Monthly Archives: November 2008

AUR#917 Nov 22 Ukraine Remembers, The World Recognizes, Holodomor 1932-1933, 75th Commemoration; Russian Pres Refuses To Attend

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In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion, Economics,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World    
“I call upon all who are not indifferent to the feelings of mercy,
compassion and justice, who crave the victory of good over evil,
to light up their own candles of remembrance and to join us in
honoring the victims of the Holodomor.” President Yushchenko
Mr. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
Victor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine, Official Website, Kyiv, Ukraine, Fri, Nov 21, 2008
Aegis Trust, Laxton, Newark, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom, Sat, Nov 22, 2008
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008 
Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008 
Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008
Private Showing on Sunday, November 23, at the Ukrainian House in Kyiv
Action Ukraine Report, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008


Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008
Oleh Oliynyk, Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, November 19, 2008 
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008
By Oleksandr Skrypnyk, spokesman of the Ukrainian Foreign Intelligence Service
The Day Weekly Digest in English #35, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, November 11, 2008


By Dr. Yuri Shapoval, Ph.D. (History), The Day Weekly Digest in English #35
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 11 November 2008 
Will not participate in activities surrounding 75th commemoration of Holodomor
President of Russia, Official Web Portal, Moscow, Russia, Friday, November 14, 2008
Matvey Ganapolskiy, Political Commentator, Ekho Moskvy
Ekho Moskvy radio, Moscow, Russia, in Russian, Friday, 14 Nov 08
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, In English, Friday, November 14, 2008 
Reuters, Moscow, Russia, Friday, November 14, 2008
UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, November 20, 2008
UNIAN News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, November 19, 2008 
Russian government pays little attention to the 1930s famine & Soviet political repressions in general,
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago, Illinois, Sat, Nov 22, 2008
Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008 
Victor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine, Official Website, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008
KYIV – I address you with regard to the 75th Anniversary of the most tragic incident in the history of the Ukrainian nation – the Holodomor of 1932-33.
It took decades for the truth about this genocide deliberately perpetrated by Stalin’s regime on fertile Ukrainian land to make its way to the public.
I want to express my deepest appreciation to all who refused to be silent during these years when fear bound down Ukraine under Soviet regime, when the rest of the world preferred to remain complacently ignorant about one of the gravest crimes against humanity.
Only after cutting the fetters of the communist totalitarianism, independent Ukraine was able to claim out loud that in the far 1930s an attempt was made on the life of the entire nation.
Nowadays, the truth about the Holodomor has been made public. It is no longer possible to hush it up. The gloom of 1932-33 Stalin’s night is fading away.
The Holodomor has been already recognized as crime and condemned by many countries and international organizations, regional governments and parliaments, municipal councils all over the world.
I extend my deep respect and gratitude for this manifestation of humanism and solidarity with millions of innocent victims of genocide.
International support sustains our belief that historical justice will be restored, and it strengthens our will to ensure its full assertion. The global community ought to be aware that it will be impossible to prevent future crimes against humanity unless past crimes are condemned.
We do not talk about what could have been done 75 years ago if the world had known the entire truth. We raise our voice about what ought to be done today in order to honor those who perished and those who managed to survive in the hell of the Holodomor.
Millions of candles lighted by Ukrainians on November 22 in Kyiv in memory of fellow countrymen tortured with hunger will merge with the flame of the “Holodomor Torch” that traveled 33 countries and all Ukrainian regions absorbing the fire of many human hearts from different countries and peoples.
I call upon all who are not indifferent to the feelings of mercy, compassion and justice, who crave the victory of good over evil, to light up their own candles of remembrance and to join us in honoring the victims of the Holodomor.
Ukraine remembers ! The World acknowledges !
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Aegis Trust, Laxton, Newark, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom, Sat, Nov 22, 2008
UNITED KINGDOM – Today is the official day of remembrance marking the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor, the Soviet-made famine which caused the deaths of an estimated four to six million Ukrainians in the period 1932-1933.   The Aegis Trust joins with the survivors and the people of Ukraine in mourning the men, women and children whose lives were cruelly taken from them.

The Holodomor involved Soviet confiscation of grain and other foodstuffs from most of rural Ukraine, combined with border closures which prevented the starving from fleeing to find food and stopped international aid from reaching them.

In 1933, the lawyer Raphael Lemkin urged the League of Nations to recognize such mass atrocities against a particular group as an international crime. He was ignored. A few years later, the Nazi regime murdered six million Jews, including Lemkin’s own family.

In 1943, Lemkin created a new word to describe such mass killing. He combined the Greek and Latin words, ‘geno’ (race or tribe) and ‘cide’ (killing). He proposed the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, approved in 1948.

According to the Convention:

Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

Killing members of the group;
Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

The first draft of the Convention included political groups as well as those defined by nationality, ethnicity, race or religion, but following objections from the Soviet Union and several other countries, political groups were left out.

