At the invitation of the Prime Minister of Ukraine, the IHRA Chair, Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu, attended the official state ceremony in Kiev on 29 September to mark 75 years since the massacre at Babi Yar.
The IHRA Chair first attended the ceremonial signing of a Declaration of Intent to create a Babi Yar Holocaust Memorial Center organized by the Babi Yar Holocaust Memorial Initiative Group. The ceremony on the site of the Babi Yar massacre took place on Thursday evening and was organized by the Kiev City Administration. The President of Ukraine, H.E Mr Poroshenko attended both events.
Between 29-30 September 1941, 33,771 Jews were murdered in two days at Babi Yar, a ravine northwest of the city of Kiev. In the months following the massacre, thousands more Jews were killed at Babi Yar, as well as non-Jews including Roma, communists, and Soviet prisoners of war. It is estimated that in total some 100,000 people were murdered at the site.
Ukraine was one of the original participants of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust in the year 2000. The IHRA has made a number of outreach visits to the country over the last 15 years, the last being in June 2016. The IHRA was also pleased to welcome Yana Barinova, Managing Director of the Babi Yar Memorial Foundation, as a presenter at the last IHRA plenary in Bucharest.