuse of the Foundation by its

Supervisory Council of the International Foundation for
Ukrainian National Memory

Anatoliy Tymofiyovych AVDIYEVSKY
Volodymyr Semenovych BOYKO
Ivan Mykhaylovych DZIUBA
Vasyl Mykhaylovych DUMA
Stanislav Oleksiyovych DOVHYY
Vitaliy Anatoliyovych HAIDUK
Oleksandr Mykolayovych HUMENIUK
Viacheslav Anatoliyovych KYRYLENKO
Serhiy Vasyliovych KOMISARENKO
Leonid Petrovych KOZACHENKO
Vitaliy Terentiyovych KORZH
Ivan Ivanovych LAZARENKO
Yaroslav Semenovych MARCHUK
Dmytro Oleksiyovych MELNYCHUK
Ihor Ivanovych OSTASH
Lidia Stepanivna PORECHKINA
Dmytro Vasyliovych REPELA
Volodymyr Vasyliovych RYBAK
Hanna Arkadiyivna SKRYPNYK
Volodymyr Semenovych STELMAKH
Oleksandr Anatoliyovych SUHONIAKO
Ihor Hryhorovych TARASIUK

Approved by conference decision of January 25, 2007

                              REPRESENTATIVE OFFICE
REGULATIONS on the Representative Office of the International
Foundation of Ukrainian National Memory

The Representative Office of the Foundation is a group of physical and/or
legal persons who are members of the Foundation and who reside or are
located outside the city of Kyiv and Kyiv oblast and who of their own free
will have united for the fulfillment of the objectives envisaged by the
Statute of the Foundation and these Regulations.

The Representative Office shall be established according to the decision
of no less than five physical and/or legal persons-founders, which is
documented in an appropriate constituent protocol. Each Representative
Office shall be named as agreed by the Board of the Foundation.

The Representative Office shall be accepted as an established entity once
the constituent protocol has been approved by the Board of the Foundation
and registered at local institutions of justice.

The Representative Office shall be registered without being accorded the
status of a legal person.

The Representative Office shall be established with the aim to accumulate
funds and perform charitable activities in a certain region of Ukraine, in a
certain institution/establishment/organization or in a certain educational
and cultural area.

The supreme authority of the Board of the Foundation shall be vested in a
General Meeting to be held when necessary, but not less than once a year.

The General Meeting shall provide recommend to the Board of the
Foundation as to the appointment of the Representative Office Coordinator
and Secretary.

Upon authorization, the Coordinator shall be entitled to represent the
interests of other members of the Representative Office at the Foundation's

The General Meeting shall accept the Representative Office's charitable
activity plan for the current year with the main provisions of the plan to
be taken into account while the Charitable Program of the Foundation is
being accepted at the Conference.

The Representative Office shall be entitled:

[1] to organize the collection of charitable contributions and contributions
     by physical and legal persons, foreign states and international
     organizations to be placed in the Foundation's account;
[2] to independently identify the scope, objects and subjects of the
     charitable assistance within the limits of the funds collected;
[3] to participate in the General Meeting of the Foundation and in
     managing the Foundation's affairs;
[4] to elect and nominate candidates to the governing bodies of the
[5] to receive information on the general state of the Foundation's
     activities and also complete information on the state of the
     Representative Office's funds and property;
[6] to put forward proposals to be considered by the Foundation's
     supreme bodies of management and control;
[7] to inform the general public about its activities.

The Representative Office is required to:

[1] advocate the activity of the Foundation and the Representative Office;
[2] preclude any actions that discredit the Foundation and the
     Representative Office;
[3] follow the provisions of the Statute and Regulations of the Foundation,
     and standards of operation and accounting reporting set up by the
     Foundation's Accounting Office.

Should any provision of the Foundation's Statute be violated, the
Representative Office of the Foundation can be dissolved by a decision of
the Foundation's Board.
NOTE: The above are a copy of the Official Documents of the International
Charitable Foundation of Ukrainian National Memory. They were translated
into English exclusively for the Action Ukraine Report (AUR).  They can
be used with permission from the AUR.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
7.                     1937 AND THE PRESENT DAY
The International Memorial Society, Moscow, Russia
Human Rights In Ukraine website
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG)
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, April 5, 2007

Seventy years ago, following a decision by the top Party bodies in the USSR
another bloody "purge" began. It was to last for two years. Historians often
refer to this campaign as the "Great Terror", while ordinary people call it
simply "Thirty Seven".

The communist dictatorship was always - before and after 1937 - associated
with political repression. However it was specifically Nineteen Thirty Seven
that has become fixed in people's memory as the terrible symbol of a system
of mass murder organized and carried out by the State.

This is evidently due to some exceptional features of the Great Terror
determining its particular place in history as well as to the enormous
influence which it exerted and continues to exert on the fate of our

Nineteen Thirty Seven was the massive scale of repression engulfing all
regions and all layers of society without exception, from the leadership of
the country to peasants and workers infinitely removed from politics.

More than 1.7 million people were arrested on political charges from
1937-1938.  If one adds the victims of deportation and those convicted as
"socially harmful elements", the number of those repressed came to over
two million.

It was the extraordinary brutality of the sentences, with more than 700
thousand of those arrested being executed.

It was the unprecedented planned nature of the terrorist "special
operations". The entire campaign was carefully thought out in advance by
the top political leadership of the USSR and carried out under their
constant supervision.

The NKVD secret orders stipulated the time periods for carrying out
particular operations, groups and categories of the population liable to
"purging" and also "limits" - the planned numbers of arrests and executions
for each region. Any changes, any "initiatives from below" had to be agreed
with and approved by Moscow.

Yet for the vast mass of the population who didn't know what the orders
contained, the logic behind the arrests seemed mysterious and inexplicable,
defying commonsense. For the people of that time, the Great Terror seemed
like a massive lottery.

The almost mystical incomprehensibility of what was happening filled people
with particular terror and made millions uncertain of their own fate.

The repressions particularly affected representatives of the new Soviet
political, military and economy elites. The reprisals against people whose
names were known throughout the country (and newspaper first reported their
fate) and whose loyalty there had been no grounds for doubting, intensified
the panic and exacerbated the mass psychosis.

This even resulted in the myth that the Great Terror was directly
exclusively against old Bolsheviks and the Party and State hierarchy. In
actual fact the overwhelming majority of those arrested and shot were simple
Soviet citizens who did not belong to the Party or to any elite.

[1] Nineteen Thirty Seven was a scale of fabricated charges unprecedented in
world history. In 1937-1938 the likelihood of arrest was largely determined
by whether one belonged to any of the categories of the population indicated
in one of the NKVD's "operational orders" or on the basis of links,
work-related, family or friendly ties, with people arrested earlier.

Formulating individual "guilt" was up to the criminal investigators.
Therefore hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of those arrested were
presented with absurd charges of "counter-revolutionary conspiracies",
"espionage", "preparing terrorist acts", "sabotage" and so forth.

[2] Nineteen Thirty Seven was the revival in the twentieth century of the
norms of the medieval Inquisition with all its traditional features of people
being tried in their absence (in the vast majority of cases), quasi-judicial
procedure, the lack of defence and the effective merging within one
department of the roles of the investigator, prosecutor, judge and

Once again, as during the Inquisition, the main proof was the ritual of
"confessions" by the accused themselves. The endeavours to gain such
confessions, combined with the arbitrary and absurd nature of the charges
led to the mass use of torture. In the summer of 1937 torture was officially
sanctioned and recommended as a method of running the investigation.

[3] Nineteen Thirty Seven was the extraordinary and closed nature of legal
proceedings. It was the mystery which enveloped the exercising of "justice",
the impenetrable secrecy around the places where people were executed or
where their bodies were buried.

It was the systematic official lying over many years about the fate of those
executed. At first this was with the fictitious "camps without the right of
correspondence", then with their death supposedly due to some illness with
false dates and place of death given.

[4] Nineteen Thirty Seven was the collective responsibility with which the
Stalinist leadership tried to bind the entire population. Throughout the
entire country meetings were held at which people were forced to
energetically applaud the public lies about the exposed and neutralized
"enemies of the people". Children were forced to denounce their arrested
parents, wives - their husbands.

It was millions of families destroyed. It was the sinister abbreviation
"ChSIR" -  "family member of a traitor of the Motherland" which served in
itself as a sentence to imprisonment in special camps for the twenty
thousand widows whose husbands had been executed on the ruling of the
Military Collegium [Voennaya Kollegiya] of the Supreme Court.

It was the hundreds of thousands of "orphans of Nineteen Thirty Seven -
people whose childhood was taken from them and whose youth was crippled.

It was the ultimate devaluing of human life and freedom. It was the cult of
the Cheka [the Secret Police], the romanticizing of violence, and the
deification of the idol of the State. It was a time of the total distortion
in the national consciousness of all legal concepts.

[5] And finally, Nineteen Thirty Seven was the absurd combination of a
bacchanalia of terror with an unrestrained propaganda campaign singing the
praise of the world's most developed Soviet democracy, the world's most
democratic Soviet Constitution, the great achievements and labour feats of
the Soviet people.

It was specifically 1937 that saw the end to the forming of that
characteristic feature of Soviet society - double-think, the result of a
split in reality, imposed by propaganda on the public and individual

And now, seventy years later, one clearly sees in the stereotypes of social
life and State policy of Russia and other countries arising from the ruins
of the USSR the fatal influence both of the catastrophe of 1937-1938 itself,
and of that entire system of State violence, the symbol and quintessence of
which were epitomized by those years.