It is argued that motivation for Soviet policy to bring about mass starvation in the Ukraine was the destruction of Ukrainian nationalism. However, whatever the motivation in targeting them, the victims were defined by their Ukrainian ethnic identity.  The Soviet regime succeeded in its intention to inflict on the group conditions calculated to bring about massive physical destruction. This falls within the definition of genocide provided by the UN Genocide Convention.

Lemkin himself described the Holodomor as “perhaps the classic example of Soviet genocide, its longest and broadest experiment in Russification – the destruction of the Ukrainian nation.”

Regrettably, the debate over whether or not the Holodomor constitutes genocide often becomes overlaid with political considerations and continues to distract governments and policy makers around the world from simply honouring the memory of its victims – and from reflecting on the lessons it holds for a world in which genocide continues.

NOTE: The Aegis Trust is the leading UK-based international genocide prevention organization. Based at the UK Holocaust Centre, it coordinates the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Genocide Prevention and is responsible for the Kigali Memorial Centre in Rwanda. Aegis is at the forefront of the international campaign to end the Darfur crisis. For more information, contact David Brown in the media office at the Aegis Trust on +44 (0)7921 471985, email:, link:

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008 
KYIV – On Saturday, November 22, Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko will open the first stage of the memorial complex to victims of famines in Kyiv in 15A Ivan Mazepa Street, presidential press service informed.
In particular, at 2:55 p.m., Yuschenko together with the invited heads of foreign states will take part in the ceremony of planting bushes of arrowwood, then they will participate in consecration of the memorial and the ceremony of laying candles to the memorial sign on the 75th anniversary of 1932-33 Holodomor.
On Friday Vice Prime Minister for Humanitarian Issues Ivan Vasiunyk has introduced the memorial to journalists. In his words, UAH 133 million were disbursed from the national budget for construction of the memorial first stage. “Works in this first part [of the memorial complex] cost a bit more than UAH 133 million,” he said.
Preparatory work is being finished at the memorial now. The main element of the monument is a candle-like column with a hall of memory in the base.
Slabs (“black boards”) are mounted on the Dnieper hillsides in front of the symbolic candle.
As to Vasiunyk, names of some 14,000 settlements in Ukraine, who suffered from the 1932-33 hunger, are carved on these slabs. As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Ukraine is marking the 75th anniversary of 1932-33 Holodomor. Six presidents are expected to arrive to Ukraine for commemorating the Holodomor anniversary.
The Cabinet of Ministers allocated in October UAH 60 million to the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory to complete the construction of the first stage of the memorial to victims of famines.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008 

KYIV – An outstanding film director, Serhiy Bukovsky, who shot around 50 documentaries and television films over 25 years, presented the premiere of his new historical and documentary film entitled “The Alive,” at Cinema House in Kyiv on Friday, ahead of the day of commemoration for the victims of the Famine of 1932-1933.

Bukovsky said that he had worked on the film for nearly a year. Before shooting the film, he carried out a substantial research work during which he polled several hundred witnesses of the Holodomor in various regions in Ukraine. Apart from the search of famine witnesses, a film crew conducted a great deal of work in the archives of Ukraine, Poland, Russia, Italy, and Wales.
NOTE:  Your AUR editor attended the premiere of “The Alive” on Friday evening at the Ukrainian House in Kyiv. This is a major, important and outstanding film you will want to see.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC):
Promoting U.S.-Ukraine business relations & investment since 1995.
Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008

KYIV – Up to 40 official delegations that will take part in an international forum in Ukraine on November 22 will demonstrate that the whole of the world community is ready to pay homage to the victims of the Great Famine of 1932-33, Ukraine’s acting First Deputy Foreign Minister Yuriy Kostenko told a briefing on Friday.

It is crucial that “friend-countries that realize the importance of this event” will be with Ukraine as it pays its respects to the victims of the Holodomor, he said. “We will pay homage to millions of Ukrainians. We will address the coming generation. We will say that such crimes must not be committed on this planet,” Kostenko said.
Delegations from various countries will spend more than one day in Ukraine, the acting first deputy foreign minister said. They will also attend an unveiling ceremony for a monument commemorating Holodomor victims and take part in a forum, during which a declaration will be made public calling on people across the globe to pay their respects to the victims of the 1932-33 Holodomor.
“It will demonstrate countries’ respect and their understanding of the nature of the Holodomor. It will also draw everyone’s attention to the fact that such crimes must never take place,” Kostenko said. “We are expecting nearly 200 people,” he added.
NOTE:  Your AUR editor will attend the international forum on Saturday in Kyiv as a representative of the International Holodomor Committee (IHC) of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC).
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Private Showing on Sunday, November 23, at the Ukrainian House in Kyiv
Action Ukraine Report, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008

KYIV – On behalf of the 75th Commemoration of the Holodomor: induced starvation, death for millions, genocide, 1932-1933, the Exhibition

subcommittee of the International Holodomor Committee (IHC) of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) invites you to attend a private showing of the
‘HOLODOMOR: THROUGH THE EYES OF UKRAINIAN ARTISTS” EXHIBITION at the Ukrainian House in Kyiv, Ukraine on Sunday, November 23rd
Third Floor, from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The “Holodomor: Through The Eyes of Ukrainian Artists” exhibition at the Ukrainian House in Kyiv consists of over 250 original artworks by outstanding Ukrainian artists which show in a very moving, compelling and visual way all aspects of this tragedy against the Ukrainian people. Several of the artists will be at the private showing on Sunday. 

