Ukrainians Gather At Mass Grave To Commemorate Victims Of Stalin Regime

KIEV, Ukraine -- Relatives and survivors gathered in a forest outside Kyiv Sunday at the site of Ukraine's largest mass grave for victims of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, commemorating up to 120,000 Ukrainians killed during his regime.

The Monster Josef Stalin

People laid flowers and tied linen towels with Ukrainian embroidery on trees at the Bykovnya grave.

"It's hard to imagine how it was possible to bury over 100,000 people in one forest. The most awful is that it's impossible to answer the question why they were killed," President Viktor Yushchenko said.

Historians say millions were killed throughout the Soviet Union during Stalin's reign, accused of state treason and other crimes.

Separately, up to 10 million Ukrainians died of the 1932-33 Great Famine, which Stalin provoked as part of his campaign to force Ukrainian peasants to give up their land and join collective farms.

On Thursday, thousands of Crimean Tatars marched in the capital of Crimea to mark the 62nd anniversary of their deportation from the Black Sea peninsula under Stalin, a forced exile that lasted almost half a century.

Some 200,000 Tatars were deported in May 1944 after Stalin accused them of collaborating with the Nazis and were not allowed to return until the Soviet collapse of 1991.

Source: AP


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