The catastrophe penetrated the mass and individual subconscious, exacerbated
the obsolete ills of our mentality, passed down from the days of the Russian
Empire and gave rise to new and dangerous complexes.

The sense of the worthlessness of human life and freedom before the giant
Regime, this was the yet to be overcome experience of the Great Terror.

The habit of "managed justice", law enforcement bodies who act not in
accordance with the law, but obeying the orders of the leadership, it is
these that are the clear legacy of the Great Terror.

The imitation of democratic processes in simultaneously emasculating
fundamental democratic institutions and showing open disregard for human
rights and liberties, violations of the Constitution committed to the
accompaniment of oaths of unfailing allegiance to the constitutional order,
this is the social model which was first successfully tested during the
Great Terror.

The reflex-level hostility of today's bureaucratic apparatus to independent
public engagement, the never-ending attempts to place all under strict State
control are also the result of the Great Terror when the Bolshevik regime
put the last touches to the long history of its struggle with civic society.

By 1937 all collective forms of public life in the USSR - cultural,
scientific, religious, social, etc, not to mention political - had already
been crushed or replaced by imitations and pretence. Following this it was
possible to destroy people one by one, at the same time driving out of the
public consciousness any sense of independence, civic responsibility and
human solidarity.

We are seeing the restoration in contemporary Russian politics of the old
concept of "hostile surroundings" - the ideological base and propagandist
backup for the Great Terror, suspicion and hostility to all that is foreign,
the hysterical search for "enemies" abroad and a "fifth column" within the
country, as well as other Stalinist ideological stamps reemerging in the new
political context. All of this demonstrates the undefeated legacy of
Nineteen Thirty Seven in our political and social life.

The ease with which nationalism and xenophobia arise and flourish in our
society have undoubtedly come to us in part from the "national special
operations" of 1937-1938, the deportations during the War of entire ethnic
groups accused of treason, from the "fight against cosmopolitanism", the
"Doctors' plot", as well as the propaganda campaigns attached with all of

Intellectual conformism, the fear of being different in any way, being
unaccustomed to any free and independent thinking, the susceptibility to
lies are in many ways the result of the Great Terror. Unlimited cynicism is
the other side of double-thinking.

Wolf pack labour camp morality ("you'll die today and I tomorrow") and the
loss of traditional family values, these are also ills for which the Great
Terror and the Gulag school are to a large extent culpable.

The catastrophic lack of connection between people, the herd instinct
replacing collectivism, the serious shortage of human solidarity are the
result of repression, deportations, forced resettlement. They are the result
of the Great Terror the aim of which was after all to divide up society into
atoms, to turn the people into the "population", into the crowd which it's
easy and simply to control.

Obviously today the legacy of the Great Terror is not reflected in mass
arrests, nor is it likely to be so, since we live in an entirely different
age. Yet this legacy, which has not been understand by society, and which is
therefore not overcome could easily become a "skeleton in the cupboard",
the curse of the present and future generations, spilling out whether it be
in State megalomania, bursts of spy paranoia or regressions into repressive

What needs to be done to understand and overcome the destructive
experience of Nineteen Thirty Seven?

The last decade and a half have shown the need for a public review from the
legal point of view of the political terror of the Soviet period. The
terrorist policies of the then leaders of the country, first and foremost,
the general ideologue and supreme organizer of the Terror - Joseph Stalin,
and the specific crimes they were guilty of, need to be given clear
juridical assessment.

Only such an assessment can be the starting point, the cornerstone of legal
and historical consciousness and the foundation for further work with the

Otherwise, the public attitude to events of the age of Terror will
inevitably oscillate depending on changes in the political climate, while
the spectre of Stalinism will periodically come to life and turn either into
busts of the dictator on the streets of our cities, or in repeat attacks of
Stalinist political practice in our life.

It would probably be wise to create a special judicial body to carry out
such a full examination. There is no need to point to the precedents for
this in world legal practice.

Unfortunately, for the moment we see an opposite trend: in 2005 the Russian
Federation State Duma excluded from the Preamble to the Law on
rehabilitation from 1991 the only mention of "moral damages" inflicted upon
the victims of Terror in Russian legislation.

It would be redundant to plunge into a moral and political assessment of
this step, since the conclusions are obvious. It is simply necessary to
reinstate the words about moral damages in the text of the Law.

This needs to be done also in order to atone for the insult to tens of
thousands of elderly people - survivors of the Gulag, and hundreds of
thousands of relatives of victims of the Terror.

However a legal assessment of the Terror, while important, is not in itself

We need to ensure the right conditions for the continuation and development
of investigative study into the history of State terror in the USSR. This
involves first and foremost removing all the present artificial and
unwarranted limitations on access to archival material connected with
political repression.

Contemporary historical knowledge about the period of terror needs to become
commonly known. School and higher education history textbooks are needed in
which the subject of political repression, in particular, the Great Terror,
receives the attention its historical significance demands.

The history of the Soviet Terror must become not only a compulsory and
considerable part of school education, but also the subject of serious
efforts in public awareness-raising in the broadest sense of the word.

Educational and cultural programmes are needed on State television channels,
and there should be State support for publishing projects for academic and
educational works, as well as memoirs, on the age of terror.

We need a National Museum on the History of State terror, fitting in its
status and level to the scale of the tragedy, with this become a
methodological and academic centre for museum work in this area.

The history of the Terror and Gulag must be presented in all history and
local area museums in the country, as with, for example, the other massive
historical tragedy - the Great Patriotic War [the Second World War].

And finally, we need a national Memorial in Moscow to those who perished.
This must be erected by the State and in the State's name.  We have been
promised such a Memorial now for 45 years and it is time to keep that

This however is not enough: such Memorials to the Victims of the Terror
must be erected throughout the country. Unfortunately, in many cities the
immortalizing of the Memory of the Victims has still not moved beyond the
foundation stones laid 15 - 18 years ago.

Throughout the country there should be memorial plaques and signs marking
places linked with the infrastructure of the Terror, the remaining buildings
once used as investigation and transit prisons, the political isolation
[detention] units of departments of the NKVD, Gulag, etc.

Memorial signs, plaques and information boards should also be established in
the places which held huge camp complexes, in enterprises created with the
labour of prisoners, on roads leading to the remaining ruins of labour camp

The names of streets, squares and of populated areas named after state
figures that organized or took an active part in the Terror must be changed.
Place naming must cease to be a way of immortalizing the memory of

A State programme is needed for putting together and publishing in all parts
of the Russian Federation Books in Remembrance of the Victims of Political
Repression. At the present time such Remembrance Books have only been
published in some regions of Russia. According to approximate estimates, the
overall list of names in these books is no more than 20% of the totally
number of victims.

A nationwide or even inter-governmental programme for searching out places
where victims of the Terror were buried and ensuring that these are honoured
as befitting is urgently needed. This is not so much an education and
awareness-raising issue, as a moral question.

On the territory of the former USSR there are hundreds of pits and common
graves where those executed were secretly buried. There are thousands of
camp and special settlement graveyards, destroyed or semi-destroyed. Some
bare only the traces, while in the case of thousands of graveyards, no trace

All of this would help in restoring the memory of one of the most terrible
human catastrophes of the twentieth century and contribute to building a
firm immunity against the totalitarianism stereotypes.

The above applies in the first instance to Russia - the successor to the
USSR, the largest of the former Soviet republics, the country whose capital
held the centre for planning and launching terrorist campaigns, and for
controlling the mechanisms of terrors, and the country which contains the
main part of the empire which was the Gulag.

However very much of what needs to be done should be over the entire expanse
of the former Soviet Union, preferably through the joint efforts of our
countries. The history of the Terror is remembered and treated differently
in the various post-Soviet republics. This is only natural. However it is of
fundamental importance that dialogue emerges from out of this variance.

Dialogue between the national memories of different peoples is an integral
and necessary element in coming to terms with historical truth. It is only
negative when it turns into wrangling, into attempts to avoid historical
(and therefore civic) responsibility by laying it on the "others".

Unfortunately, very often it is precisely the history of the Soviet Terror
which becomes an instrument of fleeting inter-State arguments, while honest
joint work on a shared past is replaced by attempts to present accounts of
mutual grievances, scores and claims.

A wide-reaching and comprehensive programme on the tragic experience of the
past probably needs, therefore, to be international and intergovernmental.
This applies to historical studies, publishing Books of Remembrance,
ensuring that places where victims lie buried are probably marked and
remembered, and much more, including perhaps the preparation of school

Memory of the Terror is the common memory of our nations. This memory
does not divide us, but rather unites us. This is also because it is not
after all only the memory of crimes, but the memory of joint opposition to
the killing machine, the memory of solidarity between peoples and of people
helping each other.

Of course, the memory of the past is not formed through Decrees and
governmental resolutions. The fate of historical memory can only be
determined in broad public discourse. The urgent need for such discourse is
becoming ever more apparent.

It is not only Russia, nor the countries which were part of the USSR or in
the "socialist bloc", that need to the Great Terror and, more broadly, the
entire experience of Soviet history.  All countries and peoples, all of
humanity need such discourse, since the events of the Great Terror made
their mark not only on Soviet, but on world history.

