(QHA) -

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych issued an address in connection with International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marked on Jan. 27.

"An embodiment of rapid anti-Semitism and xenophobia, the Holocaust has come to symbolize the suffering of the Jewish people. Hundreds of thousands of Jews died at the hands of the Nazis in Ukraine alone. In honoring them, we recall the heroism of Ukrainians who, risking their lives, were saving Jews from death in Babyn Yar and other sites of mass executions," the president's office quoted Yanukovych as saying in his address.

"The modern world has a rich diversity of nations, cultures and religions, but even today there is often a lack of mutual respect and tolerance. For this reason, it is our responsibility to future generations to defend the principles of peaceful coexistence and assert social harmony and tolerance," Yanukovych said.

Note: The Holocaust was the mass murder or genocide of approximately six million Jews during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi Germany, led by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, throughout the German Reich and German-occupied territories.