Ukraine has been marking the anniversary of one of World War Two’s most notorious massacres of Jews. The ex-Soviet state is holding events to honour more than 33,000 victims killed over two days in 1941 at Babiy Yar, a ravine now in the Kiev suburbs. The commemoration was led by President Viktor Yushchenko, who also hosted a forum on the Nazi “final solution” and its ramifications today, especially in post-Soviet society.
Kiev’s 150,000-strong Jewish community, swollen by refugees, was summoned to a gathering point on September 29, 10 days after the Nazis rolled practically unhindered into the city. Historians say the choice of Kiev as a killing ground was logical for the Nazis as their troops swept towards Moscow, Leningrad and the war’s big turning point at Stalingrad.