The exhibition consists of artworks assembled in a collection over the past 12 years in Ukraine and is the largest exhibition of artworks ever held about the Holodomor.  The collection was founded in 1997 by Morgan Williams who now serves as trustee. The artists exhibition opened in the Ukrainian House on Tuesday, November 18th and will close on Sunday, November 30th. 

There are several other Holodomor historical, informational and dramatic exhibitions now at the Ukrainian House including those from the Ukrainian Institute of Memory, Ukraine 3000 Foundation, Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Ukrainian State Archives, and the Ministry of Culture.  All of the exhibitions together comprise the largest exhibition ever held to commemorate the millions of victims of the Holodomor and to remind one about the political system and the government leaders that caused millions to die….and nobody wanted to die.

The Exhibition Subcommittee of the International Holodomor Committee (IHC) issues you this special invitation to attend the private showing of the “Holodomor: Through The Eyes Of Ukrainian Artists” exhibition at the Ukrainian House, Third Floor, 2 Khreshchatyk, in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Sunday, November 23rd, from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Please come and participate in the 75th Commemoration of the Holodomor, 1932-1933.

Donors to the “Holodomor: Through The Eyes of Ukrainian Artists” Collection and Exhibitions program since year 2000 have included the Bahriany Foundation, Michael and Natasha Bleyzer, Lydia Bodnar-Balahutrak, Dr. Zenia Chernyk, DAAR Foundation, Eugenia Dallas, Orest Deychakiwsky, Yuri Deychakiwsky, David Holpert, Kyiv-Atlantic Ukraine, ODUM-Minneapolis, Michael Sarkesian, SigmaBleyzer, David and Tamara Sweere, John Swift, Swift Foundation, Ukrainian Federation of America (UFA), Ukrainian Ministry of Culture, Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, Bohdan Vitvitsky, Morgan Williams, WJ Agricultural Group, Alex and Helen Woskob, and The Woskob Foundation.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008

KYIV – The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and Polish Institute of National Remembrance have presented a book of archive documents on the Holodomor Famine in Ukraine in 1932-1933, according to the head of the SBU Special State Archive Department, Volodymyr Viatrovych.

The book includes more than 200 documents from the SBU state archive, and also the central military archive in Warsaw, the regional archives of Soviet security organs, the Polish intelligence service, and materials from Japanese and Italian diplomats, the police and local administrations.
The book is the seventh volume of a joint Ukrainian-Polish project entitled: “Poland and Ukraine in the 1930s and 1940s of the 20th century. Unknown documents from the archives of the special services.”
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008

KYIV – Polish historian Jan Jacek Bruski has published records by Polish diplomats and Polish Intelligence Service on the Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine, which were found at the Central Military Archive in Krakow. The book entitled “The Holodomor of 1932-1933” will be soon on sale in Ukraine.
“The Polish documents have remained unstudied by historians for a long time.

However, they contain more information about the famine in Ukraine, than documents found in the West. The Polish intelligence service and Rzeczpospolita thoroughly monitored events that happened in Ukraine in the 1930s,” the historian said while presenting his book on Thursday.
Bruski said that two consulates in Kharkiv and Kyiv had monitored the famine. “Polish diplomats regularly sent their reports on the situation in Ukraine to Poland. They obtained most records during their trips across Ukraine, which they made under various pretexts. The book includes 236 yet unknown documents brightly illustrating the famine and its consequences,” he said.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Oleh Oliynyk, Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, November 19, 2008 

KYIV – In the early 30s of the 20th century Ukrainian population was supposed to go through some kind of Holodomor’s ghetto, director of special archives of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Serhiy Kokin told a press-conference.

He noted that the SBU was involved in inventory of documentary sources about this tragedy. According to Kokin, there are some documents proving premeditation of such situation and a particular system of measures which may be observed.
In particular, blocking of the Ukrainian territory – “we did not see similar documents regarding other republics”. “Why was Crimea supposed to be closed from Ukraine starting from February 1932.  We know what system of measures was adopted for closing borders with Poland and Romania in the west,” director of the special archives underscored.
S. Kokin noted that starting from 1920s suppression of powerful rebel movement, suppression of peasantry as a basis of the national-liberation movement in Ukraine took place. In parallel, repressions against the Ukrainian intellectuals were held starting from figures of the Ukrainian Central Rada.
In 1926-1928, repressions were held both in cities against the Ukrainian intellectuals that represented interests of the Ukrainian peasantry and in the villages by dispossession of kulaks (prosperous peasants), collectivization of individual farms, state grain procurements.
However, according to Kokin, political repressions were efficient to some extent only. “After that the total repression against all people had to be implemented and then Stalin knowingly made repressions through Holodomor. The documents prove it,” director of the SBU special archives summarized.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008
KYIV – British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has expressed deep sympathy with the Ukrainian people in connection with the 75th anniversary of the Famine of 1932-1933 and said he hopes that memorial events around the world will be a worthy tribute to the victims of this tragedy, the Ukrainian Service of the BBC reported on Friday.
He expressed hope that memorial events would help avoid similar events in the future. The statement reads that the United Kingdom will continue to work top increase awareness about this terrible human tragedy.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, in turn, said that the Holodomor was a terrible tragedy for humanity, which cruelly killed millions of innocent victims in Ukraine and abroad. Events dedicated to the famine will be held at the UK Parliament in London on November 22. A memorial service will also be held at Westminster Abbey.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC)
Promoting U.S.-Ukraine business & investment relations since 1995. 
By Oleksandr SKRYPNYK, is spokesman of the Ukrainian Foreign Intelligence Service
The Day Weekly Digest in English #35, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, November 11, 2008

