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75 Years Since Ukrainian Famine


President Yushchenko and U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and wife Lynne at the monument to "Holodomor" victims in Kyiv on September 5

President Yushchenko and U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and wife Lynne at the monument to "Holodomor" victims in Kyiv on September 5

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on September 23 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Ukrainian Famine, or "Holodomor," in 1932-33. The text extends "the deepest sympathies of the House of Representative to the victims, survivors, and families of this tragedy, and for other purposes."

Aside from condemning the Soviet atrocity and the subsequent shroud of secrecy, the resolution also expresses House support for "the continuing efforts of Ukraine to work toward ensuring democratic principles, a free-market economy, and full respect for human rights, in order to enable Ukraine to achieve its potential as an important strategic partner of the United States in that region of the world."

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko marked the anniversary in his address today to the UN General Assembly. Here's an excerpt from his prepared remarks:

"Our intention is not directed against any people or state. We neither overstate nor understate our sorrow. Terror in hunger in Ukraine had a task-oriented character of genocide, which was accompanied by total elimination of [the] national elite, public leadership, and priesthood. The goal was to [lord over a] nation of many millions because, according to the regime, there were too many people to displace to Siberia.

"It is important that our steps encourage other countries of the former Soviet Union to find the truth. We share [the] pain of all the people affected -- Russians, Belorussians, Kazakhs, and dozens of other nations. We invite you to jointly commemorate each national tragedy and not to tolerate new attempts to create [a] heroic aureole around Stalin and his regime. We have invaluable examples of mutual understanding with Poland, Hungary and other states. Honest and sincere memories about the past have not split us but have united us."

-- Andy Heil

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