President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and President of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski together with their wives visited National Historic and Memorial Reserve "Bykivnia Graves" – one of the biggest burial places of victims of totalitarianism. They paid tribute to the victims of communist terror - Ukrainians, Poles and other nations.
"The best sons of Polish nation were buried here together with Ukrainians. Pursuant to the direct order of Stalin and Beria, without any trial or investigation, thousands of Polish officers, thousands of intelligentsia representatives were killed in the dungeons of NKVD and buried, inter alia, in the blood-irrigated earth of Bykivnia," the Ukrainian President noted.
According to the President, events in Bykivnia became the echo of September 1939, when Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin unleashed the Second World War and tried to divide Europe. "Anschluss, annexation, occupation – our eastern neighbor has just refreshed these notions in our memory," Petro Poroshenko said. The President has emphasized that one cannot forget the horrors that the Ukrainian and Polish nations have suffered in the XX century, for the Babi Yar or Katyn, Holocaust or Holodomor not to happen ever again.
At the same time, the President has emphasized that despite tragic historic pages, both nations had decently passed the phase of reconciliation and forgiveness and moved to the phase of strong friendship, mutual support and strategic partnership. "The memory of dreadful times of terror strengthens our aspirations to build the future together, in which the main value will be human life, rights and freedoms," Petro Poroshenko said.
The Head of State has noted that in a struggle for the ideals of freedom and democracy, the best features of Ukrainian and Polish people had been shown - indomitable desire for freedom and willingness to help each other with real actions. Petro Poroshenko has stressed that Poland demonstrated unity and support when Ukraine faced the aggression, infringement on the territorial integrity and sovereignty.
The President has expressed condolences to the people of Poland. "May the innocent victims rest in peace. May God help us withstand the pain of terrible loss and have mercy on us! Long live the Ukrainian-Polish friendship!" Petro Poroshenko said.
President of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski has thanked Ukrainians for repairing the memorial to the victims of totalitarianism. "Here, in Bykivnia, where we pray for the victims, I'd like to remind that the threat is constant and the memory of the victims may become a protection and weapon against these threats," he said.
The Presidents have laid flowers near the Mass grave and paid tribute to the victims of totalitarianism with a moment of silence.