After searching for and studying documents of this country’s historical and cultural heritage, the departmental archive of Ukraine’s Foreign Intelligence Service (FIS) has just declassified materials that make it possible to open another, hitherto unknown, page about the 1932-1933 manmade famine in Ukraine.

These documents are part of a multivolume archival folder titled UNR Materials for 1932-1933, which gives a detailed account of the structure, objectives, forms and methods of operation, and top executives of the Ukrainian National Republic’s State Center in exile, including the intelligence service.
Of special importance are notes on the attempts of UNR intelligence agents to gather information on the famine in Ukraine in order to put this across to the European public and resist in some way the negative tendencies in their fatherland.
Although the found and declassified documents do not make a complete picture, they are new ample proof of this large-scale tragedy that struck the Ukrainian people. And the destiny of some patriotically-minded representatives of the diaspora, who tried hard to find the truth and were persecuted for this by the Soviet totalitarian system, is worthy of thorough research, reconsideration and honoring today.
The yellowish archival pages are full of secret information and reports on the arrests by Soviet counterintelligence of the emissaries who headed for Ukraine from Poland, Rumania and other countries on an intelligence mission as well as on the planting of Soviet agents and operatives in foreign emigre centers. Naturally, in the Soviet era some were considered spies, i.e., negative characters, and others were positive.
A today’s unbiased look at these matters makes us admit that the history of any intelligence service of those times should not be painted in black and white colors alone.
What can prove this is an almost 20-year-long history of the UNR intelligence which comprises romantic and utopian plans, as well as intentions to bring down the Soviet government and establish an independent Ukraine, the tragic and pessimistic realities caused by the necessity to be on the payroll of foreign secret services, obey their rules of the game and have to overcome internal disputes and contradictions.
The archival materials emphasize that, after the assassination of the chief otaman Symon Petliura in 1926, the UNR secret services were essentially reorganized. The key role was now played by Section 2, in charge of tactical, intelligence and counterintelligence activities of the UNR State Center(SC) in exile. The analytical document of Soviet Ukraine’s secret police “On the Structure, Activities and Top Executives of the ‘UNR Chief Staff'” gives a detailed account of this section’s organizational structure and operational areas.
It consisted of three components. The intelligence sector Nastup (Offensive) was in charge of gathering information on the overall situation in Ukraine; selection, training and planting agents, station chiefs and messengers. The counterintelligence sector, known as Oborona (Defense), dealt with preventing “communist agents” from penetrating into UNR organizations as well as with doing certain work inside the other émigré organizations, especially those whose political stand was diametrically opposed to that of the UNR.
The third sector, Studii (Studies), analyzed, studied and summed up information on the situation in the industry, agriculture, the financial and military fields, the Communist Party and executive bodies of Soviet Ukraine. This kind of analysis was made on the basis of open printed sources and the information gained by first sector operatives.
This was in turn the basis for reports to the General Staff of the UNR SC Ministry of War, leaflets and other propaganda literature which was illegally shipped to the Ukrainian SSR and spread among Ukrainian émigrés and at international forums.
The intelligence and counterintelligence service was especially effective when it was run by Ensign-General Vsevolod Zmienko (on photo). His name is mentioned in many documents — and deservedly so. In 1924, still in the period of the national liberation struggle, Zmienko, as an active resistant to Soviet power, was put on a list of political criminals wanted by the GPU (State Political Directorate, i.e., Soviet secret police).
The figure of Zmienko deserves a special scrutiny if we are to understand why he took so much to heart all the woes that befell his fatherland, especially a large-scale famine.
Vsevolod Zmienko was born in Odesa on Oct. 16, 1886. He graduated from the Kyiv Sergeant School and Nicholas General Staff Academy. He saw service in the Russian tsarist army during the First World War. Was awarded orders of St. Anna, St. Stanislav and St. Prince Vladimir, and St. George’s Weapon of Honor.
In the Central Rada and UNR Directory period, he held such offices in the Ukrainian Army as chief of staff of the 83rd Infantry Division, the Odesa Haidamaky Division and the 1st Division of Sich Riflemen, military commissar of Odesa, commanding officer of a number of large units of the South-Eastern Front, and many others. Zmienko was also on the UNR Army’s General Staff, where he was closely involved in intelligence.
As the UNR Army units were retreating to Poland, he found himself in an internment camp. He soon received a letter from a close fellow serviceman in his native Odesa. All his kinsfolk still stayed there: he had failed even to say goodbye to and had no news from them because they were also unaware of where to look for him.
