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European Parliament recognizes Ukraine Holodomor as genocide

December 15, 2022

The European Parliament passed a resolution that declared Holodomor — the starvation of millions of people in Ukraine in the 1930s under Soviet leader Joseph Stalin — a "genocide".

The Holodomor Genocide Memorial in Kyiv
A monument to a girl holding ears of corn in her hands near the Holodomor Genocide Memorial in KyivImage: Bryan Smith/ZUMA Press/picture alliance

The European Parliament on Thursday voted for a resolution declaring the deliberately induced famine in Ukraine 90 years ago a genocide.

The text of the resolution said the EU legislature "recognizes the Holodomor, the artificial famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine caused by a deliberate policy of the Soviet regime, as a genocide against the Ukrainian people."

EU lawmakers "strongly condemn these acts, which resulted in the deaths of millions of Ukrainians, and call on all countries and organizations that have not yet done so to follow suit and recognize it as genocide," the statement read.

"While condemning the current Russian regime for manipulating historical memory for the purpose of its own survival, Parliament calls on the Russian Federation, as the primary successor of the Soviet Union, to apologies for those crimes," the press release read.

International recognition of Holodomor

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked EU lawmakers for the recognition. "I hope for further recognition of the Holodomor as genocide by all civilized countries of the world,” he wrote on Twitter.

Kyiv has urged the international community to officially declare the starvation "genocide" as Ukraine confronts Moscow's modern-day aggression.

EU legislators also urged "all the countries and international organizations which have not yet recognized the Holodomor as a genocide to do so".

German parliament, the Bundestag, passed a resolution declaring the famine a genocide last month. More than 20 other countries around the world have already recognized the Holodomor as a genocide.

Holodomor survivor on ‘the worst war’

Dispute between Ukraine and Russia

The 1932-33 "Holodomor" — Ukrainian for "death by starvation" — is regarded by Kyiv as a deliberate act of genocide by Joseph Stalin's regime with the intention of wiping out the peasantry.

The vote in the European Parliament is likely to draw the wrath of Russia, where officials have increasingly sought to redeem Stalin's image under President Vladimir Putin.

Stalin's campaign of forced "collectivization" confiscated grain and other foodstuffs and left millions to starve. Moscow, however, dismisses Kyiv's account, placing the events in the broader context of famines that have devastated regions in Central Asia and Russia.

dh/msh (AFP, dpa)