Mykhaylo Horyn - leading activist in the Ukrainian human rights movement of the 1960s and 70s - has died at the age of 82.

He spent his life fighting the Soviet system and campaigning for justice and human rights, saying, "It is better to light one candle than to spend your life in despair at the darkness". As a result of his work in publishing and smuggling to the West information about human rights abuses in Ukraine, he was arrested in 1965 and sentenced to six years in a labour camp. After his release, he became one of the founder members of the Ukrainian Helsinki Monitoring Group and continued to campaign for human rights. He was arrested again in 1981 and sentenced to ten years' hard labour and 5 years' exile, but was pardoned in 1987 and rehabilitated in 1990.

He concentrated his work on promoting Ukrainian independence and Ukrainian unity. He was one of the organisers of the 'Living Chain' (Живий ланцюг) in 1990, in which hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians linked hands between Lviv and Kyiv.

In one of many tributes to him, he has been described as one of Ukraine's greatest fighters for freedom.

Eternal memory - Вічна Йому Пам'ять!

To read more about Horyn's life and work (in Ukrainian), click here. For pictures and a report on his funeral, click here.

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Ukrayinska Dumka


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