Kiev’s mayor vetoes Babi Yar plan


(JTA) — Kiev’s mayor shot down a plan to build a hotel at the site of the Babi Yar massacre memorial.

Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky blocked the plan Saturday by exercising his veto power.

Israeli President Shimon Peres praised the decision in a statement released Saturday night.

Kiev officials approved a plan Sept. 17 to build 28 hotels to accommodate the tens of thousands of visitors expected for soccer’s 2012 European Championship, including one at the Babi Yar site. The officials reportedly did not realize exactly where the controversial hotel would sit when they approved the site.

The decision caused hurt and outrage in the Ukrainian and world Jewish community, prompting an outcry when news of the decision became public last week.  
More than 33,700 Jews were gathered and killed by the Nazis along the Babi Yar ravine’s edge on Sept. 29 and 30, 1941.

The Babi Yar memorial is located in a residential area of the Ukraine capital.

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