Candle of Memory - Holdomor Tragedy of Ukraine | Eurasia Diary -

16 January, Saturday

Candle of Memory - Holdomor Tragedy of Ukraine

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Every year, on the last Saturday of November, in Ukraine, and in every corner of the Earth where Ukrainians live, a candle is lit in memory of the Holodomor victims of 1932-1933. This is how the memory is honored of millions of Ukrainians who starved to death of artificially created famine by the Soviet communist regime. For almost every Ukrainian family it is the most tragic event in the modern history of Ukraine, an event that was the result of the struggle for the dignity and for the right to live in a free country.

The word "Holodomor" means mass murder by starvation, from which there was no escape. By this word Ukrainians call the National Catastrophe of 1932 - 1933, which was in its essence a genocide of Ukrainian people. For this reason, the terrible history of the Holodomor should be known not only in Ukraine, but throughout the entire world. Without the perception of this tragedy, it is impossible to understand the nature of totalitarianism and the crimes committed by the Soviet regime.

The Soviet government’s goal of that period was simple - to suppress anti-Soviet sentiments among Ukrainian peasantry and destroy every hope of Ukrainian people for freedom. For reprisals against Ukraine, the Bolsheviks chose the most terrible method - hunger.

The first stage of the crime was the complete confiscation of all alimentation from Ukrainian village. For this purpose, the special units were created, which took away everything edible from millions of people, dooming them to mass starvation. People began to leave the famine-stricken territories. Then the second stage was initiated - the isolation of the hungry. For this, a "black board" regime was introduced, that prohibited hunger strikers from leaving Ukraine. Collective farms and villages, listed on the "black boards", were surrounded by armed units of militia and Soviet special services, which were taking away all food supplies. Trade and import of any goods were banned. It was a death sentence for the inhabitants. In 1933, the Soviet regime initiated to the third stage of extermination of people. In February 1933 to ensure the spring sowing campaign, aid began to flow to the Ukrainian regions; yet, it was addressed exclusively to local party leaders and activists. All others were deprived of this assistance. The conditions created for Ukrainians by the totalitarian system were simply incompatible with life.

However, the greatest horror of the Holodomor was the extremely high death rate among children. They were the first who were dying in terrible agony. In numerous cases, the parents unwilling to see their child dying, were taking him to the nearest city with an aim to abandon him - in institutions, hospitals, at train stations or simply on the street. Children, on the other hand, were escaping from shelters and surviving on the street by begging and stealing. The newborn babies struggled the worst, since their mothers very often had no milk for breastfeeding.


The dreadful circumstances of this crime and the policy of concealing of its consequences both in the USSR and in modern Russia make it impossible to establish the exact number of innocent people murdered by starvation in 1932-1933. Ukrainian researchers claim that more than 7 million Ukrainians, including at least 3 million children, have become victims of this rigorous crime against humanity, which has no period of limitations. The consequence of the genocide, in addition to the physical murder of millions of people, was the destruction of the traditional Ukrainian way of life. The famine became a weapon of mass biological destruction of Ukrainians and for many decades it violated the genetic fund of the nation, destroyed many families due to death, deportation, and migration in search of food.

Notwithstanding that the Holodomor of 1932-33 failed to conquer the Ukrainians. Resistance to the communist regime continued in the following decades. It resonated in the outcomes of the All-Ukrainian referendum of 1991, in which more than 90% of Ukrainians supported the independence of their Homeland.

At the moment, the Holodomor of 1932-1933 was recognized as a genocide of Ukrainian people in 16 states: Australia, Canada, Colombia, Georgia, Ecuador, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, USA and Vatican. Moreover, the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine was recognized as an act of genocide at the regional and municipal levels in Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. The world understands, condemns and solidifies with the Ukrainian people.

  Ambassador of Ukraine to the Republic of Azerbaijan, Vladyslav Kanevskyi

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