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Ukrainian President Wants '30s Famine Declared Genocide

Viktor Yushchenko (file photo) (RFE/RL) 25 November 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said today he wants the international community to recognize the great famine of 1932-33 as genocide.

Yushchenko was speaking at the opening of an exhibition in Kyiv about the famine.

Several million people died in Ukraine during the winter of 1932-33. Though the then-Soviet republic grew sufficient amounts of grain to feed its people, Soviet leader Josef Stalin requisitioned it for sale abroad to fund construction of Soviet industry.

Tomorrow, Ukraine will hold ceremonies in memory of the tragedy and mark a naitonwide minute of silence.

Ukrainian officials, including Yushchenko, will speak at the event.

(With AFP reports)