He read that letter over and over again with a feeling of sorrow and desperation. His comrade wrote that his mother, wife and almost all the relatives had died of typhus in January 1922. Only three children survived: the four-year-old Halyna, the seven-year-old Oleh, and the 10-year-old Vsevolod. Zmienko knew only too well what typhus was, for he himself had contracted it in 1919.
The children were being brought up by Maria Riabinina-Sklarevska, his wife’s sister, whose husband, a general, had held various posts in the Ukrainian army in 1918-1920. They soon found an opportunity to send his daughter to him, but failed to do so in the last minute. Zmienko was then in dire straits: he was looking for a job, offering himself as a journalist or a teacher. They thought that it would be very hard for a little girl to live in such conditions.
The internment camp in Oleksandriv-Kuyavsky, in which there had been 1,500 soldiers of the White Army Gen. Nikolai Bredov, then hosted 2,500 Cossacks and almost 1,000 sergeants of the 6th Sich Division. A little later the camp received the Cossacks and sergeants of Yurko Tiutiunnyk’s 4th Kyiv Division and Oleksandr Udovychenko’s 3rd Iron Division. They quickly saw what it is to live in a crammed camp unsuited for winter.
After some time Polish repatriates helped smuggle his sons from the Soviet Union. The former managed to persuade Soviet bureaucrats that they were the boys’ relatives. After a long-awaited and emotional reunion, the father and the sons plunged into everyday hardships and frantic search for daily bread. It was not until some time later that Zmienko could live a more or less trouble-free life. All through his remaining lifetime, until his death in 1938, he was doing his utmost to help his impoverished compatriots.
It follows from the Soviet intelligence documents that in 1932-1933 the UNR government was aware of the famine in Ukraine, but there was no sufficient information about its extent and causes. It was therefore decided to gather as much information as possible on the situation in Ukraine.
The task was to activate spy networks, organize the dispatch of messengers across the border, and, what is more, find documentary evidence of the real state of affairs. This was necessary to draw the attention of the world public to the events in Ukraine and thus affect the USSR top party leadership.
One of the ways to do this was participation of the UNR intelligence in preparing the All-Ukrainian Congress. A special report of the USSR OGPU Foreign Department, dated Sept. 25, 1933, and titled “On the Projected Convocation of an All-Ukrainian Congress,” pointed out, “The idea of convening an All-Ukrainian Congress, put forward by the League of Ukrainian Journalists and Writers in Exile, continues to be heavily debated upon in Ukrainian imigre circles.
Supposedly, the congress will be widely discussing the question of ‘famine’ in Ukraine and of aiding the famine-stricken.” Another document cites plans to set up the so-called Lesser Bureau of Fast Information on Ukraine: “It is intended for this purpose to organize a group of field correspondents out of ethnic Ukrainians and Poles, who could make trips, both legal and illegal, to Ukraine.”
That the UNR intelligence used journalists as a disguise is proved by an excerpt from another document: “Zmienko was instructed to train two UNR intelligence agents who are supposed to make a journey to the USSR as part of a delegation of Polish journalists.” There were very few journeys of this kind in 1932-1933.
But when the British newspaper Manchester Guardian published a number of articles by its correspondent Malcolm Muggeridge on the famine in Ukraine, the VKP (b) Central Committee passed a resolution, “On the Trips of Foreign Correspondents across the USSR,” on February 23, 1933, which forbade journalists to visit certain territories.
Given this kind of restrictions and a strict cross-border and counterintelligence regime, the UNR intelligence service was forced to seek new ways of gathering information on the real state of affairs in Ukraine. A declassified reference note, “Operations of Foreign Ukrainian Intelligence and Insurgency Centers,” from a 1933 folder notes, “Zmienko has divided Ukraine into areas that roughly correspond to the old povits. There is a code for each area, as well as an encoded description of public, cooperative and other institutions and organizations.”
Judging by the below-quoted document which the Soviet security service must have seized from a courier who had arrived from abroad, the UNR intelligence drew up a set of certain questions that were sent to its agents. The answers to them were recorded in what may be called area passports. The document is titled “What the UNR Intelligence Is Interested In.”
Here are some of its items.
“1. Find out the way grain is being consigned, how much is being taken from a collective farm and from an private farmer, who takes over the grain, where it is stored, what measures are being taken with respect to the farmers who fail to consign grain, who issues receipts for the consigned grain, at what price it is being taken over, what is the percentage of grain consignment non-fulfillment in 1932.
2. On taxes. How much does a collective and a private farmer pay?
3. How is the autumnal sowing campaign going on? What and how much have the collective farms and private farmers sown, to what extent is the soil prepared for sowing?
4. How did the harvesting campaign come off? How much has been and is still to be threshed?
9. On cooperative trade. Prices of consumer goods and bread.
13. What kind of bread are collective and private farmers eating now? Get some samples of this bread.
14. Find out how many people have died of or otherwise suffered from starvation as of today.
15. The current mood of the populace. What is the attitude of Ukrainians to the Soviet power?”
