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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ukraine Commemorates 76th Holodomor Anniversary

Today, Ukraine remembers the millions of men, women and children who starved to death in the Holodomor (Ukr. death by hunger) in 1932-1933.

Stalin’s manmade famine killed at least 3.2 million people: thousands of Russians, Jews, Poles, Moldovanspeople of other ethnicities, and millions of Ukrainians.

Unlike elsewhere in the Soviet Union, the peasants in Ukraine and in the neighboring region of Kuban had nowhere run. By a directive of the Communist Party, barrier troops surrounded these areas, populated mainly by Ukrainians, and
ensured that few would escape death.

Deprived of food, entire villages would die slowly and painfully. Deprived of food, people would lose their minds and eat their children. Those on the verge of dying would be piled up on carts and, along with the dead, carried to cemeteries.

The Holodomor dealt a severe blow to the Ukrainian peasantry and contributed to Ukraine’s Sovietization and Russification.

The exact number of the dead will never be known, but the numbers in Soviet and post-Soviet censuses speak for themselves:

USSR (1926)

Russians in USSR: 77,791,124

Ukrainians in USSR: 31,194,976

Ukrainians in Ukraine: 23,218,860

Ukrainians in Russia: 7,873,000

Russians in Ukraine: 2,677,166

USSR (1939)

Russians in USSR: 99,591,520

Ukrainians in USSR: 28,111,007

USSR (1989)
Russians in USSR: 145,155,000

Ukrainians in USSR: 44,186,000

Ukraine (2001)

Ukrainians in Ukraine: 37,541,700

Russians in Ukraine: 8,334,100

Russia (2002)

Russians in Russia: 115,889,100

Ukrainians in Russia: 2,943,000

At the Holodomor Memorial, I didn’t see quite as many people as I saw last year, during the opening ceremony, attended by foreign delegations.

Besides, with Ukraine still reeling from the flu epidemic, it’s natural for people to avoid public gatherings.

Ukraine for the people
Says who?
Says the man
behind a huge fence — with surveillance cameras and check points — the man who's building himself another palace on a 336-acre property (privatized with Yushchenko's help and worth tens of millions of taxpayer hryvnias).

It's the same man who opposes the effort to investigate the Holodomor, and calls it an attempt to alienate Ukrainians from Russians.

For the first time in the last few years, I saw people wearing those orange scarves again.

Patriarch Filaret of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyiv Patriarchate)

Presidential candidate Arseniy Yatsenyuk

Homin, the famous Ukrainian choir

We remember.