On Tuesday, March 1, Russian forces damage Babi Yar, one of Europe’s most prominent Holocaust memorials set in Kyiv, Ukraine.
During the bombing of a nearby radio tower on Tuesday in Kyiv, Ukraine’ capital, Russian forces damaged Babi Yar, the Holocaust memorial, which drew international condemnation.
According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his chief of staff, five people were killed in the bombing. The president tweeted: „To the world: what is the point of saying ‘never again’ for 80 years, if the world stays silent when a bomb drops on the same site of Babyn Yar? At least 5 killed. History repeating…”
Zelenskyy’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak wrote in a tweet: „Just now, a powerful barrage is underway. A missile hit the place where Babyn Yar memorial complex is located! Once again, these barbarians are murdering the victims of (the) Holocaust.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin claims that there is a genocide of Russian-speaking Ukrainians going on in the east of the country, and his invasion of the country is going to lead to the “denazification” of the country. However, Zelenskyy is both a native Russian speaker from Ukraine’s east and Jewish.
Babi Yar or Babyn Yar is the site of one of the worst mass killings during the Nazi occupation of Ukraine in the Second World War. In September 1941, Nazi forces killed more than 33,000 Jewish people — Kyiv’s Jewish population at the time. The site is now a memorial to the victims and an international monument against such violence. The complex holds memorials to others victims of the Nazis, including Roma and Ukrainian resisters.
Holocaust remembrance groups around the world strongly condemned the damaging of the site. The U.S. Holocaust Museum wrote it is „outraged at the damage inflicted on the Babyn Yar memorial by Russia’s attack today,” calling the site „sacred ground”.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid also condemned the attack on the Jewish cemetary near the memorial site, yet he did not mention Russia by name.
Photo credit: Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center