Ukrainian World Congress statement on the 85th anniversary of the Holodomor
Ukraine remembers – the World acknowledges
On 24 November 2018, Ukrainians around the world will commemorate the 85th anniversary of the Holodomor – the Genocide of the Ukrainian people, remembering the past in the hope that greater awareness will contribute to a brighter future.
The Holodomor claimed millions of lives in Ukraine and was one element of the genocidal assault by the communist regime to destroy the Ukrainian nation. An independent Ukraine would have limited the Soviet Union’s geo-strategic aims to be a Eurasian empire. To force the insubordinate Ukraine to remain in the Soviet fold, the Stalinist communist regime launched attacks on the Ukrainian Church, and the Ukrainian national, cultural and political elites, while against the socioeconomic fabric of the nation – the grain growers of the Ukrainian countryside – it engineered a man-made famine.
A similar fear drives President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin today as, in addition to military arsenal, he uses the tools of disinformation, denial and obfuscation as weapons in the Russian Federation’s hybrid aggression against Ukraine, once again forced to defend its independence and territorial integrity.
This year over 85 days, in a demonstrative show of unity and solidarity, a candle of remembrance was lit daily in a different part of the world with the goals of raising awareness and strengthening resolve. The international action “Light a candle of remembrance” began in Ukraine, travelled through countries of the diaspora, and will conclude on 24 November 2018 in Kyiv during the state commemoration of the anniversary at the National Museum “Holodomor Victims Memorial.”
As a poignant reminder of the resulting paralysis of a nation, this international action was dedicated to the children whose dreams and aspirations were so suddenly and brutally interrupted.
Timothy Snyder wrote in his book On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, “History does not repeat but it does instruct.”
The international community must heed the lessons of history for the sake of freedom, peace and global security. To protect our common values of democracy, fundamental freedoms and basic human rights, we must act with determination, sharing the story of the past and its similarities to the present.
A better understanding of the past will drive the courage to defend the truth and recognize the Holodomor as genocide of the Ukrainian people at every level of government and the United Nations.
The UWC is grateful to all survivors of the Holodomor who have bravely shared their stories to help the world understand. The UWC appeals to all descendants of victims of the Holodomor to become the voice of family members who can no longer speak for themselves. Together, we must share the story that will both strengthen a nation and brighten the beacon of hope for all peoples who remain oppressed and constantly vigilant of the fragility of freedom.
On Saturday, 24 November 2018, International Holodomor Memorial Day, let us remember every child and woman and man that senselessly perished during this genocide:
- Pause for a moment of silence and prayer at 19:32 local time.
- Light a candle of remembrance in your home.
- Participate in commemorative events and memorial services in your local community.
May our memory of the victims of the Holodomor remain eternal.