U.S. remembers the Ukrainian victims of the Holodomor

The United States joins Ukrainians around the world in marking the 85th anniversary of the Holodomor, when millions of innocent Ukrainians were deliberately starved to death by the Soviet Union regime of Josef Stalin in 1932–1933.

Person holding framed black-and-white portrait photo of family (© Gleb Garanich/Reuters)
A woman holds a picture of her relatives during a remembrance ceremony for Holodomor victims in Kiev in November 2011. (© Gleb Garanich/Reuters)

“This catastrophic, man-made famine was one of the most atrocious acts of the 20th century and a brutal reminder of the crimes of communism,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said.

The Soviets seized the land and crops of Ukrainian farmers, causing widespread famine.

Today, Nauert said, “Ukrainians are once again dying as a result of Russia’s attempts to destroy the identity and Western aspirations of the people of Ukraine.”

People gathered in large city square with some carrying photos and coffin in procession (© Sergei Chuzavkov/AP Images)
Ukrainian soldiers carry the coffins of Ukrainian servicemen killed in eastern Ukraine. The ceremony was held in Independence Square in Kiev in February 2017. (© Sergei Chuzavkov/AP Images)

Russia’s ongoing aggression in eastern Ukraine has resulted in over 10,000 Ukrainian deaths and displaced 1.5 million Ukrainians. Russia also invaded and attempted to annex Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014 in clear violation of international law, eliciting worldwide condemnation.

“As we remember the Holodomor’s millions of innocent victims,” Nauert said, “we reaffirm our unwavering support for Ukraine’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the Ukrainian people’s right to chart their own course.”