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Ukraine mourns Holodomor victims

A minute of silence will be observed at 4 p.m.

Ukraine mourns Holodomor victims
Photo: EPA/UPG

Today Ukraine commemorates the victims of the Holodomor of 1932-1933 and other artificial mass famines of 1921-1923, 1946-1947.

The traditional Light a Candle campaign will be held at 4 p.m. Ukrainians are invited to join and light a candle in memory of the victims of the genocide. The website of the Institute of National Memory also reported that a national minute of silence will be observed at 4 p.m.

As a result of the Holodomor of 1932-1933, millions of Ukrainians died. Soviet leader Stalin resorted to total confiscation of food, blockade, and increased terror to organize the genocide.

The famine of 1932-1933 was not a consequence of drought or bad harvest, but was the result of a deliberate policy of the communist totalitarian regime. First, in 1932, the Soviet government set unrealistic grain supply plans for a new harvest in Ukraine. Then it approved punitive measures for "saboteurs". In October, a special group was sent to Ukraine to "strengthen grain procurement" headed by Vyacheslav Molotov. Another group headed by Lazar Kaganovich was sent to the North Caucasus, which was to focus mainly on the Ukrainian-populated Kuban.

Already in December, the authorities began to massively confiscate food from Ukrainians. Searches were conducted in the yards. People were threatened with death for hiding food. At the end of the month, under the cover of grain procurement, all grain stocks, even sowing material, were seized from Ukrainian villages. The authorities took away food, blocked villages and entire districts, banned people from leaving Ukraine, and stepped up repressions. In June 1933, the mortality rate of Ukrainians reached its peak.

The number of the Holodomor victims is estimated in millions. The Institute of National Memory notes that the terrible circumstances of the crime make it impossible to establish the exact number of deaths of innocent people caused by starvation, and an exhaustive list of names. In 2000, a joint group of scientists from the Mykhaylo Ptukha Institute of Demography and Social Relations of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and US universities concluded that the death toll caused by the Holodomor in Ukraine exceeded 3.9 million. The loss of the unborn is estimated at 0.6 million. Therefore, the total demographic losses as a result of the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine are estimated at 4.5 million human lives.

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