The Gulag, Kolyma, Nineteen Thirty Seven symbolize the twentieth century
in the same way as do Oswiecim [Auschwitz] and Hiroshima. They extend
beyond the historical fate of the USSR or of Russia, and are evidence of the
fragile and unstable nature of human civilization and of the relative
achievements of progress, and serve as a warning of the possibility of
future catastrophic resurgences of barbarism.

For these reasons, discussion regarding the Great Terror must also extend
beyond the boundaries of national issues. Just as some of the human
catastrophes mentioned above, it must become the subject of general human
reflection. However the initiator and focal point of this discourse must,
clearly, be public opinion in the countries which belonged to the USSR, and
in the first instance, Russia.

Regrettably, it is in Russia that public readiness to find out and accept
the truth about their own history, which seemed at the end of the 1980s
fairly strong, turned in the 1990s into indifference, apathy and reluctance
to "delve into the past".

There are also forces with a direct interest in ensuring that no more
discussion takes place on these issues. Both in the public consciousness
and in State policy trends are becoming more pronounced which in no way
contribute to free and direct discourse on our recent past.

These trends are expressed in the official, albeit not always clearly
articulated, concept of national history as "our glorious past".

We are told that bringing to the surface the memory of crimes committed by
the State in the past hinders national coordination (or, using the language
of the totalitarian era, "undermines the moral and political unity of the
Soviet people").

We are told that this memory is harmful to the process of national revival.

We are told that we should first and foremost remember heroic achievements
and feats of the people in the name of the great and eternal State.

We are told that the people do not want any other memory and reject it.

And indeed, a considerable number of our fellow citizens find it easier to
accept comfortable and soothing myths than to soberly look back at our
tragic history and try to understand it for the sake of the future.

We can understand why this is the case: coming to terms honestly with the
past places on the shoulders of present generations a huge and unaccustomed
burden of historic and civic responsibility. However we are convinced that
without taking upon ourselves this indeed terrible load of responsibility
for the past, we will find no national consolidation and no revival.

As one of the most terrible anniversaries in our shared history approaches,
"Memorial" calls on all those who care about the future of our countries and
peoples to look back unflinchingly at the past and to try to understand its
lessons.                                               -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
    NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
                                   70 years after the Great Terror

By Stanislav Kulchytsky, Professor and Historian
The Day Weekly Digest #12, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 17 April 2007

In March 1937 a series of repressions erupted in the USSR, which came to
be known as the Great Terror after the publication of the eponymous book
by Robert Conquest. Stalin declared that the subversive activities of
saboteurs, spies, and fifth columnists the country were endangering the

Seventy years is the average life expectancy. Today there are no more people
who remember Stalin's campaign, but the events of the cruel year of 1937
imprinted themselves on people's subconsciousness.

For Ukraine this was another year of unspeakable horror after 1933.
Scholars are still at a loss as to why it all happened.

The Great Terror does not fit smoothly into the 1937 calendar year. The
starting point for Stalin's action was March 1937, but it was only on July 2
that Stalin signed the decision of the Central Committee of the All-Union
Communist Party (Bolshevik) (CC VKP(B)) based on which was issued
operations instruction #00447 for the Soviet NKVD (People's Commissariat
of Internal Affairs).

This was the first in a long series of descriptions of "enemies of the
people," according to which 269,000 persons were to be exposed and

The Great Terror came to an end in November 1938, when NKVD head Nikolai
Yezhov was removed from office. He was shot after being indicted on the
basis of a standard charge: "espionage on behalf of foreign intelligence

In 1963 a commission set up by the Central Committee of the Communist Party
of the Soviet Union (CC CPSU) found that 1,372,392 people were arrested in
the USSR in 1937-38, of which 681,692 were shot.

            IN UKRAINE THERE WERE 265,669 ARRESTS,
                          123,329 WERE SHOT TO DEATH                
In Ukraine there were 265,669 arrests and 198,918 cases were committed for
trial. Sixty-two percent (123,329 people) were shot to death, 34.7 percent
(68,823) sent to labor camps, 2.1 percent (4,124) imprisoned, 0.5 percent
(1,067) exiled, and 0.3 percent (658) released.

What distinguished the Great Terror from the Holodomor was not only the
nature of the repressions but also the absence of a distinct national
coloring. The Holodomor was the result of a Cheka-run all-out food
confiscation campaign in January 1933.

It took place when famine was spreading in the grain-producing regions of
the USSR, including Ukraine, and was caused by the confiscation of the 1932

This grain procurement operation was in essence a terrorist activity, as it
led to tens and hundreds of thousands of deaths, but it cannot be called a
purposeful extermination campaign.

Unlike the famine of 1932-33, the Great Terror in the USSR was, from
beginning to end, a Cheka operation aimed at destroying people. After the
Holodomor and the accompanying decimation of the Ukrainian intelligentsia
in 1933, there was no need to target Ukraine specifically.

However, the long-suffering republic again found itself at the epicenter of
repressions. Stalin's enhanced attention to Ukrainian affairs manifested
itself in 1937 perhaps only in the fact that the top leadership of the
republic was being destroyed especially methodically.

Ten out of eleven members of the Central Committee of the Communist Party
(Bolshevik) of Ukraine (CC KP(B)U) were executed. It was purely by accident
that the "all-Ukrainian headman," Hryhorii Petrovsky, survived-thanks to the
temporary chaos reigning supreme in the state government, which was caused
by the repressions.

The all-Union census, conducted several months prior to the terror, allows
us to compare the statistical contribution of each nationality to Ukraine's
population and arrested people.

In 1937-38 Ukrainians comprised 78.2 percent of the country's population
and 53.2 percent of the arrested. Poles made up 1.5 and 18.9 percent,
respectively, and Germans, 1.4 and 10.2 percent.

These disproportionate figures were due to the special orders guiding Cheka
officers: order No. 00439 of July 25, 1937, on the German operation and
order No. 00485 of Aug. 11, 1937, on the Polish operation.

These orders were a continuation of the Kremlin's repressive policy, which
began in 1935 with the deportations of Germans and Poles from Ukraine's
border districts.

I often have occasion to debate with Russian scholars who fail to
distinguish between the Ukrainian Holodomor and the all-Union famine of
1932-33. They argue that the Stalinist repressions were class-rather than

However, facts attest to the existence of both class-based and national
repressions. There were special operations during the Great Terror, which
targeted Poles, Germans, Latvians, Greeks, and other nationalities. Neither
did the Kremlin overlook Russians, who comprised 58.3 percent of all those
arrested in the period from October 1936 to July 1938.

In 2004 the Institute of Ukrainian History at the National Academy of
Sciences organized a workshop on the collective work, The 1932-1933
Famine in Ukraine: Causes and Consequences.

The late Viktor Danylov presented me with an unpublished table showing the
national distribution of arrests made during the Great Terror. The figure in
the paragraph above was taken from this table.

It offers convincing proof that Stalin did not have an ethnic bias or ethnic
preferences. However, it does not argue the absence of the ethnic component
in Stalin's terror.

I believe that we will be able to find a common language with Russian
historians if we clearly distinguish the Kremlin from Moscow and the regime
from the country.

Even the Communist Party of the time was not responsible for the actions of
Stalin's clique. Let me use the arguments presented in Danylov's last
publication, The Soviet Village in the Years of the Great Terror.

On April 14, 1937, the Politburo of the CC VKP(B) set up a permanent
commission in order to prepare and resolve secret issues (secret from the
Politburo!). This five-man commission, consisting of Stalin, Molotov,
Kaganovich, Voroshilov, and Yezhov, dealt primarily with issues related to
the terror.

In 1937- 38 Yezhov was in Stalin's office 278 times and spent a total of 833
hours there. Only Molotov, the head of the Council of People's Commissars
(Radnarkom), communicated with the secretary general more frequently. This
shows who the true spearheads of the terror campaign were.

In 1997 a fundamental study entitled The Black Book of Communism was
published in Paris. It was written by an international group of authors;
translations into many languages soon followed. The chapter on "The Great
Terror" was penned by the well-known historian Nicolas Werth.

He argued that the repressions of 1937-38 pursued two objectives: first, to
subject the provincial bureaucracy to the center and second, to destroy all
suspects who figured in Cheka dossiers-members of other political parties,
opposition members from the VKP(B), and members of the privileged classes.
Werth was right but the terror did not target only the elite.

                 WHY THE EVENTS OF 1937 HAPPENED?
Hundreds of thousands of absolutely ordinary people died in the inferno of
repressions. Still unanswered is a question that was first formulated by the
Moscow-based dissident historian Mikhail Gefter in the popular Gorbachev-era
journal The 20th Century and the World (1990, no. 9):

     "I am a historian, but can I understand why the events of 1937
happened? I have not found a single example in world history  when at the
peak of a country's success millions of its absolutely loyal citizens were
being destroyed."

Nonetheless, an answer to this question does exist. If we reject all
speculations (e.g., that Stalin was paranoid), what remains is one
indisputable fact: the procedure of forming Soviet government bodies
underwent a radical change.

In November 1917 the Bolsheviks established what is known as the
dictatorship of the proletariat. The proletarian masses were proclaimed the
sovereign subject of power, and councils (soviets) consisted of
representatives of workers and peasants.

In the periods between congresses the legislative, executive, and judicial
power was in the hands of executive committees-bodies elected by councils.
These committees passed laws and were a day-to-day governing body that lent
an ear to the electorate's commands.

Lenin discerned that this government organization offered his party colossal
opportunities for securing invisible dictatorship.