If the results of that “sociological survey” were still available today, this would make it possible to give a much more detailed account of the situation in the Ukraine of that day. But this information must have been lost somewhere abroad. On the other hand, as far as Soviet archives are concerned, it was not the practice of those days to preserve any documents that confirmed the Holodomor.
On the contrary, every effort was made to conceal the truth. Therefore, the archival documents that have survived and are kept in the Departmental Archive of Ukraine’s Foreign Intelligence Service can spotlight just a few trends in the Communist Party’s rural policy at the time.
It follows from the documents that it was not easy even to gather open information in Ukraine. It even occurred that UNR intelligence agents could not get to some populated areas because these were blocked by police and security units. One could only guess about what was going on there. Also on the rise were instances when agents were apprehended because they had not been thoroughly trained to accomplish missions. So it was necessary to look for new people and new, unconventional, ways to penetrated into the territory of Ukraine.
It was especially difficult to work after the trial of Ukraine Liberation League members. Before that, agents had mostly used written communication, codes and cryptograms. Every station chief had his own recipe for making invisible ink. But then they had to abandon this form of communication because this was no longer a secret for Cheka operatives. Emphasis was now put on messengers and on recruiting Ukrainian re-emigrants who were returning, for some reason, to Ukraine.
Among the declassified documents are copies of the minutes of interrogations of Hryhorii Mam­chiy, which were held in 1932-1933 as part of the criminal proceedings instituted against him by the Soviet secret police. He was one of those whom the UNR intelligence tried to use as a collector of information about the situation in Ukraine.
Mamchiy arrived in Warsaw from Finland together with two Ukrainian comrades. They had all escaped from the Solovky prison camp. They met leaders of the UNR government and intelligence service, who asked them in detail about the circumstances of their trial, serving the sentence in the camp and escape, and helped them financially.
Mamchiy said that he had been sentenced in 1929 to four years’ imprisonment for some abuse of office, but he thinks it was a frame-up. He comes from the village of Khrystynivka, Cherkasy oblast, where his family still resides. He does not know what has happened to them. He heard that region is now famine-stricken.
Yet it is hard for him to imagine that a famine can strike the countryside, where the soil is so fertile and people are so industrious. During one of these conversations he said his friends and he were ready to offer their services for clandestine operations.
Some time later they were sent to the internment camp in Kalish. UNR intelligence officers provided them with normal living conditions there and began to train them for a special intelligence mission on the Soviet territory.
After the training, Hryhorii was sent to the place where the Kamianets-Podilsky border security unit was stationed. In July 1932 he crossed the border without any problems and headed for Uman, where he was to gather information on the situation in the Uman-Cherkasy-Mliiv area and, at the same time, to secretly see his family.
He carried 1,000 rubles, 2,000 leaflets, a revolver with cartridges, forged documents, and the address to send the information to. As it follows from the interrogation minutes, he had been instructed to write that the crop was good, while in fact it was bad, that the public mood was good, while in reality it was bad, that mushrooms are growing after the rain, which means that the soil is good and some insurgency cells have been organized, etc.
In Khrystynivka, Mamchiy met his old friends and acquaintances whom he could take into his confidence. We can read about one of such meetings with his fellow countryman in the interrogation minutes of Dec. 9, 1932.
He “painted the situation in the countryside in black colors, said that peasants were starving and there were even instances of famine-induced death. Taxes and grain consignment targets were too high, and all this has brought about a situation when peasants are almost openly showing hostility to the Soviet power.”
Finally, we can learn from other materials of this case that Mamchiy was arrested in the village of Yanove, when he was heading for Korosten, and then he and two more individuals involved in the Pryshelets (alien) “insurgency plot” were eliminated by Soviet secret police. That was the way the Soviet totalitarian systems suppressed those who tried to gather and put through the “iron curtain” the true information on the Ukraine famine.
Warsaw came to know about his destiny much later. Zmienko agonized over every loss of his men. He was very well aware that Soviet intelligence and counterintelligence units looked far stronger, more organized and all-embracing in this face-off.
He also knew that there were a lot of problems and drawbacks in the UNR intelligence service: for example, he took a dim view of some points related to the status and funding of the secret service. But he was doing his utmost so that, under any circumstances, the UNR intelligence could only deal with top-priority matters in line with the problems and interests of the Ukrainian nation.
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By Dr. Yuri SHAPOVAL, Ph.D. (History), The Day Weekly Digest in English #35
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 11 November 2008 

