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Ukraine to allocate $1 million for Babi Yar memorial

Government seeks to complete memorial paths for Jewish victims and Ukrainians who saved Jews by 75th anniversary of massacre in September

The Babi Yar ravine. (CC BY-SA Mark Voorendt/Wikipedia)
The Babi Yar ravine. (CC BY-SA Mark Voorendt/Wikipedia)

The Ukrainian government pledged to allocate approximately $1 million toward the construction of a Holocaust memorial monument at the Babi Yar ravine in Kiev.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced the allocation of funds Wednesday, the news site 112.ua reported.

The funds would pay for the construction of two memorial paths — one for Jewish victims and one for Ukrainian non-Jews who saved Jews — at the site where 50,000 Jews and some 50,000 to 100,000 other victims, including Roma, Russian prisoners of war and Ukrainian nationalists, were murdered by the Nazis and local collaborators between 1941 and 1943.

In 1976, when Ukraine was still part of the Soviet Union, a massive monument was erected at Babi Yar without noting the site was the first massacre of its magnitude during the Holocaust.

In 1991, on the 50th anniversary of the first massacre of Jews at Babi Yar, members of Ukraine’s Jewish community placed a 6-foot menorah on the park’s outer edges to commemorate the Jews killed there.

The paths planned in the park, which the government aims to have built in time for the 75th anniversary in September, will connect the center of the park to the monument site, which has been vandalized seven times since 2015. Unfenced, it currently bears signs of the recent torching of a memorial wreath that Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked placed there earlier this month.

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