The special coordinators for the Holocaust matters from Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Greece, the Netherlands, Romania, Great Britain, and the USA signed, on the occasion of the commemoration of the Babyn Yar massacre, a joint Declaration condemning Russia's actions in Ukraine, announced on Thursday, the Special Representative of the Government for the Promotion of Remembrance Policies, Combating Anti-Semitism and Xenophobia, Alexandru Muraru.
"We must never forget the horrible crimes against humanity that took place 81 years ago, when rd 34,000 Jews were killed by the Nazis and their accomplices at Babyn Yar. For 45 years after the end of the Second World War, the Soviet Union censored documentation about the Holocaust, including research and documentation from the archives regarding the massacre of the Jews at Babyn Yar," the text of the Declaration states, according to a press release sent by Muraru on Thursday.
According to the signatories of the Declaration, it cannot be allowed that "the memory of those victims and those who were killed during the Holocaust be dishonored, erased or cynically instrumentalized to achieve political objectives".
"In this context, it is appalling that Vladimir Putin is trying to justify his unprovoked war against Ukraine by distorting and revising the history of the Holocaust. To say that today's democratic Ukraine must be de-Nazified is an insult to all those who suffered under the Nazi regime in Ukraine and elsewhere. Such distortion erodes understanding of the Holocaust, affects Holocaust memory, and undermines contemporary global efforts to prevent mass atrocities so that another Holocaust never occurs," the signatories of the Declaration said.
According to the document, the signatory countries stand together in their support for human rights and fundamental freedoms, "especially by combating historical distortion and by strengthening research, education and authentic memorialization of the Holocaust".
"Understanding the history that led to past atrocities can help us identify and hopefully prevent such abominations in the future," the joint Declaration added.
The Fourth Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilians in Situations of Armed Conflict, signed following the Second World War, stipulates that the illegal transfer or deportation of persons protected by it constitutes a serious violation and a war crime, the signatories remind.
"Today, estimates from a variety of sources indicate that Russian authorities and their proxies have detained, interrogated, and reportedly tortured hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian civilians. Many of these Ukrainian citizens, including thousands of children, have been forcibly relocated or forcibly deported from their homes to areas of Ukraine temporarily controlled by Russia, most often to locations far inside Russia. The forced deportation is one of the results of so-called filtering operations organized by the Kremlin and intended to eliminate resistance, identify individuals in Russia who are not sufficiently cooperative, and deny the statehood and distinct identity of Ukraine. Russian authorities have denied such events despite substantial evidence from many sources," the Declaration reads.
The signatories also conveyed that they support "all efforts to preserve the evidence of atrocities, including those carried out by the International Criminal Court, the UN, the expert missions within the Moscow Mechanism of the OSCE and others".
"History shows that accountability is imperative. The population of Ukraine needs justice and deserves justice. Our states are committed to the idea of holding the perpetrators of war crimes and other atrocities accountable for their unclassifiable actions," the document states, according to the source.AGERPRES