As promised, here is my story for The Day about the meeting of the Ukrainian-Russian historical commission. It took place on the Leninskie Gory (Lenin Hills), in the Institute of General History which is part of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Aleksandr Chubarian, a member of this academy and the head of the Russian delegation to our joint commission, said in his opening address that apart from its scholarly value, our work is also a contribution to understanding between our peoples.

The Russian president’s special representative Mikhail Shvydkoi concurred, adding that “A real future can be built only on the basis of the real past. The more responsible our approach to the history of our countries will be, the quicker we will reach understanding.”
In fact, an indicator of this approach was work on two books: Ocherki istorii Rossii (Outline of Russian History) written by our Russian colleagues and Narys istorii Ukrainy (Outline of Ukrainian History) penned by Ukrainian historians who belong to the joint commission.
The books were presented by Chubarian and Valerii Smolii, an academician of Ukraine’s National Academy of Sciences (NAN) and the head of the Ukrainian delegation to the joint commission. The Russian-language Outline was translated into Ukrainian and published by the Nika Center Publishing House in Kyiv in 2007. The Ukrainian-language Outline was translated into Russian and recently published by OLMA Media Group in Moscow.
What one notices immediately is the difference in size: the Russian book has 799 pages while the Ukrainian one, 1,069. Smolii drew the commission’s attention to the fact. One of the Russian historians offered a tongue-in-cheek explanation: this is probably because “Ukraine is such a big country.” In reality, the explanation is simple. Initially, our Russian colleagues were reluctant to cover events after August 1991, i.e., what happened in Russia after the Soviet Union collapsed. Aleksei K. Tolstoy once fittingly wrote in his rhymed history of the Russian state:
Sometimes stepping on slippery stones
Is a risky business,
So it’s best to keep silent
About what’s close to us …
However, it did not work — at one of the previous meetings in Kyiv there was a heated debate about the Russian historians’ maneuver and our colleagues promised to bring the text up to date. They did, although their [final] version has turned out to be rather sketchy (thus, only 2.5 pages are dedicated to Vladimir Putin’s presidency and the development of the Russian Federation since 1992 is squeezed into 18 pages). By way of comparison, the Ukrainian Outline covers the 1991-2008 period on 166 pages.
“It is very important to understand each other, maintain discussion, and compare each other’s views,” said Smolii. This is precisely what we did for two days. It was a professional debate dealing with various historical periods. In the end everyone agreed that we had created a good foundation for subsequent academic dialog. Dr. Aleksandr Shubin of Russia stressed: “The main thing is that neither book attempts to give rise to national animosity.”
Prof. Efim Pivovar, the rector of Russian Humanitarian University, recalled the first time he and his colleagues came to Kyiv to discuss Russian and Ukrainian [history] textbooks: “Many Moscow-based historians simply didn’t want any part of it. Now the situation is totally different, as is the atmosphere. I showed the Ukrainian [book] to my friends and fellow researchers. The overall response was positive and we are prepared to hold reading conferences for both publications.”
Viktor Mironenko, the head of the Ukrainian Research Center at the Russian Academy’s Institute of Europe and the editor in chief of the journal Sovremennaia Evropa, admits: “I have felt skeptical, but after the publication of these two books I highly value the works and cooperation of Russian and Ukrainian historians.”
Prof. Tatiana Tairova-Yakov­leva of St. Petersburg University, the author of a book about Ivan Mazepa published in the Russian series Zhyzn zamechatelnykh liudei (The Lives of Remarkable People), stressed the importance of the Outline written by Ukrainian historians and said that in Russia there is practically no literature on Ukraine: “An average Russian college student does not have knowledge of Ukraine, so for him — and for Russian teachers — this publication is an important event.”
Dr. Ivan Danilevsky, one of leaders of the Russian delegation to the joint commission, noted that “both books are in front of us and we can hear each other.” This aspect was also stressed by my colleagues from Kyiv, namely Dr. Stanislav Kulchytsky, Dr. Oleksandr Lysen­ko, Dr. Ruslan Pyrih, Dr. Vladyslav Verstiuk, and Dr. Olek­sandr Udod. We agreed with our Russian colleagues in that both publications provide impetus for further intensive debate, rather than mark the end of the scholarly quest.
For me, the most important thing was to realize that our work had been read (finally!) by authoritative Russian experts. It is very important to have your paper read and understood by your colleagues and make sure they are familiar with your standpoint (even if they disagree with it).
One of the Russian colleagues frankly admitted that he had been unaware of Ukraine’s own systematic approach to the distant and recent past, although he complained that the Ukrainian book exhibited “nationalization” of history and a noticeable degree of “ethnocentrism.” Anyway, for me it was further proof that our research efforts and our discussions badly need to be brought to the attention of our colleagues (in this case, in Russia) and effectively circulated outside Ukraine.
At a certain point during our debate I allowed myself to bring it closer to the ground, so to speak, and drew the audience’s attention to the fact that not everything in these books is nice and dandy, or accurate. Thus, we write about the Ukrainian Central Rada and Ukrainian revolution in detail, while the Russians mention the Rada just once, in the chapter entitled “Period of Half-Disin­teg­ra­tion.”
Russian historians emphasize that the famine in the early 1930s was not purposefully targeted against Ukraine: “Some resear­chers have suggested that Stalin consciously organized this famine to deal a blow to the Ukrainian peasantry, overcome its resistance to collectivization, or retaliate for its resistance during the civil war.
However, this thesis lacks evidence… Peasants of various nationalities suffered from starvation — the Stalinist regime pursued social goals.” I was surprised to learn that some 1,500,000 peopled died in Ukraine (contrary to statistics recognized by prestigious Russian historians), while two million perished in Kazakhstan.
In describing the Second World War (which Russian historians, of course, term “the Great Patriotic War”) and trying to be “political correct,” they go as far as avoiding any references to the Ukrainian na­tio­nal liberation movement, al­though they mention Andrey Vla­sov’s army.
Another amazing thing is the manner in which they describe the April 1986 Chornobyl tragedy. There is been so much written about its environmental and political consequences and the fact that it gave a strong impetus to the Ukrainian independence movement. However, the Russian Outline doesn’t mention any of this. Instead, the book says that in the conditions of Mik­hail Gorbachev’s “acceleration,” they encouraged “bold experiments.”
“One of them led to the disaster,” says the document, implying that Gorbachev and his liberalization were to blame. [Our Russian colleagues] seem to forget that the nuclear power station was built with violations of safety regulations which served as a prologue to the tragedy and was, essentially, a crime.
Speaking about the collapse of the USSR, the Russian historians insist that “the nationalistically minded intelligentsia gained control of mass media which resulted in massive pressure on the population in favor of withdrawing from the USSR.” And then they cite just one example: “On Dec. 1, 1991, during a referendum, 90 percent of Ukraine’s residents voted for secession from the USSR.” Apparently Ukraine is at fault here again, as if there had not been any separatist movements in the other former Soviet republics.
I could go on, but I guess you can already understand that we have quite a few things to debate with our Russian colleagues. In fact, we have worked out a plan for the debates. I hope that they will yield good results.
After the meeting in Moscow was over, I asked Dr. Stanislav Kulchytsky what stood out for him as the key point in this meeting. His reply was brief: “Contact.” I agreed. Contact is much better than another word that begins with a C-I mean confrontation.
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Will not participate in activities surrounding 75th commemoration of Holodomor

