Russian missile hits site of main Ukrainian Holocaust memorial, Babyn Yar
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Russian missile hits site of main Ukrainian Holocaust memorial, Babyn Yar

At least five people are killed in an attack that is understood to have targeted a nearby television transmitter

Michael Daventry is Jewish News’s foreign and broadcast editor

The main Holocaust memorial in Kyiv was struck by a Russian missile on Tuesday as attacks on the Ukrainian capital intensified.

The rocket landed on the Babyn Yar memorial park, the site of the location where Jews and others were gunned down in their tens of thousands during the Second World War.

At least five people died in Tuesday afternoon’s missile strike, which is understood to have targeted a nearby television tower.

Images posted on social media showed clouds of smoke around the tower, which remained standing.

The town’s mayor said an electrical substation and a control room connected to the town had been hit.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has a speech during the commemoration event near Menorah monument at Babyn Yar in Kiev, Ukraine, August 19, 2019. Credit: Sergii Kharchenko/ZUMA Wire/Alamy Live News

Natan Sharansky, the chairman of the Babyn Yar memorial trust, confirmed the site had been struck.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted in response to the attack: “what is the point of saying «never again» for 80 years, if the world stays silent when a bomb drops on the same site of Babyn Yar?”

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis called it an “unspeakable tragedy”.

It is unclear whether memorial itself has suffered damage.

The Holocaust Educational Trust UK said: “Our thoughts are with the Ukrainian people under violent attack.

“It is desperately sad to see the Babyn Yar memorial, the site of one of the bloodiest massacres of the Holocaust, bombed in yet another brutal act of aggression and inhumanity by Putin’s forces.

“For him to use the excuse of “denazification” to mount the invasion is grotesque.”

The Auschwitz Memorial Museum condemned the attack, saying: “It’s hard to expect the Russian army to respect the dead if it is not capable of respecting human lives.”

Meanwhile, Lord Eric Pickles, the UK’s Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues and co-chair of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation, also condemned it.

He said: “It is just a few months ago the world gathered to remember the 80th anniversary of the murder of 33,771 Jew in a ravine in Kyiv.

“The mass murder was an act if barbarism. No one believed Putin’s deranged claim that he was removing Nazis from Ukraine. This latest evidence of Russian aggression shows Putin in his true colours.”

 

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