The Great Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor)

Kyiv, Ukraine, May 19, 2003


Kyiv, Ukraine, May 19---The Parliament of Ukraine (RADA) declared the 1932-1933 famine in Ukraine "an act of genocide," a "deliberate terrorist act of the Stalinist political system," an as "one of the important factors for the gaining of Ukraine's Independence," and also stated, "Let us not forget the past in the name of the future!" in an important, historic resolution passed by the RADA on May 15, 2003.

The resolution passed with 226 members voting in favor, the minimum required for its adoption, out of the 410 members attending the session.

The resolution as passed by the Parliament of Ukraine is in Ukrainian. The following English translation of the resolution is by ArtUkraine Information Service in Kyiv, Ukraine:


Submitted by I. Spodarenko, Socialist Party of Ukraine Faction
Human Rights, National Minorities and Relations Between
Nationalities Committee, #3451-1
Verkhovna Rada, Kyiv, Ukraine, May 14, 2003

We, the participants in the special sitting of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, guided by the ideals of humanism and social justice, defending the rights of a human and a citizen from the position of Universal values, address the people of Ukraine, and Ukrainian citizens of all nationalities, on the year of a tragic date in our history, the 70th anniversary of the famine organized by Stalin's totalitarian regime.

The Ukrainian and International public are marking the 70th anniversary of the Ukrainian National catastrophe, when, perhaps for the first time in the history of humankind, food confiscation was used by the state as a weapon of the mass destruction of its own population for political reasons. The famine of 1932-1933, which was the inhuman means for the liquidation of millions of Ukrainians, is proof of the criminal nature of the regime at that time.

The cruel confiscation of the 1932 harvest, taking it out of Ukraine, the confiscation of all food products from every single peasant family, destruction of temples and sacred places, mass repressions of Ukrainian intelligentsia and clergymen, all of this was targeted to undermine the national spirit of Ukrainians, to root out its elite, and for the liquidation of the economic independence of peasants.

The total destruction of millions of Ukrainian bread-producers, by means of the artificial famine, was a deliberate terrorist act of the Stalinist political system. The social grounds of the Ukrainian nation and its centuries-old traditions were destroyed, its spiritual culture and unique ethical identity were undermined.

The tragedy of 1932-1933 famine in Ukraine, during many decades, was not just kept silent but officially denied by the top rulers of the USSR. Its reasons, character, mechanism of organization, and scale were carefully hidden not only from the international community, but also from several generations of our compatriots. But attempts to silence it forever and to bury in the course of history the truth about the famine of 1932-1933 all turned out to be in vain.

They have known since 1933 in the west and have written about this Catastrophe of Ukraine. In 1988 the U.S. Congress officially recognized the famine of 1932-1933 as genocide of the Ukrainian people. The International Jurists Commission did this also then.

As for the citizens of Ukraine, the truth about the events of 1932-1933 started to become available to them on the eve of the break up of the USSR. It was then when the official silencing of these tragic facts of history was first broken through.

Today, one can assuredly state that the first words of truth about the famine of 1932-1933 played a distinctive role in the national rebirth, and became one of the important factors for the gaining of Ukraine's Independence.

At the same time we consider that in the realities of an independent Ukraine it is the state that has to officially make public the horrifying truth about those years since the famine of 1932-1933 was deliberately organized by Stalin's regime and has to be publicly condemned by Ukrainian society and the international community as one of the largest, in number of victims, of any genocide in the history of the world.

We, the participants in the special sitting of the Verkhovna Rada on May 14, 2003, do that today, recognizing the famine of 1932-1933 the act of genocide of the Ukrainian people by the devilish plan of Stalin's regime.

We consider that the qualification of this Catastrophe of the Ukrainian nation as a genocide has a principal significance for stabilizing social and political relationships in Ukraine, is an important factor in re-establishing historical justice, in the moral healing of several generations from terrifying social stress, and serves as an irrefutable proof of the irreversibility of the democratization processes in our society, and as a severe warning to any attempts of establishing a new rule of dictatorship in Ukraine and ignoring the major right of a human --the right to live.

Having considered the issue of famine as of the act of genocide, during this special sitting of the Verkhovna Rada, we have fulfilled to some extent our citizen and patriotic duty to the memory of the millions of people and to the generation now growing up.

At the same time we are deeply certain that only after giving the official (on the highest state level, and on behalf of all the branches of power in Ukraine) appropriate political and legal assessment of the social Catastrophe that the famine of 1932-1933 was in the history of our State, and only after a worthy annual commemoration of its innumerable victims, and only after informing the world community of the fact of the famine as genocide against the people of Ukraine--only after all this can we call ourselves a wholesome civilized Nation.

Let us not forget the past in the name of the future!


[English translation by  Information Service]