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In November Ukraine And the World Commemorate Victims of the Holodomor

26 November 2016, marks the Holodomor Remembrance Day and the 83d anniversary of the Holodomor.

Since 2006 it takes place every year on the fourth Saturday of November. A minute of silence should be observed at 4:00 PM Eastern European Time (UTC +2:00). On Saturday, November 26 at 4 p.m. people in Ukraine and all over the world will light candles in memory of those killed during the genocide of 1932-33. All those who has a flag, they will let it fly half-staff for the entirety of the day as a sign of mourning.

Holodomor, from the Ukrainian “морити голодом” – to kill by starvation, was a deliberate Terror-Famine that took place in 1932-1933. The term Holodomor refers specifically to the brutal artificial famine imposed by Stalin’s regime on Soviet Ukraine and primarily ethnically Ukrainian areas in the Northern Caucasus in 1932-33.

In its broadest sense, it is also used to describe the Ukrainian genocide that began in 1929 with the massive waves of deadly deportations of Ukraine’s most successful farmers (kurkuls, or kulaks, in Russian) as well as the deportations and executions of Ukraine’s religious, intellectual and cultural leaders, culminating in the devastating forced famine that killed millions more innocent individuals. The genocide in fact continued for several more years with the further destruction of Ukraine’s political leadership, the resettlement of Ukraine’s depopulated areas with other ethnic groups, the prosecution of those who dared to speak of the famine publicly, and the consistent blatant denial of famine by the Soviet regime.

It’s estimated that up to 10 million perished during the Great Famine – it’s impossible to establish a certain number as Communists were known to falsify the census records. As the truth, slowly but surely, leaks out into the open, and as more and more countries recognize the genocide of the Ukrainian people in the years 1932-1933, unprecedented in history, our role in remembering it and sharing this information is equally – if not more – important.

On November 28th 2006, the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament of Ukraine) passed a decree defining the Holodomor as a deliberate Act of Genocide. Although the Russian government continues to call Ukraine’s depiction of the famine a “one-sided falsification of history,” it is recognized as genocide by approximately two dozen nations, and is now the focus of considerable international research and documentation. Read more

Geography of Holodomor (the darker color the severe starvation)

Geography of Holodomor in Ukraine

While people starved, the grain was shut away in barns for export. Many historians agree that the famine was man-made; it was genocide. Yet the Holodomor is not widely known about outside Ukraine. Viktor Yushchenko, the former president of Ukraine, did a lot to raise awareness about the Holodomor. Kyiv now houses a stirring candle-shaped memorial and Holodomor museum. Address: Vichnoyi Slavy Park (Eternal Glory Park), Arsenal’na Metro Station

Memorial and Holodomor museum in Kyiv, Ukraine
photo by Bohdan Bezkorovainy

Another Monument to the millions of Ukrainian victims of the Great Famine in 1932-1933 is located in Kyiv next to St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral on Tryokhsvyatytel’s’ka Street, 6. It is nearly always covered with flowers. The composition is of granite stone with its recess made in the form of a cross and bronze effigy of “Mother-Ukraine with child”. Lots of people will be coming here to light candles in memory of those killed during the genocide of 1932-33.

Monument of the Great Famine in 1932-1933 in Kyiv

Maria Chlipkevych (Марія Хліпкевич), born 1927, Kytayhorod village, Dnipropetrovsk oblast describes the death of her mother and father during the Holodomor.