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 Memorial Complex in Babyn Yar has to be completed by 2021, - Pavel Fuks. PHOTO

The Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center foundation plans opening a new memorial complex in Kyiv by 2021 to commemorate the victims of mass executions that took place in the years of the World War II.

Pavel Fuks, a businessman and member of the organizing committee in charge of the memorial construction, told GORDON in an interview.

"The construction of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Victims Memorial Center is an important international social project that concerns not only Kyiv's reputation, but also the reputation of the entire Ukraine, and can be compared to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem or the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington," he said. "Today, our main task is to make it in time to finalize the works by the big day in 2021 when it will be the 80th anniversary of the hideous events that took place in Babyn Yar," said Fuks.

The organization's supervisory board reportedly includes Chief Rabbi of Kyiv and Ukraine Yaakov Dov Bleich, singer Sviatoslav Vakarchuk, ex-president of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski, Mayor of Kyiv Vitalii Klitschko, boxer Wladimir Klitschko, ex-vice-chancellor of Germany Joschka Fischer and other prominent people and philanthropists. According to Fuks, the organizing committee cooperates with all kinds of Jewish organizations. In particular, support has been offered by Vadym Rabinovich, the president of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress.

"Above all, it comes from the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress, which comprises over 120 different associations and foundations. We are receiving powerful support from Vadym Rabinovich, the president of the congress; he provides great assistance in negotiations and organizational processes," says the member of the memorial construction organizing committee.

Fuks explained why the project could not be completed earlier. "For years the memorial project could not get off the ground because of various conflicting interests. However, today we have pulled together as many people as possible around this project, and this is a success. All of them are people with different views, of different nationalities, but we are tied together by one common goal - to construct the memorial," he said.

Memorial Complex in Babyn Yar has to be completed by 2021, - Pavel Fuks 01
Vitalii Klitschko and Pavel Fuks are members of committee that oversees the construction of the memorial

Fuks says this project is receiving huge attention from Mayor of Kyiv Vitalii Klitschko, the Presidential Administration, and the international community.

"A project of such scale cannot be brought to life without some serious support," he said.

Fuks also spoke about the steps that have already been taken in the scope of this project.

"A further step towards the goal was made at the end of June: we held a conference dedicated to this project at the European Parliament. The event was attended by the leadership of the European Parliament, its members, Ukrainian and U.S. ambassadors to EU, and Ukrainian representatives. While giving his opening speech at the beginning of the conference, Ioan Pașcu, Vice-President of the European Parliament, stated that projects of this kind lay a foundation for the development of the democratic society," the businessman said.
 
 
 
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