One of the utmost tasks for the Ukrainian authorities is to bring back all political prisoners illegally held in Russian detention facilities. Oleksandr Turchynov, the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, wrote that in his Facebook post on May 21. On this day, Ukrainians commemorate their compatriots who fell victims of political repressions.
‘Today, we pay tribute to over 500,000 Ukrainians, the victims of political repressions who faced violent tortures and prosecutions. The totalitarian regime tried to devastate the freedom-loving spirit of our nation and its will to be free and independent with political repressions and man-made famines. We bow our heads before our compatriots who perished fighting for the right for the free thought, for the right to be themselves in their homeland,’ the statement reads.
The leader of the National Security and Defense Council added that Ukrainians ‘are suffering from aggressive and illegal actions of a totalitarian state which does not recognize such thing as law’.
‘It seemed nothing like that would ever happen again; but the Russian leadership has been walking the path of terror, aggression and political repressions against its own country and the neighboring ones. The political repressions, political prisoners in Russian jails… it’s all real – again. Roman Sushchenko, Oleg Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko… the list of Ukrainian patriots can be continued. Out task is to bring back all political prisoners and POWs held by the Russian aggressor. The totalitarian empries and their leaders always end up the same way,’ the official wrote.
As Ukrainians mark the Day of victims of political repressions, Ukraine’s leading officials and common citizens went to Bykivnia Graves memorial complex in Kyiv region – to join the memorial ceremony on the occasion.