Starvation under Stalin – Ukraine commemorates Holodomor: “Defeat death again”


Amid Russia’s war of aggression, which has been going on for more than nine months, Ukraine commemorated the devastating famine known as the Holodomor (“Murder by Hunger”) 90 years ago. “Once they wanted to destroy us with hunger, now with darkness and cold,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote on his Telegram channel on Saturday, referring to Russia’s attacks on his country’s energy infrastructure. A memorial service was also held in Vienna.

In 1932/33, the then Soviet dictator Josef Stalin deliberately caused a famine in the Ukraine. Up to four million people died. Zelensky stressed that Ukrainians are just as unwilling to be broken by the Russians today as they were then. “We will conquer death again,” wrote Andriy Yermak, head of Ukraine’s presidential office, “The Russians will pay for all victims of the Holodomor and will be held responsible for today’s crimes.”

Schallenberg: “Today we see the same thing”
Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen and Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) also commemorated the victims of the Holodomor. In 1932-1933, the Soviet leadership completely ignored human life and human dignity. “Today we see the same thing,” Schallenberg said as part of the new “Grain from Ukraine” initiative, held in Kiev on Saturday to mark the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor. Schallenberg was connected via video.

“We will never forget the atrocities of 90 years ago. And we must ensure that those responsible for today’s atrocities are held accountable,” Schallenberg added. “The use of hunger as a weapon has no place in this world and should not be accepted.” Schallenberg agreed that Austria would contribute a total of EUR 3.8 million to the “Grain from Ukraine” project.

“Never Forget Famine”
For his part, Van der Bellen emphasized: “We will never forget this terrible man-made famine in which millions of people in Ukraine were deliberately starved to death by the Soviet regime.” Ninety years later, Ukrainians would again have to fight for their lives, their identity and the preservation of their freedom, the Federal President said on Twitter (see below). “We stand with Ukraine!” he continued.

Saturday evening an ecumenical commemoration took place in Vienna’s Stephansdom. A few hundred Ukrainians took part. “As you study the events of the Holodomor, you are overcome with horror,” declared cathedral priest Toni Faber from the pulpit. He spoke of a “terrible sin that cries out to heaven” committed against the Ukrainian people and, citing statements by Pope Francis, drew parallels with the last months of the war in Ukraine.

recognized as genocide
In St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Ukrainian Ambassador to Vienna, Vasyl Khymynets, called on the Austrian National Council to recognize the Holodomor as a genocide against Ukrainians. Support for the demand came from NEOS on Saturday and the Greens are calling for this question to be explored. Several countries have already classified the Holodomor as genocide and Germany could soon follow: next week the German Bundestag wants to adopt a resolution on this.

It is also disputed among scholars whether the Holodomor was a targeted genocide against Ukrainians or whether the rulers brutally attacked the rural population. In the Ukrainian Soviet Republic, mainly ethnic Ukrainians fell victim to the Soviet-induced catastrophe of 1932/1933. At the same time, however, there were also famines for political reasons in some regions of the Russian and even more so the Kazakh part of the Soviet Union.

Source: Krone


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