Holodomor Was Genocide, Rada Rules
Moroz Goes Maverick on Anticrisis Coalition
Three generations afterward, it finally happened. We saw light at the end of the tunnel, a tunnel of historical injustice spanning some 64 years. The events whose human toll could be compared to the effect of a nuclear bomb exploded over Los Angeles have found their way into Ukrainian law.
Late Tuesday, November 28, 2006, the Ukrainian parliament, a mirror reflection of centuries of Russian rule and of more than a decade of chaotic capitalism, gathered enough votes to pass a bill that recognizes the Holodomor as “genocide against the Ukrainian people.” (The Baltic countries had recognized it as such awhile ago.)
Secure, or rather insecure in the knowledge that Moroz and Co. would play a maverick on this one, the Rada Communists raised hell. They who trace themselves as direct descendants of the CPSU put on the same old charade. They bewailed Ukraine’s post-communist demographic drain, calling it the “real McCoy” in need of recognition, as if crimes against the economy committed under K&K (Kravchuk and Kuchma) somehow exonerate them from moral responsibility for crimes against humanity. (Has it ever occurred to them that by applying NKVD interrogation techniques to their capitalist coalition partners, most notably the PRU, they might yield some helpful answers as to the cause of Ukraine’s population decline?)
Yushchenko’s embattled bill, which had initially prescribed fines for Holodomor denial, underwent transplant surgery, as a series of politically correct adjustments reshaped it into a compromise bill. The centerpiece of all this makeover was the replacement of the “Ukrainian nation” in the Yushchenko version with the “Ukrainian people” in the compromise version
Don’t the “Ukrainian nation” and the “Ukrainian people” mean the same thing? Not according to the PRU, on guard as it is against nationalism (except Russian). From the PRU’s viewpoint, the term “Ukrainian nation” singles out the Ukrainians as an ethnic group.
This horrible "misnomer" certainly raised a red flag (read: Red) in the PRU psyche, activating a diehard communist mantra that the word “nation” equals Ukrainian bourgeois nationalism equals nazism.
For the Socialists, who joined the pro-recognition movement contingently, the term “people” it was a safety valve that helped them avoid large-scale confrontation with the Regionalists. For BYuTies and NSNUzers it was an “open Sesame” incantation that magically got the job done. Of course, the tradeoff somewhat downplays the genocide’s ethnic profile, but few would disagree that, for the time being, it was a compromise worth making. After all, until Russian lobbyism levels reach a lower point, the Ukrainian people can read into the “Ukrainian people” whatever definition they prefer.
As for communist drones, it was the sound of water flushing the toilet. Their presence in the Verkhovna Rada has been dwindling with every new election, thanks to the public’s growing awareness of their political promiscuity. The communists have been notorious for cheating their voters left and right. In light of the CPU’s track record, millions of Russified Ukrainians have given up on it, finding direct experience with the PRU more enjoyable.
The communists’ “secret” affair with oligarchs as well as the mothballed suitcase of idyllicized Soviet past they keep under the bed puts them light years away from the European-style welfare state.
The bill was passed by a small margin, with the golden vote exercised by the Socialists. To what degree Speaker Moroz’s personal experience, as opposed to his political experience, affected the decision would be a good question.
In numerous interviews, Moroz recounted how his native village of Tarashcha, Kyiv Oblast was hit by the Holodomor. Hard-hit are Moroz’s approval ratings, as the Ukrainian people surely remember what he did last summer. If elections were held today, the Socialists would be up to their necks in horse dung. This harsh reality leaves them no choice but to do whatever they can to give the Grain Belt the impression they’re still the guys. (If tobacco companies can fool the public by sponsoring cancer research and donating money to children’s hospitals, who says we can’t do a little Zorro act ourselves?)
President Yushchenko, who took the liberty of suggesting fines for Holodomor deniers, still hopes his legislative initiative will be incorporated. In its present form, the law characterizes Holodomor denial as an act of desecration, yet sets no penalties for offenders.
Aside from BYuT, NSNU, and the SPU, all of which supported the bill unanimously, two brave souls from the PRU did. Presumably, these were Hanna Herman and Taras Chornovil — reverse renegades, as one may call them.
In China, a country where communism had cut a deadly swath and would have made it into another North Korea, rather than the world’s fourth economy it is today — had it not been for Den Xiaoping’s infusion of smart capitalism — they say, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Holodomor Was Genocide, Rada Rules