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Human rights activist and co-author of the Constitution of Ukraine, Stepan Khmara, has passed away

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Stepan Khmara, a prominent human rights activist, public figure, dissident, Hero of Ukraine, member of three convocations of the Verkhovna Rada, and co-author of the Constitution of Ukraine, has passed away at the age of 87.

The information was confirmed by his wife, Roksolana Khmara, on February 21.

«I don’t want to believe it. I don’t want to write this. My dearest man in the world is dead. That’s it. We all did everything we could and even more. We so wanted him to be with us when our Victory will be announced! I wanted so much to see his happy face, his beautiful face! Because he was so beautiful even at the age of 86. His blue eyes were no longer so purely blue, but still bottomless», — she shared on her husband’s social media page.

Roksolana Khmara emphasized Stepan Khmara’s deep love for Ukraine and Ukrainians, stating that he «tore his heart and soul for it.»

«And Ukraine will rise from the ashes, it will rise again! I know it», — she added.

Born on October 12, 1937, in the village of Bobiatyn, Lviv region, Stepan Khmara worked as a dentist during the Soviet era while actively participating in the dissident movement, distributing samizdat, and sharing literature banned in the USSR.

He faced persecution and was first detained in 1975, later sentenced in 1980 to seven years in a maximum-security camp and five years in exile for his political and human rights activities. Stepan Khmara served his sentence in camps in the Urals.

Upon his return to Ukraine in 1987, he became a key figure in the Ukrainian Helsinki Union. In 1990, he became a member of the Verkhovna Rada representing the People’s Movement of Ukraine. In independent Ukraine, Khmara continued his political career as an MP from the Ukrainian Conservative Republican Party and Batkivshchyna.

Stepan Khmara actively supported various movements, including the Revolution on Granite and the Orange Revolution. In 2015, he went on a hunger strike in solidarity with political prisoners.

He was honored with the title of Hero of Ukraine with the Order of the State, along with the Order of Freedom and the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise.

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