The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Sep 21, 2012
 

Memorial to Stalin's victims unveiled outside Kiev

 
 

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - The Presidents of Ukraine and Poland on Friday unveiled a memorial to the thousands of Ukrainians, Poles and others killed by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's secret police before and during World War II.

The memorial is part of a remembrance complex in Bykivnia, outside the Ukrainian capital, where up to 120,000 people are buried.

The victims include 3,500 Poles executed in the Kiev region by the Soviet secret police in early 1940. They were among some 22,000 Polish officers and civilians taken prisoner and killed on Stalin's orders in western Russia and other parts of the Soviet Union in what became known as the Katyn massacre.

Katyn is one of the most painful pages of Polish history, and Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych was eager on Friday to show respect and support to Poland, Kiev's biggest ally in its push to integrate closer with the European Union.