Ukraine on Saturday reburied some 2,000 people killed by the Soviet secret police before World War II and dumped in mass graves near the capital.
The 1,998 bodies, 474 of which were Poles, were dug up earlier this year in Bykovnya, a wooded area outside Kiev where Ukrainian officials believe some 30,000 people may have been buried during the 1930s and early 1940s.
The mass graves were filled with people who were tortured and shot by the dreaded NKVD, a precursor to the KGB, during Stalin's rule in the run up to the war between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.
Others estimate up to 100,000 people were killed.
"I was eight years old. It was just three of us -- father, mother and me. And they took him," Maria Marzhetska said of her father, who was seized by the NKVD in 1937. "Every morning, every evening we were at the police station."
She only found out his fate 60 years later.
In a sombre ceremony attended by some 100 people, simple red coffins, some draped with flags, were lowered one by one into graves. Relatives and officials prayed by their side.
Under communist rule, the existence of mass graves filled with the victims of Stalin's rule was denied. It was only in the 1990s that it was acknowledged and a memorial was built.
Polish historians and officials believe that several thousand Polish soldiers and officers who were captured as the Soviet Union encroached Polish lands to defeat the Nazis were buried there, including an estimated 15,000 massacred near the Katyn woods.
"This is a very important place for Poles because it is ... linked with Katyn," said Andrzej Przewoznik, general-secretary of Poland's Council for the Protection of Monuments to Struggle and Martyrdom.
CALIBRATED RESPONSE: The city-state has learned from its past experiences of dealing with COVID-19 variants to assess the situation and the risks, the transport minister said Singapore will strive to keep its borders open and stay connected to the rest of world even if a new variant of COVID-19 emerges, Singaporean Minister for Transport S. Iswaran said on Wednesday. The city-state has learned from its past experiences of dealing with COVID-19 variants, Iswaran said in an interview with Bloomberg News. When the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 hit, Singapore did not backtrack on its reopening plans, but rather decided to wait and see how things panned out, he said, adding that the response was different versus the Delta outbreak. “We’ve all learned to adapt,” Iswaran said on the sidelines
‘EATING UP SPRING’: Temperatures are 10oC to 15oC above the seasonal average and a city northwest of Madrid experienced its first ‘tropical’ May night on Friday Parts of Spain are experiencing their hottest May since records began, as a mass of hot, dry air blows in from Africa, bringing with it dusty skies and temperatures of more than 40°C. Spain’s state meteorological agency, Aemet, has warned of a weekend heat wave of an “extraordinary intensity,” with temperatures between 10°C and 15°C above the seasonal average and more akin to high summer than mid-May. “The early hours of 21 May have been extraordinarily hot for the time of year across a good part of the center and south of the peninsula,” Aemet said on Saturday. “In many places the
BUSINESS AS USUAL: Thousands of people were forcibly removed from their homes in the dead of night and all mentions of the incident were scrubbed from the Internet Thousands of COVID-19-negative Beijing residents were forcibly relocated to quarantine hotels overnight due to a handful of infections, as the Chinese capital begins to take more extreme control measures resembling virus-hit Shanghai. Beijing has been battling its worst outbreak since the COVID-19 pandemic started. The Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 has infected more than 1,300 since late last month, leading city restaurants, schools and tourist attractions to be closed indefinitely. China’s strategy to achieve zero COVID-19 cases includes strict border closures, lengthy quarantines, mass testing and rapid, targeted lockdowns. More than 13,000 residents of the locked-down Nanxinyuan residential compound in southeast Beijing were
‘I’M STUNNED’: The disease is not known to be sexually transmitted, but a large outbreak might reveal previously unknown transmission routes, a virologist said Scientists who have monitored numerous outbreaks of monkeypox in Africa say they are baffled by the disease’s recent spread in Europe and North America. Cases of the smallpox-related disease have previously been seen only among people with links to central and West Africa. However, in the past week, Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the US, Sweden, Canada all reported infections, mostly in young men who had not previously traveled to Africa. There are about 80 confirmed cases worldwide and 50 more suspected ones, the WHO said. France, Germany, Belgium and Australia reported their first cases on Friday. “I’m stunned by this. Every day I