Ukrainian genocide: Ukraine pays tribute to Holodomor victims (photos)

11:55 Nov. 26, 2016

Ukraine pays tribute to Holodomor victims (photos)

Holodomor victims memorial in Kyiv (GettyImages Photo)

Millions of people died in first half of 20th century due to Communists' ruthless policy 

A somber Ukraine commemorates today, November 26, the victims of Holodomor or Terror-Famine, known in the country as the genocide of Ukrainian nation, committed by the Soviet Union.

Read also: Bitter Harvest: first trailer of film about Holodomor released (video)

Ukrainian history knows three Holodomors, which took place in 1921-1923, 1932-1933 and 1946-1947.

The exact number of victims is not clear. Historians say at least four million people, a whopping 13% of the population, died from the man-made starvation in 1932-1933, which is considered to be the biggest catastrophe of the three.

'Years 32-32 fractured us, but we didn't break', Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko said. 'We must fulfill our duty to millions of Ukrainians, tortured by the hunger to death, to preserve Ukraine, united, independent and sovereign'. 

Approximately 24 Ukrainians died every minute in the peak months of the famine in early 1930s, which emerged as a result of the forced collectivization of the USSR's agricultural sector as well as political repression of villagers.

The man in the Twitter image above is Mykola Onyschenko. He survived Holodomor when he was a kid, and at the age of 90 became an internally displaced person in Ukraine. 'Both happened because of Moscow', Poroshenko said. 

Ukrainian lawmakers officially recognized Holodomor as the genocide of the Ukrainians in 2006.

Read also: Visitors of Ukrainian library in Moscow wanted by police

Approximately 20 states, including Canada, Australia and Mexico and others, see Holodomor as genocide or a crime against humanity, done by Joseph Stalin.

Russia refuses to recognize Holodomor as genocide, saying it was part of wider famine in the Soviet Union.

Ceremonies, dedicated to the victims of the terror famine, are held in 32 countries.

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