11:14 29.01.2009

Yuschenko, Tymoshenko address their compatriots on occasion of Battle of Kruty

Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko has called on his compatriots to conduct a thorough study of the developments of 1918 when "Ukrainian youngsters lost their lives to stop the Bolshevist army of [Russian Lieutenant General Nikolai] Muravyov from advancing on Kyiv."

The presidential address to the participants in the festive events commemorating the young defenders of the Ukrainian People's Republic in the village of Litky, Brovary district, Kyiv region, was posted on the presidential Web site on Thursday.

"Our duty is to conduct a deep analysis of the events linked to the battle of Litky, rescue from obscurity the names of unknown victors, and perpetuate them in our history," Yuschenko sad.

He thanked those who maintained the memory about the courageous Ukrainian soldiers who died outside Kruty and those who look after their grave as a national sacred place.

"Young people, like Spartan soldiers, died for the sake of their motherland in a struggle against foreign aggressors, and it was an example of their sacrifice and selfless love for their native land," Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said.

"Every anniversary of the Heroes of Kruty is not only a day to honor those people who loved our motherland more than their lives. This is also another reminder to our contemporary politicians regarding their responsibility for the fate of their country and people," she said.

A total of 300 students, gymnasium pupils and cadets from Kyiv, who decided to defend the Ukrainian People's Republic, clashed with the superior forces of the Bolsheviks outside Kruty in Chernihiv region in 1918. The remains of the deceased youngsters were later reburied in the Askold's Grave memorial in Kyiv.

Ukraine observes the day of memory for the Heroes of Kruty on January 29.

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