Ukraine recalls Stalin-era Holodomor famine
Ukraine recalls Stalin-era famine
Publish Date: Sunday, 25 November, 2012, at 02:38 AM Doha
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.
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.”
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
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.
changes imposed by Yushchenko, the November date exclusively remembers the
Holodomor and a new date in May was created to remember political
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