Ukraine remembers Stalin-era famine as Russia war rages

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KYIV, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Ukraine on Saturday accused the Kremlin of reviving Josef Stalin’s “genocidal” tactics as Kiev commemorated a Soviet-era famine that killed millions of Ukrainians in the winter of 1932-33.

The day of remembrance for the “Holodomor” comes as Ukraine struggles to fend off invading Russian forces and deal with sweeping blackouts caused by airstrikes that Kiev says are aimed at breaking the public’s belligerence.

“Once they wanted to destroy us with hunger, now – with darkness and cold,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy wrote on Telegram. “We can’t be broken.”

The Holodomor, which can be loosely translated as “death by hunger”, has taken on an increasingly central role in Ukrainian collective memory since the 2014 Maidan revolution ousted a Russian-backed president and raised national consciousness.

In November 1932, Soviet leader Stalin sent police to seize all grain and livestock from newly collectivized Ukrainian farms, including the seed needed to plant the next crop.

Millions of Ukrainian peasants starved to death in the following months from what Yale University historian Timothy Snyder calls “clearly premeditated mass murder.”

“The Russians will pay for all the victims of the Holodomor and answer for today’s crimes,” Andriy Yermak, the head of the presidential administration, wrote on Telegram.

Russia has been attacking critical infrastructure across Ukraine in recent weeks in waves of airstrikes that have led to widespread power outages and killed civilians.

Millions of Ukrainians were still without power following new strikes this week, Zelenskiy said late Friday.

“Winter is already hard, and if everything continues in the same way, then it will be very similar to what we read in the history books,” Artem Antonenko, a 23-year-old marketing specialist, told Reuters in central Kiev.

The Kremlin has denied that its attacks, which have only inflamed Ukraine’s public anger, targeted civilians, but said on Thursday Kiev could “end the suffering” by complying with Russia’s demands to end the war. to solve.

In a statement on Saturday, Ukraine’s foreign ministry accused Moscow of reviving the tactics of the 1930s.

“On the 90th anniversary of the 1932-1933 Holodomor in Ukraine, the Russian genocidal offensive war pursues the same goal as during the 1932-1933 genocide: the elimination of the Ukrainian nation and its state,” it said.

Moscow denies that the deaths were caused by a deliberate genocidal policy and says Russians and other ethnic groups also suffered from the famine.

Ukrainians typically mark the Day of Remembrance, established after the country gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and falls on the fourth Saturday in November, by placing candles in their windows.

Pope Francis this week compared Russia’s war in Ukraine to what he called the “terrible genocide” of the Stalin era, saying Ukrainians now suffer the “martyrdom of aggression”.

GRAIN EXPORT

Kyiv’s foreign ministry also condemned Russia’s current attempts to weaponize food by undermining a UN-brokered agreement to unblock Ukraine’s grain exports through the Black Sea.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg echoed a similar sentiment on Saturday when he and several other European leaders addressed an international food security summit in Kyiv via videolink.

“Today Russia is using hunger as a weapon of war against Ukraine and to create division and further instability in the rest of the world,” he said.

Russia’s ambassador to Turkey said on Friday that Moscow is sending its representatives to more ship inspections in Istanbul per day than required under the Black Sea grain deal, dismissing a Ukrainian accusation that Russia is delaying the process.

Reporting by Dan Peleschuk Additional reporting by Yurii Kovalenko in Kiev and Alan Charlish in Warsaw Edited by Tom Balmforth and Frances Kerry

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Principles of Trust.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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