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Blinken factchecked: X users give U.S. Secretary of State history lesson

Originally published: Al Mayadeen on October 2, 2023 by News Website (more by Al Mayadeen)  | (Posted Oct 03, 2023)

Users of the social media network X (formerly Twitter) have taken it upon themselves to fact-check a recent statement made by United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken regarding the Babyn Yar massacre in Kiev back in 1941, which resulted in the death of around 100,000 and 150,000 including Jews, Soviet prisoners of war, communists, and Romanis.

In a post on X, on the anniversary of the 1941 massacre, Blinken exclusively cited the Jewish victims dismissing the rest, and even going as far as accusing Russia of manipulating history for political purposes pertaining to the war in Ukraine.

“Eighty-two years ago, Nazis murdered 34,000 Jews at Babyn Yar. Soviets buried this history, which today Putin’s government manipulates to provide cover for Russia’s abuses in Ukraine,” Blinken said.

X users were quick to fact-check Blinken’s statement, providing additional context to the historical events. They pointed out that Soviet prisoners of war were among those massacred at Babyn Yar–perpetrated by Nazi Germany’s forces and their local Ukrainian collaborators–and the Soviets subsequently liberated Babyn Yar and Kiev in 1943. Furthermore, a trial was held in 1946 in Kiev for 15 German policemen involved in the Babyn Yar massacres.

The atrocities have been, in fact, a source of debate in Ukraine over reports of local collaborators being involved.

On his part, Russia’s First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, slammed the U.S. Secretary of State for his “sacrilegious post” that is “beyond any basic notions of decency,” stating,

I was brought up in the USSR, and we all knew about Babyn Yar. Nazi crimes were never ‘buried’ in my country, unlike yours. Writing such a sacrilegious post is beyond any basic notions of decency.

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