The formulation of electors' orders, the nomination of candidates to
congresses of councils and making sure that these candidates were
successfully elected, supervision over the activities of deputies and, if
need be, their recall from office-all these functions were to be performed
by a structure placed outside the bounds of the constitution.

The Bolshevik party apparatus governed social life indirectly - through
Soviet government agencies. This indirect approach was deemed advantageous,
as it enabled the party to resolve key issues without taking upon itself
direct responsibility for the current state of affairs.

The power invested in Soviet government bodies was secondary in nature but
nevertheless real. The dictatorship of party committees was not reflected in
constitutions and thus did not mar the constitutional image of the councils.
Power was usurped by committees on the personal level rather than the
institutional one.

Decisions adopted by party committees were implemented precisely because
plenipotentiary representatives of the Soviet government were members of
this party and abided by its iron party discipline.

The usurpation of the power with which the councils were constitutionally
invested had to be repeated every time elections were held. That is why
elections to Soviet government bodies were always an extremely important
matter for party committees, from the lowest ones all the way to the Central

In order to maintain its control over the country, the state party
elaborated election procedures that ensured the desired composition of
government bodies according to all parameters: class origins, party
membership, demographic features, and personal traits.

The "party-soviet" dictatorship system was based not only on coercion but on
propaganda. The system's immediate connection with citizens enabled the
rallying of millions of people to carry out top-priority tasks earmarked by
the party leadership.

The councils employed hundreds of thousands of deputies and became an
efficient conveyor belt stretching from the state party administration to
the entire population. The same conveyor-belt function was performed by the
multimillion-strong "external" body of the party, as well as by trade
unions, the Komsomol, Pioneers, and Octobrists.

To ease the burden of orchestrating elections to the councils, the idea of
equal representation was abandoned. The Constitution of the Soviet Union
stipulated that workers had a five-time greater share of votes than

The non-labor class was completely stripped of the right to vote. Up to 10
percent of the population belonged to this category of non-voters.

Enterprises, organizations, and educational institutions were selected as
electoral districts. Candidates were nominated on behalf of party and trade
union organizations. They were typically voted in merely with a show of
hands. Electors who disagreed with nominations were immediately subjected to
administrative influence.

Direct elections were held only to local councils. Delegates to all
congresses - from the raion to the all-Union level- were deputies from local
government bodies.

Appropriate party committees scrutinized the lists of congress delegates and
members of councils' executive committees, from the bottom to the All-Union
Central Executive Committee.

Electioneering techniques were above criticism. Anyone who ventured any
critical remarks was immediately charged with anti-Soviet conduct and
repressed. Therefore, dissenting voices were anonymous.

A flier that was circulated in January 1929 by the Socialist Revolutionaries
(so-called SRs) in Dnipropetrovsk stated: "The Bolsheviks imposed on us
open voting in council elections. Can't we elect freely when we elect

Who, being watched by the party cell kingpin, will have the courage to vote
for an honest non-party candidate or raise his hand in a vote against a
wicked communist if he is nominated by the party cell?"

Committee members who specialized in organizing council elections were
shocked to read a brief notice in newspapers about the decision passed by
the February 1935 Plenum of the CC VKP(B).

The Plenum suggested that the next All-Union Congress of Soviets consider
the issue of amending the Soviet Constitution as part of its agenda. It
emphasized the need to democratize the electoral system by replacing unequal
representation with an equal one and multilevel open elections with direct
and closed ones.

In February 1935, the 7th All-Union Council of Soviets set up a
constitutional commission headed by Stalin. On June 12, 1936, the commission
published the draft of the new constitution and a nearly six- month
discussion ensued.

In Ukraine 13 million people took part in it - a record high for the
organizational and mass propaganda activities of the party and government
apparatus. On Dec. 5, 1936, the 8th Extraordinary Congress of Soviets
adopted a new constitution. The constitution proclaimed that in the Soviet
Union the construction of socialism was complete.

In this connection and according to the still valid 1919 program of the
Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik) (RKP(B), the class criterion was to be
abandoned both in the distribution of voting rights and the formation of
government bodies. Therefore, multilevel elections were replaced by direct
ones and secret balloting was introduced.

Peasants were given the same rights as workers in electing and running for
election to all government bodies. Electoral districts in cities had to
reflect the residential distribution of electors rather than being tied to
production facilities (factories, institutions, etc.).

Congresses of councils on different levels were replaced by sessional
meetings of local and republican councils and the Union's Supreme Soviet.
New councils were beginning to exhibit the features of the parliamentary

The fundamental changes to constitutional norms did not alter the real
government system one iota. Councils were not an independent branch of power
prior to that and were unable to become one in the parliamentary system.
Party committees maintained their control over state and society.

However, their dictatorship was officially denied and hidden behind the
empty phrase, "the dictatorship of the proletariat." The Constitution of the
Soviet Union declared that the Communist Party was the governing nucleus of
all public and state organizations, but this declaration was legally void.

Numerous documents have already been published, which confirm the growing
discontent of the party and government staff with Stalin's dictatorship.

Apparatchiks were dissatisfied with another power hierarchy that he had
built-the one in the system of state security agencies. A protest against
the terrorist methods of governance was spreading throughout the entire

Stalin could not be a dictator by relying only on the GPU-NKVD (State
Political Directorate-People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs). He needed
strong support from the party and government apparatus. In order to secure
this support the secretary general made bureaucrats face the danger of free

Wielding control over state security bodies, Stalin was the only one who
could avert the threat of new people appearing on all the rungs of the
Soviet administrative ladder.

Cognizant of this, Soviet apparatchiks had to rally around the secretary
general to jointly counter the threat posed by Stalin's constitution -
without a hint of irony, the most democratic constitution in the world.

Everyone understood that in helping to hold democratic elections state
security agencies could employ the usual Cheka methods of state terror. In
this way, the party and government apparatus gave Stalin carte blanche to
carry out repressions on any kind of scale.

In the situation engineered by the secretary general, those who refused to
follow orders mechanically were to perish in the inferno of terror. There
was no shortage of eager successors.

Embodied in the 1919 program of the RKP(B) was a plan that the party chiefs
had for carrying out communist reforms. This program, with its violent
trial-and-error implementation, was considered valid until Khrushchev's day.
Some elements were successful, while others had to be temporarily shelved or
permanently abandoned.

Since the 1938 publication of the Brief History of the VKP(B), which glossed
over the party's failures and emphasized its achievements, the history of
the USSR unfolded as a succession of tasks set by the prescient leadership
for the people and fulfilled by the heroic efforts of the latter.

Only on one occasion did the gift of foresight fail the leadership - on June
22, 1941. The suddenness of the attack was used as an excuse for all the
failures that the Red Army experienced over the next 18 months.

The above implies that what Stalin had in mind was a certain sequence of
actions stipulated by the party program. The proclamation about the
successful construction of socialism would by necessity entail certain
actions on his part and these he calculated well in advance.

The proof is found in the changes that were introduced in the criminal
procedure codes of the Union republics after Kirov's assassination in
December 1934. Technically, they provided for mass terror, even though
for a certain period of time they were not implemented.

On the day Stalin's constitution was adopted, an announcement was issued
about scheduling the elections to the USSR's Supreme Soviet at "an early
date." However, they were delayed for an entire year, until Dec. 12, 1937.

Instead of the election, in February-March 1937 Stalin organized a plenum of
the CC VKP(B), which set the Great Terror in motion. The delay was
necessary in order to prepare the electorate properly.

The unfolding terror put an end to any talk of alternative nominations -
such as took place during the discussion of the draft constitution.
Electoral commissions pledged to register only one candidate for each
deputy's office - the candidate nominated by the "bloc of communists
and non-party citizens."

Proposals of alternative nominations were viewed as anti-Soviet
manifestations. However, in keeping with world practice, the ballots bore
the following inscription: "Leave the name of the one candidate you are
voting for and cross out the rest."

Even when ballots contained only one name, in free elections voters were
supposed to express their opinion in writing, i.e., by crossing out one word
in the pair "agree-disagree." Nevertheless, the organizers of the first and
all subsequent Soviet elections by secret vote introduced a treacherous
simplification of the ballot: it mentioned only the candidate's name and the
first nominating organization.

This way, a positive vote did not require a written mark. A negative vote,
on the contrary, would make it necessary to cross out the candidate's name
on the ballot. Thus, only those voters who intended to cast a nay vote had
to go into one of the voting booths. The booths became a testing ground for

Voters were at the disposition of a huge army of agitators, who were
recruited according to the industrial feature of their milieu. An agitator
was personally responsible for ensuring that all his voters went to the
polls. But agitators were not responsible for ensuring that they voted as
they should. Here, the key role in creating a proper atmosphere was played
by the state security organs.

During the terrorist operations that came one after another, hundreds of
thousands of people were physically exterminated, and millions were
destroyed morally by being coerced into cooperating with the security
agencies, public denouncements of so-called "enemies of the people," and
false testimonies against work colleagues, acquaintances, and even family
members. People were entrusted with ballots only after they had been
terrorized into a desirable condition.

This article began with a reference to the Holodomor, and I would like to
end it on the same painful topic.

More precisely, I would like to share my thoughts on possible ways of
persuading scholars, the general public, and the government of the Russian
Federation, as well as all Ukrainian citizens who identify with us, that
Stalin's terror had all three components - social-class, national, and

The Russian government cannot be accused of defending Stalin. They have a
pragmatic fear that Ukraine will demand financial compensation from Russia
for the death of millions of Ukrainian citizens. This anxiety is shared by
Ukrainian political figures, who are afraid of spoiling our relations with

Recently I had a conversation with a high-ranking official in the "corridors
of power." He claimed that rather than genocide, what happened in 1933 was
sociocide, which affected his non-Ukrainian relatives, among others.

The UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of
Genocide does not include sociocide in its classification of crimes. This is
precisely the reason why he used the term "sociocide," despite the fact that
several years earlier, and in a different political situation, he had spoken
with complete confidence about the fact of genocide.

Politicians must apply measures in order to convince their Russian
colleagues that Ukraine does not intend to place the burden of
responsibility for Stalin's terror on Russia. Unfortunately, these
intentions are occasionally declared by political extremists. But extremists
are in ample supply everywhere, including Russia.

Our scholars and journalists should aim at restoring the historical memory
of the Ukrainian nation, which endured both physical and moral sufferings
caused by Stalin's terror. Isn't it humiliating for us to pigeonhole the
deaths of our family members: genocide goes here and sociocide goes there?

The Great Terror, just like the Great Famine, proves that the Stalinist
repressions were omnivorous. They were an instrument of state policy. During
the collectivization campaign peasants suffered from repressions, and this
type of terror may be called sociocide.

This is also another kind of genocide, but it does not appear in the UN
Convention on genocide adopted on Dec. 9, 1948, only because Soviet
representatives at the UN knew the history of their country all too well.
Collectivization and the grain procurement policy led to the 1932-33 famine,
which had an especially pronounced adverse impact on Ukrainian peasants.

There is a political reason behind this fact as well: Stalin wanted to
engineer a severe famine in the Ukrainian SSR and Kuban in order to prevent
a social explosion that was emerging as a result of the destructive grain
procurement policy.

During the Great Terror, Cheka officers were proportionally the largest
victim category because Stalin needed to shift the blame for the mass
persecutions onto others.

An instrument of state policy until the early 1950s, mass terror in Ukraine
had two spikes - in 1933 and 1937. In both cases they hit the target. This
can easily be checked against the experience of the oldest or even the
middle of today's three generations.

People older than 40 can be asked two questions: why didn't you make any
public mention of the famine in Ukraine, which at the time was common
knowledge but officially silenced? Why did you vote in favor of the single
candidate by avoiding the voting booth?

One should bear in mind that this state of affairs lasted from 1953 to 1987,
i.e., over three and a half decades-without mass terror, only facilitated,
if necessary, by preventive conversations in KGB offices.
Stalin's terror still has its stranglehold on us: we do not feel humiliated
by the fact that we live in cities or walk down streets that bear the names
of Cheka officers and their bosses.                         -30-
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/180519/

AUR847, item 27, 25May2007


Graves turned out to contain the remains of victims of purges before WW II.

By Stanislav Kulchytsky, Professor, Historian, Scholar
The Day Weekly Digest, #14, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 22 May 2007

We have two significant anniversaries this year, separated by two decades. What makes them similar somewhat is the fact that they launched a series of important events.

Thus, the February revolution opened the road for fateful events in Ukraine and we are marking its 90th anniversary. Regrettably, events took place toward the end of 1917 that must be remembered, not celebrated. The Bolsheviks came to power in Petrograd in November.

In December they established a powerful body of state security, the All- Russia Emergency Commission, or VChK [generally known as the Cheka], meant to destroy or isolate all dissenters. Two decades later a plenary meeting of the CC VKP(b) was held in February-March 1937.

Its resolutions signaled the launch of a "cleanup" throughout the country where Stalin's socialism now reigned. Month after month the Cheka/NKVD methodically closed their cases of "enemies of the people" using the most simple method of mass shootings.


In big cities thousands were massacred and the authorities found themselves faced with a serious problem: what to do with the material evidence, bodies? The NKVD leadership decided to bury them in the suburbs and place the sites under special control.

It was thus Kuropaty appeared at Minsk, the Butovsky proving ground at Moscow, and Bykivnia at Kyiv. With time the security details were withdrawn and no one seemed to remember the victims.

When the Wehrmacht occupied a part of the Soviet territory the Nazis tried to the demonstrate to the rest of the world the scope of Stalin's atrocities (particularly in Vinnytsia and Katyn). The Soviet media immediately blamed the Nazis for the mass executions.

A specific situation developed with Bykivnia. It is safe to assume that the populace promptly put two and two together and knew what all those NKVD trucks were bringing to a fenced-off site in the Bykivnia forest. Yet the subject started being discussed only in the spring of 1941.

In 1944 the Bykivnia graves were qualified by a Soviet war crimes commission as ones belonging to inmates of the Darnytsia [Nazi] POW camp. The picture looked convincing because the camp was located nearby where 75,000 Red Army officers and man had died. However, talk about mass shootings prior to the war continued.

In 1971 a new governmental commission studied Bykivnia. It confirmed the findings of the previous one. Ditto the third commission that studied the place in 1987.

To make the picture even more convincing, a gravestone was placed with the legend, "Buried here are Soviet soldiers, partisans, and civilians massacred by the fascist aggressor in 1941-43."

However, a different political situation was unfolding in the country and the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR ordered to study the Bykivnia burial site again in 1988. The graves turned out to contain the remains of victims of purges before WW II.


Seventy years separate us from the Great Terror. There are practically no survivors of witnesses of that terror left in the postcommunist countries, yet our memories remain.

On May 19, Patriarch Aleksii and Metropolitan Lavr, head of the Russian Orthodox Church abroad, consecrated the Temple of New Russian Martyrs on the Butovsky proving ground. On May 20, Viktor Yushchenko took part in a mourning ceremony by the national historical memorial preserve Bykivnia Graves.

The 70th anniversary of the Great Terror makes one wonder whether our society will be decommunized before the last generation of graduates of the Soviet political school step down from the stage.

We can understand now that decommunization started in the Soviet Union a long time ago. Last year historians concentrated on the 50th anniversary of the 20th Congress of the CPSU. This event can be regarded as the launch of the process.

[1] The beginning turned out to be very cautious as the topic at the time was the struggle against the cult of Stalin's personality. [2] The second stage of the campaign, tagged by historians as destalinization, fell on the period of Gorbachev's perestroika.

The last Communist Party General Secretary failed to adjust the communist doctrine, party, and sociopolitical order to the challenges of the modern times.

However, a number of "birthmarks" of communisms remained in the countries that rose from the debris of the Leninist-Stalinist empire.


Ukraine perhaps has the greatest number of these birthmarks. Last year the Communist Party joined the governmental coalition.

Facts show that this allows this party to obscure the memories about the heinous crimes of the Soviet epoch, including by providing conditions in which it is possible to introduce corrections in modern school history textbooks.

Let us hope that the unnatural alliance between the Communists, Socialists and the Party of Regions will sooner or later lose its political meaning. This, however, does not promise quick success in the decommunization process.

It must be understood that people living in various regions of Ukraine have different historical memories. Whereas those in the western regions have a strong immunity to communism, inoculated by mass postwar repressions, people in the southeast often harbor nostalgic memories.

Even the older generation here did not suffer from repressions that accompanied the formation of the Soviet system.

In the minds of many residents of these districts communism is associated with Soviet propaganda proclaiming social equality, paternalism by the state that was the main factor of the socioeconomic order and with which many were quite content.

More often than not the point in question is the older generation. These people refuse to accept the realities of initial capitalism in which we all of us found ourselves after the Soviet Union's collapse.


They do not realize that there is no returning to the past and that it is a long way to the future embodied by Europe.

Precisely these moods among the Ukrainian electorate are being supported by political parties rooted in the CPSU, thus throwing monkey wrenches into the works of decommunization.

Finally, it should be stressed that to try to decommunize this society by anticommunist propaganda would be futile. The communist doctrine in its abstract form does not have a single negative element.

However, a body politic built on this doctrine will always be a threat to man's freedom, even life. This is evidenced by the historical experience of several dozen countries.

Final decommunization depends [1] primarily on a successful implementation of the European standards regulating economic and political life; [2] second, on an effective treatment of the historical memory of all those graduates of the Soviet school, using educational means.


Attempts by modern communists to edit the Holodomor and Bykivnia out school textbooks are doomed, among other things because these and other crimes of the Soviet regime can no longer be hushed up.

However, it is necessary for all citizens to become aware of the in-depth reasons for these atrocities and their regular nature in conditions of dictatorship.

Then the problem of renaming Dniprodzerzhynsk - so as to leave no mention of Dzerzhynsky, the founder of the Cheka - will be solved automatically.

Final decommunization is possible only after business and political competition are finally asserted in our society as the main factors of democracy. -30-

LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/181823/
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
9.                 UKRAINE: WHAT IS HORROR?
         Sufferings and deaths were everyday companions of my childhood.

By Volodymyr Senchenko, The Ukrainian Observer magazine #228
The Willard Group, Kyiv, Ukraine, February 2007

Those who lived through the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 are often
asked if they remember the most terrifying event they witnessed then.

Naturally, their war memories differ, as every individual is a separate
universe and walks a different path and has a different fate, but they all
say they were unspeakably frightened.

My biography coincides with the war, the period of political repressions and
the Holodomor, the Soviet-era famine. I was too young when the war broke
out and so did not participate in the warfare.

Thus I cannot tell stories resembling those by millions of the Red Army
soldiers, who had to suppress their fear and dare death face-to-face,
defying bullets and explosions.

