The Great Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor)

UWC received an incomprehensible letter from Kyiv Mayor Omelchenko  Information Service (ARTUIS)
Kyiv, Ukraine, May 19, 2003


Kyiv, Ukraine, May 19, 2003-----The Ukrainian World Congress's (UWC) initiative to erect a memorial/monument to the Great Famine in Kyiv received much reaction. Almost immediately thereafter, President Kuchma issued a decree that the Ukrainian state would erect a memorial, including a monument and entrusted this task to the Ministry of Culture, according to the May 2003 newsletter issued by the Ukrainian World Congress in New York and Toronto.

UWC representatives met with Kyiv's City Council in October 2002 and received oral assurances that three locations would be designated in the centre of Kyiv for the diaspora project.

Additionally UWC representatives met with the Ministry of Culture in February 2003 to inquire whether the diaspora could join the memorial project by erecting a monument at its expense. No response has been received from the Ministry of Culture, the UWC May 2003 newsletter said.

Finally in March 2003, the UWC newsletter reported, the UWC received an "incomprehensible letter from Mayor Omelchenko" (in Ukrainian), and "at this juncture the UWC is uncertain of the status of this project nor of the UWC's role in it."

The letter from Kyiv Mayor Omelchenko, in Ukrainian, was made public by the UWC with their newsletter. The Omelchenko letter as translated into English by the  Information Service (ARTUIS) in Kyiv, is as follows:

Vul. Khreshchatyk, 36, Kyiv, 01044;
tel.(044) 221-2255, fax. 229-8928

February 18, 2003. #001-113

To The President of Ukrainians World Congress
A. Lozynsky

Respected Mr. Askold!

Your letter regarding erecting the monument to the victims of famine 1932-1933 was considered by the Kyiv City State Administration.

We inform you that in accordance with the Instruction of the President of Ukraine from December 6, 2002 #393/2002-rp "On Additional Measures Regarding the 70th Anniversary of Famine in Ukraine" and with the purpose of commemorating the Victims of Famine in Ukraine a monument to the victims of famine and political repressions has to be erected in the city of Kyiv.

To ensure a high artistic level of the memorial, the Ministry of Culture and Art of Ukraine and the Kyiv City State Administration will conduct a competition to determine the best sketch of the memorial. After conducting of such competition and selecting the best sketch the project's blueprint will be developed, and the construction costs determined.

There are several option as for the memorial's location offered: the territory of the State Historical and Memorial Reserve on the corner of Dorohozhytska and Simyi Khokhlovykh streets, and also Solomyanska Square.

The final location of the memorial mentioned will be determined by the commission including members of parliament, representatives of the Ministry of Culture and Arts of Ukraine, and the Kyiv City State Administration.

With respect,

The Head O. Omelchenko"

The UWC indicated they will continue to monitor the situation to see what action would be appropriate for them in the future regarding the Kyiv famine memorial project they organized in the fall of 2002 though as they stated in their May 2003 Newsletter the situation at this time is very uncertain.