12:17 Dec. 2, 2016
A Labour MP has urged the Government to formally recognise the Kremlin-committed "forced famine" in Ukraine as an act of genocide.
Rupa Huq, who represents Ealing Central and Acton, raised the question of officially recognizing Stalin's "forced famine" in Ukraine, which caused death to millions, as an act of genocide by British Government, BBC Ukraine reports.
Huq told the Commons: "It's an atrocity that was exposed by British journalists yet the British government still fails to acknowledge this as genocide. Could we have an urgent statement on why we haven't followed other countries in doing this? These people feel swept under the carpet and they need our solidarity, they are under attack again."
Commons Leader David Lidington replied: "The principle that the Government follows, I think you know, is that we believe that the term genocide, because in these days it carries certain potentially criminal implications in respect of those alleged to have carried out genocidal acts, these are decisions that should be made by judges rather than by governments but that should not diminish in any way our sense of horror at what happened in Ukraine during the 1930s. We are right to remember the horror that took place then and do all in our power to try to make sure through our foreign policy that such events never happen again."
Earlier, on Nov. 26, Rupa Huq attended a church service at the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Acton to mourn the deaths of up to ten million people in 1932-33.
Experts say Josef Stalin, Soviet Russia's leader at the time, purposely starved the Ukrainians to suppress increasing desires for independence. More than ten countries including Ukraine formally recognise the USSR's actions as a genocide.