Nonetheless, I lived under the Germans for three years: sufferings and
deaths were everyday companions of my childhood. Two armies passed my
hometown in those years.

We were lucky they did not stop but we nevertheless saw many soldiers and
civilians perish. I was nearly killed twice and even stood by a mass grave
where I was supposed to be buried, so there were many reasons to be
                           BEING HELD IN CAPTIVITY
I was convinced for many years that death was not the most terrible thing -
as it is the essence of any war - but being held in captivity!.. I remember
captured soldiers of the Red Army, their faces ashamed, doomed and
desperate. I was shocked to see how the Germans treated them, shooting
dead those who were too exhausted to walk.

One, however, can hardly imagine how awful it was, later, to watch our
captives being driven like cattle by the retreating Germans. Those were
survivors of the Nazi concentration camps, ugly skeletons with grayish

Wrathful at their imminent fiasco, the Germans killed them with eerie
pleasure. Everyone seeing that picture realized that it was better to be
dead than captured.

I am sure no artist would be able to portray that helplessness and
hopelessness. By the way, I also saw German captives: although squalid
and miserable, they had no despair in their eyes.

Back then I did not know the greatest horror of my life was still to come!

At the beginning of the 1990s, I visited a forest in Bykivnya near Kyiv.
This place is where thousands of victims of Stalin's repressions of
1936-1941 rest.

Hundreds of people were slaughtered every day, their lifeless bodies
transported to Bykivnya and hastily buried. The site was fenced to make
their executioners confident nobody would disclose this atrocious crime.
But a few eyewitnesses survived!

All the victims were charged with being enemies of the Soviet people. In
fact, nobody but the Kremlin leaders knew why millions of innocent people
were castigated.

My father, who was a professional historian, believed that the Kremlin had
thus been trying to conceal the traces of its crimes during the Civil War,
collectivization and Holodomor, which is why the government exterminated the
most active and educated part of the Soviet Union's society.

It must have been really hard to face death without knowing why one should
die. It is impossible to imagine bigger injustice than such arbitrary and
unjustified murders. The victims were horrified, having no confidence their
tormentors would be punished one day and being unable to tell their
murderers they detested them.
When I am in the Bykivnya forest, I seem to hear "Why?" in the whisper of
its pines. The Soviet leaders wanted to make these martyrs forgotten. They
tabooed the memory of the Holodomor and repressions, and no facts appeared
until Khrushchev's Thaw and later Gorbachev's perestroika.

Inveterate partisans of the Communist Party of Ukraine cite poor crops as
the main cause of the great famine in 1932, which they cannot dare deny
today, but they cannot explain why so many people were repressed. Silence is
a reliable method of concealing their crimes.

When the Bykivnya site was discovered, the government announced these were
the graves of the victims of Nazism. A monument was erected. The people
believed it was true because there had been a death camp for military
prisoners near the place. Babyi Yar, another German site of mass killings,
was not far away.

However, the Kyiv-based organization "Memorial" found eyewitnesses to those
killings. The government was made to form three commissions, in 1971, 1987
and 1988-89, the latter proving that the graves in Bykivnya were full of
those massacred under Stalin.

The government replaced a plaque on the monument, and "To the victims of
fascism" became "To the victims of totalitarianism."

In fact, many other such sites had been discovered earlier in Solovki,
Kolyma, Kingiri, Vorkuta, as well as on Kharkiv's Cold Hill and in mines of
Donetsk and Lugansk.
                           MASS GRAVES IN VINNYTSYA
I first heard of these crimes in 1941 but could not believe it. In 1941, the
Germans discovered several mass graves in Vinnytsya.

Women in nearby villages even recognized their dead husbands, although their
bodies were covered in some chemical substance for faster decomposition.
They first thought these people had been killed by the Germans. Only in the
1980s it was proven that they were Stalin's victims.

In the 1990s, Polish researchers announced that they had found remains of
three thousand Polish officers killed in the Soviet Union in Bykivnya. They
may be right but we cannot say for sure because no systematic investigation
had been carried out. To prove there are any Poles in Bykivnya, one needs to
excavate the forest.

Should we disturb hundreds of thousands of those peacefully resting victims
to know the exact figure? Of course, this number has been preserved in
Moscow's KGB archives but we will probably never learn the truth.
The Bykivnya forest became a symbol of Stalin's regime. People come there in
groups or alone to honor their relatives, tortured in the GULAG camps and

I once saw students and professors of the Boychuk Arts and Design College in
the forest. They came to mark the birthday of Boychuk, one of the many

Some visitors tie ribbons or photographs with the names of the dead to the
branches. They silently stand or kneel to pray. Even if none of your
relatives were executed under Stalin, you still feel guilty there.
On every second Sunday of May we officially honor the victims of political
repressions. When Pope John Paul II was in Kyiv, he also prayed in the

There is a monument there shaped like a man in a felt coat, traditionally
worn by the GULAG prisoners, and with the date "1937," which is as eloquent
in our history as 1933 and 1941-1945.

The government of Ukraine is about to start building a memorial complex in
Bykivnya but the project may be delayed because of the political situation.

The governing coalition includes two left-wing parties, which have no habit
of honoring the victims of communist terror.

There is one more problem - Satanists. They have recently vandalized some
graves in Bykivnya. Earlier, nobody in Ukraine knew who they were. This
problem is believed to have appeared along with foreign films. But there are
no political motives in their actions, for we all remember those tortured to
death.                                             -30-
LINK: http://www.ukraine-observer.com/articles/228/992
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                                        IN UKRAINE'S CRIMEA

TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1200 gmt 18 May 07
 BBC Monitoring Service, Friday, May 18, 2007

KIEV - [Presenter] Victims of the [Stalin-era] deportation of the Crimean
Tatar people are being commemorated in Simferopol for the second day in
a row. A mourning march was conducted in the city in the morning.

Tatars from almost all districts of the peninsula had come for it. Our
Crimean correspondent, Mykola Roslychenko, is working in Simferopol. He
is on a live link with us. Mykola. Hello. What is going on in the Crimean

[Correspondent] Good afternoon. The mourning rally in Simferopol's central
square has already finished. The people are dispersing, gathering their
flags. I can say that at noon the centre of the city was cordoned off by
police. All traffic was diverted. Shops were forbidden to sell alcoholic
beverages. This enabled the police to state that the mourning rally went off
without any excesses.

The demonstrators were addressed from the rostrum in the square by Crimean
parliamentary speaker Anatoliy Hrytsenko and the head of the Crimean Tatar
Majlis [ethnic assembly], Mustafa Dzhemilyev.

In particular, Mustafa Dzhemilyev stressed the importance of Ukraine being a
democratic state. He said Crimean Tatars would maintain peace and calm in
Crimea. Here is direct speech from him.

[Dzhemilyev, in Russian] We said that our national movement, as rightfully
pointed out by President [Leonid] Kuchma, is a stabilizing factor and it
should stay this way, and therefore, all our actions and our movement in
defence of our rights is simultaneously a movement for the strengthening of
Ukrainian statehood.

[Correspondent] All the events commemorating the 63rd anniversary of the
Crimean Tatar deportation have already finished, but the Majlis is planning
to rebury well-known Crimean Tatar figure [Edige] Kirimal in Bakhchysaray
this evening.

[The Crimean Tatar rally adopted a resolution which called on international
organizations to get involved in the process of restoring Crimean Tatar
rights, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported at 1218 gmt on 18 May.

"Without the direct involvement of international and European organizations,
the process of restoration of Crimean Tatar rights will keep being
torpedoed," the agency quoted the resolution as saying.

The resolution also criticized the Ukrainian authorities for "delaying the
adoption of specific decisions towards removing the consequences of the
1941 genocide and the decade-long forced exile of the Crimean Tatar
people".]                                              -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                                 Under the iron fist of totalitarianism

STATEMENT: Andrew Grigorenko
President of General Petro Grigorenko Foundation
New York, New York, Friday, May 18, 2007

A history of any nation is always marked by happy and sad road marks. Alas!
The later occurs more often that the first. This is especially true for the
nations who had a misfortune to be under iron fist of totalitarianism.

Today, May 18, 2007, is the 63rd Anniversary of the day when natives of
Crimean peninsula were brought on the verge of total annihilation.
I would avoid repeating what I previously wrote about this tragedy in my
numerous articles and the book "When We Will Return." I would rather
reflect on the future of Crimean Tatars and Ukrainian statehood.

I was pleasantly surprised by the news that President of Crimean Mejlis
(National Council of Crimean Tatars) and the President of Ukraine together
laid flowers at the foot of the monument commemorating the victims of the

This symbolic gesture gives a hope that the poly-ethnic Ukrainian nation
will recognize that tragedy of a single ethnic component of the nation is a
common national tragedy, understanding that genocide is tragedy for the
entire Humanity. Without such realization we cannot be sure that genocide
will not ever reoccur.

Unfortunately, there is no such nationwide understanding not only in Ukraine
but all over the post-Soviet territories. Propaganda of xenophobia, some
times masked, some times not, has a free rain in many places and even
sometimes became a new pillar for so called "national idea".
Even taking under consideration the rather complicated current Ukrainian
political situation, one would wander why so little has been done to restore
historical justice? The repatriation of deportees proceeds with difficulties
including unresolved land distribution, employment and monetary

The Ukrainian government does not take necessary steps to recover monetary
compensation from Russia for deeds committed by its predecessor.

