Ukrainian Jewish leaders welcomed a government decision to make Babi Yar a state-protected memorial zone.In a March 1 statement, the Ukrainian government statement designated the site as a state historical and cultural reserve. It will be administered by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The government said the designation was trying to better commemorate the memory of the victims of World War II and Soviet political repression that were killed and buried at the ravine near Kiev. More than 100,000 people were killed in Babi Yar during World War II, including some 33,000 Jews that were slaughtered in September 1941. Authorities said the borders of the state reserve would be delineated this year.Jewish leaders said the decision was a good start to commemorating Babi Yar victims. One of Ukraine’s chief rabbis said it marked the first time the Ukrainian government paid proper attention to the status of Babi Yar. Ya’akov Dov Bleich added that the state should also resolve the issue of postwar construction in the area that includes a stadium, garages and several buildings.
Babi Yar gets memorial status