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Friday, November 17, 2006

No Such Thing as "Holodomor," Moscow Says

It means just that. On the eve of the commemoration of the Holodomor, the 1932-33 man-made famine that killed an estimated 6 to 10 million Ukrainians and is one the greatest yet only recently publicized genocides of the 20th century, the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry offered its condolences, but no confessions.

The tragic famine in Ukraine, Moscow said, was the result of bad policy and crop failure that affected areas beyond Ukraine. Therefore, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that Ukraine was singled out on ethnic grounds.

Unfortunately, the Russian diplomats forgot to submit weather reports that would support crop failure theory. Also, they chose not to go into great detail as to exact ethnic distribution patterns. (What was the famine’s ethnic breakdown, anyway?)

Nor did they give much voice to the role of the Red Army, which cordoned off Ukraine’s famine-stricken areas to prevent mass migration in search of food supplies needed to survive. (Was it a routine military exercise?)

Too bad Uncle Joe, who cut his teeth as People’s Commissar of Nationalities Affairs, cannot be reached for comments. What is certain, though, is that the Russian Federation has been recognized by the international community as the successor state to the Soviet Union. (What percentage of its monthly oil revenue would go to compensate the victims, if Russia admitted guilt?)

Eager to play mindgames of its own, the Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Ministry called the progress made by Russia laudatory. Talking the matter over with the Russians has not been a total waste of effort, Kyiv said, adding that the "UX-files" warrant further study by both countries.

Demographers believe that had it not been for Stalin’s Holodomor and repressions, Ukraine would have been a nation of some 100,000,000 people.

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