Ukraine also did not try to negotiate reasonable compensation from the
Central Asian nation were Crimean made a significant contribution to the
economies of those countries.

The resources collected from the above-mentioned sources could be used
not only for justifiable compensation of former deportees but also for the
restoration of the unique Crimean culture.

It is unforgivable that after fifteen years of Ukrainian independence the
historical toponymics eradicated from Crimea for the past 63 years are not
restored. There is no excuse that the voluntary or involuntary migrants who
moved to peninsula after the deportation oppose the restoration.

It seems questionable that people who are ignorant about native culture and
history could have any saying in the matter. If the present situation will
persist, the new generation of Ukrainian citizens will lose a chance on
restoration of historical justice.

The situation is also intolerable with Ukrainian and Crimean languages in
the Autonomous Republic. Those languages are not a part of compulsory
curriculum in every Crimean school.

Instead, the foreign language enjoys the privilege of de-facto state
language and therefore serves as indirect endorsement of the past colonial
policies of the Soviet Union and its predecessor - Russian Empire.

The attempt of certain circles of so-called Russian speakers to revise the
history of Crimea and glorify foreign conquerors from Russian Empress
Kathryn to bloody dictator Stalin is also troublesome.

May 18 will always be the black day on my calendar. During that day, I pray
for all those who suffocated to death in the cattle cars of the deportation
trains, for those who perished while cultivate uninhabited deserts of
Central Asia and my friends whom I lost in the struggle against totalitarian

Peace to all fallen.
Andrew P. Grigorenko, www.grigorenko.org
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Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 1353 gmt 20 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Sunday, May 20, 2007

LVIV - About 3,000 people gathered at a monument to Taras Shevchenko in
Lviv's centre on the occasion of the Day of Heroes.

The chairman of the Lviv regional state administration, Petro Oliynyk, told
the rally that the Ukrainian Insurgent Army [UPA], whose combatants were
honoured today alongside with other Ukrainians who fought for the national
liberation, "was the world's best army because it protected its land without
having its own state". He hopes this holiday will forever be part of
Ukraine's history.

The chairman of the regional council, Myroslav Senyk, said that Lviv
celebrates "the feat of many thousands of Ukrainians who sacrificed
themselves for the freedom and independence of their country".

He added that a monument to Stepan Bandera, a leader of the national
liberation movement and the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, would be
unveiled in Lviv by the end of the year.

In early 1990s, the Lviv regional council came up with an idea to
commemorate all participants in the national liberation movement of the 20th

It chose May [as the time for commemoration] as many prominent
representatives of this movement were either born or murdered this month,

     [1] Mykola Mikhnovskyy, the author of the Ukrainian nationalist theory,
     [2] Symon Petlyura [the head of the Ukrainian People's Republic cabinet] and
     [3] Yevhen Konovalets [the commander of the Ukrainian People's Republic
           army and a leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists].

The city's and region's leadership delivered their speeches to the rally and
laid wreath at the Shevchenko monument, whereas cadets and servicemen of the
80th detached aeromobile squadron marched along Freedom Avenue.  -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
         Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.

By Vladimir Matveyev, JTA, New York, NY, May 3, 2007

KIEV, Ukraine - The upcoming celebration of the 60th anniversary of the
Allied victory in World War II is bringing issues that long have roiled
Ukrainian-Jewish relations to the surface.

In the center of the controversy are two wartime combat groups - the
Ukrainian Insurgent Army and the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists.
Both fought for Ukrainian independence against both the Soviet Red Army
and the Nazis during World War II.

According to many reports, these units also were responsible for killing
Jews associated with the Bolshevik administration in Ukraine, although it is
not believed that they specifically targeted Jews.

Earlier this year, Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko proposed a
reconciliation between the members of those two groups and the Ukrainians
who fought in the Red Army.

The idea was supported by some political parties in Ukraine. Backers
included the moderate nationalist Ukrainian People's Party, which earlier
had urged Yuschenko and Prime Minster Yulia Timoshenko to recognize the
fighters from the two anti-Red Army groups as World War II veterans. That's
the status already held by Red Army fighters.

The party, and some Ukrainian intellectuals who share this view, argue that
this year in particular should be marked as well by what supporters call
historical justice toward all Ukrainians who fought in World War II.

Yuschenko's idea was to have a street festival on Kiev's main avenue
celebrating both the veterans of the Soviet army and their one-time enemies
on May 9. That's Victory Day, which marks the German capitulation at the end
of the war. The proposal met with fierce opposition from Red Army veterans,
including Jews.

"The attempts to reconcile the veterans who fought for the Soviet army with
UPA fighters is unreal, because we remember what the UPA did during the
 war," said Semyon Nezhensky, a retired Soviet army colonel and the leader
of the Ukrainian Association of Jewish War Veterans. UPA are the
Ukrainian-language initials of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army.

Red Army veterans' organizations still wield considerable clout in Ukraine,
and many expected Yuschenko to trade in his original plan for a Victory Day
military parade in Kiev commemorating the Red Army. That parade was
supported by all the country's veterans' groups.

But last week Ukrainian officials said instead that there would be no
military parade in Kiev this year.

In the meantime, a former UPA leader told a national television channel last
month that his fellow veterans were not eager to celebrate Victory Day
together with the Soviet veterans.

This problem - a heated issue in Ukraine generally - appears to be even more
controversial for Jewish war veterans here.

Many elderly Jews have strong memories of what happened during and after
World War II, when Ukrainian anti-Bolshevik forces formed during the Nazi
occupation of 1941 to 1944 wreaked violence on Russians and Jews in
Ukraine's western regions.

Many Ukrainians blamed non-Ukrainians, including Jews, for what they saw as
their role in bringing communism to this part of Ukraine, which was annexed
by the Soviet Union in 1939.

For many Jews, distinctions between those who collaborated with the Nazis
and those who fought for an independent Ukraine are beside the point.

"I cannot support the idea of reconciliation with UPA fighters," said Evadiy
Rubalsky, 87, who was a Red Army soldier during World War II.

"Collaborationists killed 11 members of my own family in Babi Yar: my
mother, sister and other relatives," the pensioner from Kiev said, referring
to the site of a Nazi massacre in the Ukrainian capital.

Some experts agree that the scale of mass killings of Jews could have been
smaller had the Nazis not been helped by local collaborators, many of whom
filled the ranks of Nazi-subordinated auxiliary units.

Another Jewish war veteran was similarly outraged by the idea of

"Now they want us, Soviet veterans, to apologize for what they consider as
a fight against independent Ukraine. But they do not want to apologize
themselves for their crimes against the people of different nationalities
during and after the war," Boris Komsky said. Komsky, another Red Army
veteran, is now editor of Shofar, a Jewish magazine in Lvov in western

But some Jewish veterans say a distinction should be made between those
Ukrainians who fought for nationalist combat organizations and those who
fought alongside the Germans, most notably in the SS division called
Galicina and in two Nazi-subordinated combat units, Roland and Nachtigal,
that filled its ranks with Ukrainians.

These latter forces are believed to have taken part in special operations
against Ukrainian civil population, including Jews.
Giliary Lapitzky, a veteran Jewish activist, said that though "it would be
impossible for Soviet veterans to shake hands with OUN-UPA veterans,"
they could still be given veteran status.

They did not fight on the side of the Nazis, and they did not participate in
Nazi-led killing of civilians to the same extent as the Ukrainian SS men.

At least one local government has joined the fray.

Recently the Lvov regional council asked Yuschenko to recognize UPA as a
legitimate World War II army. "UPA is the only army in the world that fought
during World War II against the two occupation forces simultaneously,
against the [German] fascists and the Bolsheviks," the statement by the
council reads.

In parts of western Ukraine, the anti-Bolshevik nationalist combat units
continued their guerilla warfare, including the killing of Jewish
Bolsheviks, until 1953.

The Lvov council also sent an appeal to the Supreme Court requesting that it
speed up the revision of the bill that provides social service benefits to
displaced rehabilitated Ukrainians.

Under the council's proposal, OUN and UPA fighters, many of whom were
tried in Stalin's USSR after the war and served sentences for their wartime
activities, would qualify.

A leading lawmaker told JTA that the bill is being debated in Parliament.
"Common language" on that matter should be found, Gennady Udovenko, head
of the parliament Committee on Human Rights and National Minorities, said.

But many people disagree with Udovenko, saying that such a law would betray
the memory of those who gave their lives to liberate Ukraine from the Nazis.

"Despite a few conflicts" with the Nazis, "Ukrainian nationalists sided with
the Nazis during World War II, and were supporting Hitler again by 1944," a
Jewish lawyer, Grigory Ginzburg, said.

A compromise may be in the works that would allow some pro-Ukrainian
fighters - those who didn't wear the German army uniform and who never took
part in any of the German-led punitive expeditions against civilians - to be
rehabilitated. But, some say, time may provide a better solution.

"I disapprove the possibility of rehabilitation of UPA fighters in general
but I'm ready to recognize some of them," said Yona Elkind, 81, a retired
Soviet navy colonel.

He added, "Theoretically a peace is better than war, but the idea of making
peace between UPA fighters and Soviet veterans is simply unreal, because
we were enemies.

