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Ukraine recalls Stalin-era Holodomor famine

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  • Nina Tkachuk Dimas
      http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/printArticle.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=545995&version=1&template_id=39&parent_id=21 Ukraine recalls Stalin-era famine
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 24, 2012
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      http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/printArticle.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=545995&version=1&template_id=39&parent_id=21


      Ukraine recalls Stalin-era famine
      Publish Date: Sunday, 25 November, 2012, at 02:38 AM Doha
      Time

      Viktor Yanukovych
      AFP/Kiev


      Ukraine
      marked 80 years yesterday since the Stalin-era Holodomor famine, one of the
      darkest pages in its entire history that left millions dead and which is
      regarded by many as genocide.
      The 1932-33 famine took place as harvests
      dwindled and Josef Stalin’s Soviet police enforced the brutal policy of
      collectivising agriculture by requisitioning grain and other foodstuffs.
      “It
      is 80 years since the catastrophe came to our lands,” President Viktor
      Yanukovych said in a statement. “This crime changed the course of history for
      the Ukrainian people. It was one of the worst crimes that we suffered.”
      The
      country held a nationwide minute of silence after thousands of people marched
      through central Kiev to the city’s main memorial, the statue of a small,
      emaciated girl dying in the Holodomor.
      Ukrainian nationalists have always
      regarded the Holodomor as a genocide specifically aimed by Stalin’s regime at
      eradicating the potentially awkward Ukrainian peasantry as a
      class.
      Yanukovych however has controversially dropped the moves by his more
      nationalist predecessor, the 2004 “Orange Revolution” leader Viktor Yushchenko,
      to have the Holodomor recognised as genocide against Ukrainians.
      In a move
      many saw as an attempt to appease former Soviet master Russia, Yanukovych in
      2010 said it would be wrong to seek genocide recognition as Stalin-era famine
      was a catastrophe suffered all over the Soviet Union.
      The magnitude of the
      death toll remains hugely controversial among historians, with estimates of
      those who died in Ukraine ranging from 5mn to 9mn.
      Ukraine has remembered the
      Holodomor (which means extermination by starvation in Ukrainian) and political
      repression on the fourth Saturday of November since 1998.
      However, after
      changes imposed by Yushchenko, the November date exclusively remembers the
      Holodomor and a new date in May was created to remember political
      repression.

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