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This Ukrainian Orthodox church named after priest-martyr Alexander, archbishop of Kharkiv, was built in 2004 at one of the biggest Kharkiv’s avenues named after Stanislaw Kosior, Soviet politician. The names of these two persons (not very well-known even in Kharkiv) are now in the center of a dispute about possible renaming of the avenue to "Archbishop Alexander Avenue". Who these two persons were?

Archbishop Alexander (Alexander Petrovsky, 1851 – 1940) was a Russian Orthodox Church bishop. In 1937 he became the archbishop of Kharkiv. He was born in Lutsk, a Ukrainian city, which until 1939 was on Polish territory. Maybe because of this in 1938 archbishop Alexander was arrested by the NKVD (Narodniy Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del or People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs) as a suspected Polish spy. He was convicted to 10 years of prison. In 1940, when he was 89 years old, Archbishop Alexander died in the prison hospital, where he was despite his rehabilitation in 1939. In 2000 Archbishop Alexander was reckoned among the holy of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Stanislaw Kosior (or Kossior, 1889 – 1939) was one of three Kosior brothers, Polish-born Soviet politicians. He was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, and deputy prime minister of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Among others, he was responsible for the Holodomor (death by starvation) in Ukraine, when millions of people were starved to death. Arrested by the NKVD, he was killed during the Great Purge (a series of campaigns of political repression and persecution in the Soviet Union orchestrated by Joseph Stalin in 1936-1939). On February 26, 1939 he was sentenced to death by shooting and executed on the same day. A wall of silence was made on his death. He was rehabilitated in 1956.

GPS coordinates: 49.93970 Lat, 36.37698 Long, 175 m

[ ← west ] – 50°N THEME – [ east → ]

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Additional Photos by Sergiy Lushpenko (s_lush) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1933 W: 47 N: 4467] (16602)
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