"Better leave it as it is. In two generations the problem will be resolved
by itself."                                                    -30-

AUR#846, item 20, 23May2007


LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: By Halya Coynash Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (HRPG) Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #846, Article 20 Washington, D.C., Wednesday, May 23, 2007

RE: WWII Anniversary Conjures Up Some Bad Memories Article By Vladimir Matveyev, JTA, New York, NY, May 3, 2007 Action Ukraine Report #845, Article 13, Monday, May 21, 2007

With regard to Mr Matveyev's "bad memories:"

Any memories of atrocities committed against an ethnic group or by collaborators with a murderous regime are undoubtedly very painful.

Here I would be in complete agreement with the author. I nonetheless believe the publishing of such articles to be extremely unconstructive and very much to be regretted.

This is not because the subject should be concealed. We all need the truth, even when it hurts, and we need to confront it together.

What we must not do is to hurl unsubstantiated claims which, frankly, are even difficult to grab hold of in Mr Matveyev's article.

He says, for example, that "it is not believed that they [the UPA units] specifically targeted Jews", yet everything that comes later somehow creates the impression that the UPA, and perhaps all of Ukraine, was a hotbed of anti-Semitism.

I could focus on specific sentences. Many are very easy to refute. Some are irrefutable, yet nonetheless require explanation. There were, for example, many reasons why a lot of people in Western Ukraine saw the communists as no less evil than the Nazis. From my comfortable armchair hindsight, I believe them to have been wrong.

They also saw (or believed they saw) more Jewish than non-Jewish, people supporting the communists, and some, unfortunately, drew conclusions. That the conclusions were wrong is, from my armchair, entirely clear.

I could continue, but believe it would be equally unhelpful until this subject is given proper treatment. There are a number of Ukrainian historians who have tried to do precisely that, Mykola Riabchuk and Yaroslav Hrytsak, to name but two.

Articles of this ilk have, over the last 60 years, brought us no closer to the truth. Instead, by creating an overall picture through verbal shades and nuances, without hard, confirmable or refutable, fact, they serve only to divide people and to blur the real issues which need to be confronted with unflinching and courageous commitment to the truth and to mutual understanding.

Halya Coynash
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG)
Kharkiv, Ukraine, [email protected]; www.khpg.org
Article By Vladimir Matveyev, JTA, New York, NY, May 3, 2007

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
14.                   WHEN WILL IT BE UKRAINA'S TURN?

From: M Y (Myron Yatskiv)
To: [email protected] ; [email protected]
Sent: Saturday, May 19, 2007 1:23 PM
Subject: [politics] When will it be Ukraina's turn?

The Progress Report of Latvia's History Commission: Crimes against
Humanity Committed in the Territory of Latvia from 1940 to 1956 during
the Occupations of the Soviet Union and National Socialist Germany

Tartu City Museum KGB cells

Museum of Genocide Victims, Lithuania

Exploring these websites in depth, with their photographs and other displays
of "Soviet Glory" it becomes inevitable that David and Goliath do indeed

Three small Baltic countries succeed in establishing in-depth museums and,
by doing so, unashamedly confront their horrific pasts.

They stood up against a giant (be it the USSR of the past or the Russian
Federation of today) while in Ukraina the lessons still remain to be learned
when a group of chervoni malorossy-yanychary unveil a post-soviet monument
to Lenin in some little known Poltava village.

Talk about den' i nich' (night and day) when one looks at Ukraina and the
Baltic states.

Slava abo han'ba Ukraini??? You decide!!!   MY
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                 Computer security specialists say it is originating in Russia

By Peter Finn, Washington Post Foreign Service
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C.
Saturday, May 19, 2007; Page A01

TALLINN, Estonia, May 18 -- This small Baltic country, one of the most
wired societies in Europe, has been subject in recent weeks to massive and
coordinated cyber attacks on Web sites of the government, banks,
telecommunications companies, Internet service providers and news
organizations, according to Estonian and foreign officials here.

Computer security specialists here call it an unprecedented assault on the
public and private electronic infrastructure of a state.

They say it is originating in Russia, which is angry over Estonia's recent
relocation of a Soviet war memorial. Russian officials deny any government

The NATO alliance and the European Union have rushed information technology
specialists to Estonia to observe and assist during the attacks, which have
disrupted government e-mail and led financial institutions to shut down
online banking.

As societies become increasingly dependent on computer networks that
cross national borders, security experts worry that in wartime, enemies will
attempt to cripple those networks with electronic attacks.

The Department of Homeland Security has warned that U.S. networks should
be secured against al-Qaeda hackers. Estonia's experience provides a rare
chance to observe how such assaults proceed.

"These attacks were massive, well targeted and well organized," Jaak
Aaviksoo, Estonia's minister of defense, said in an interview. They can't be
viewed, he said, "as the spontaneous response of public discontent worldwide
with the actions of the Estonian authorities" concerning the memorial.
"Rather, we have to speak of organized attacks on basic modern

The Estonian government stops short of accusing the Russian government
of orchestrating the assaults, but alleges that authorities in Moscow have
shown no interest in helping to end them or investigating evidence that
Russian state employees have taken part.

One Estonian citizen has been arrested, and officials here say they also
have identified Russians involved in the attacks.
"They won't even pick up the phone," Rein Lang, Estonia's minister of
justice, said in an interview.

Estonian officials said they traced some attackers to Internet protocol (IP)
addresses that belong to the Russian presidential administration and other
state agencies in Russia.

"There are strong indications of Russian state involvement," said Silver
Meikar, a member of Parliament in the governing coalition who follows
information technology issues in Estonia. "I can say that based on a wide
range of conversations with people in the security agencies."

Russian officials deny that claim. In a recent interview, Kremlin spokesman
Dmitri Peskov called it "out of the question." Reached Friday at a
Russia-E.U. summit, he reiterated the denial, saying there was nothing to

A Russian official who the Estonians say took part in the attacks said in an
interview Friday that the assertion was groundless.

"We know about the allegations, of course, and we checked our IP addresses,"
said Andrei Sosov, who works at the agency that handles information
technology for the Russian government. His IP address was identified by the
Estonians as having participated, according to documents obtained by The
Washington Post.

"Our names and contact numbers are open resources. I am just saying that
professional hackers could easily have used our IP addresses to spoil
relations between Estonia and Russia."

Estonia has a large number of potential targets. The economic success of the
tiny former Soviet republic is built largely on its status as an
"e-society," with paperless government and electronic voting. Many common
transactions, including the signing of legal documents, can be done via the

The attacks began on April 27, a Friday, within hours of the war memorial's
relocation. On Russian-language Internet forums, Estonian officials say,
instructions were posted on how to disable government Web sites by
overwhelming them with traffic, a tactic known as a denial of service

The Web sites of the Estonian president, the prime minister, Parliament and
government ministries were quickly swamped with traffic, shutting them down.
Hackers defaced other sites, putting, for instance, a Hitler mustache on the
picture of Prime Minister Andrus Ansip on his political party's Web site.

The assault continued through the weekend. "It was like an Internet riot,"
said Hillar Aarelaid, a lead specialist on Estonia's Computer Emergency
Response Team, which headed the government's defense.

The Estonian government began blocking Internet traffic from Russia on
April 30 by filtering out all Web addresses that ended in .ru.

By April 30, Aarelaid said, security experts noticed an increasing level of
sophistication. Government Web sites and new targets, including media Web
sites, came under attack from electronic cudgels known as botnets. Bots are
computers that can be remotely commanded to participate in an attack. They
can be business or home computers, and are known as zombie computers.

When bots were turned loose on Estonia, Aaviksoo said, roughly 1 million
unwitting computers worldwide were employed. Officials said they traced bots
to countries as dissimilar as the United States, China, Vietnam, Egypt and

By May 1, Estonian Internet service providers had come under sustained
attack. System administrators were forced to disconnect all customers for 20
seconds to reboot their networks.

Newspapers in Estonia responded by closing access to their Web sites to
everyone outside the country, as did the government. The sites of
universities and nongovernmental organizations were overwhelmed.
Parliament's e-mail service was shut for 12 hours because of the strain on

Foreign governments began to take notice. NATO, the United States and the
E.U. sent information technology experts. "It was a concerted,
well-organized attack, and that's why Estonia has taken it so seriously and
so have we," said Robert Pszczel, a NATO spokesman. Estonia is a new
member of NATO and the E.U.

The FBI also provided assistance, according to Estonian officials. The
bureau referred a reporter's calls to the U.S. Embassy in Estonia, which
said there was no one available to discuss American assistance to the Baltic

On May 9, the day Russia celebrates victory in World War II, a new wave of
attacks began at midnight Moscow time.

"It was the Big Bang," Aarelaid said. By his account, 4 million packets of
data per second, every second for 24 hours, bombarded a host of targets that

"Everyone from 10-year-old boys to very experienced professionals was
attacking," he said. "It was like a forest fire. It kept spreading."

By May 10, bots were probing for weaknesses in Estonian banks. They forced
Estonia's largest bank to shut down online services for all customers for an
hour and a half.

Online banking remains closed to all customers outside the Baltic States and
Scandinavia, according to Jaan Priisalu, head of the IT risk management
group at Hansabank, a major Baltic bank.

"The nature of the latest attacks is very different," said Linnar Viik, a
government IT consultant, "and it's no longer a bunch of zombie computers,
but things you can't buy from the black market," he said.

"This is something that will be very deeply analyzed, because it's a new
level of risk. In the 21st century, the understanding of a state is no
longer only its territory and its airspace, but it's also its electronic

"This is not some virtual world," Viik added. "This is part of our
independence. And these attacks were an attempt to take one country back
to the cave, back to the Stone Age."
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