President of Russia, Official Web Portal, Moscow, Russia, Friday, November 14, 2008

Dear Viktor Andreyevich,

In response to your messages concerning the so-called Holodomor as well as the steps taken by the Ukrainian leadership on the issue, I consider it necessary to elaborate on our views of and approaches to the issues at hand.

I would immediately note the following. We clearly see that in recent years this topic combined with persistent attempts to receive a NATO «membership action plan», have become a central element of Ukrainian foreign policy. We also note the intention of the political elite and leadership of Ukraine to use this issue as a “test for patriotism and loyalty”.

In your messages, you call for “removing the ideological layers from history”. Naturally, I share this approach. But at the same time I propose that we be absolutely consistent and guided by the principle of fair, honest and non-partisan treatment of historical heritage.

In connection with this, I am forced to point out that, in our opinion, the tragic events of the early 1930s in Ukraine are being used to achieve immediate short-term political goals. In this regard, the thesis on the “centrally planned genocidal famine of Ukrainians” is being gravely manipulated. As a result, including thanks to your personal efforts, this interpretation has even received legislative support. In particular, I am referring to the law passed on 28 November 2006 by the Verkhovnaya Rada [Ukrainian parliament] that you signed, which states that “the famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine was a genocide
against the Ukrainian people”.

I would also mention your initiative to criminalize the denial of the events of the period as they are outlined in the law. Therefore without waiting for the results of a comprehensive study of the issue by competent experts, you imposed a single interpretation on this history. And dissenters are threatened with prosecution – just as they were in the totalitarian past. To put it mildly, according to this “one-sided logic” any citizen of Ukraine that claims that in addition to Ukrainians, Russians, Kazakhs and Belarusians died of starvation in the same period is, in your opinion, a criminal.

It is unlikely that such steps can be explained by the desire to restore historical justice or to honour the memory of the victims. These efforts rather seek to divide our peoples as much as possible, peoples united by many centuries of historical, cultural and spiritual ties, by special feelings of friendship and mutual trust.

The most difficult pages of our common history undoubtedly need to be fully explained. But this is only possible on the basis of objective professional studies. However, we see that those who push through the thesis of «Holodomor-genocide» are not in the least interested in historical accuracy. Various manipulations and distortions are occurring, data on the actual number of deaths are being falsified. Representatives of the Ukrainian authorities are making public statements that contribute to distorting the picture.

Thus in an interview in November 2007 you refer to census data from 1929 and 1979 to argue that Ukrainians were the only nation whose population was halved during this period, and declined from 81 million to 42 million. Yet according to the All-Union census which, incidentally, was not held in 1929 but in 1926, the total number of Ukrainians in the USSR, including residents of the western areas, was about 30 million.

We are open for discussion and don’t want academics to take on political “attitudes”. In our country the theme of the famine of 1932-1933 – as well as other difficult historical questions – can be discussed freely, without fear of becoming an “enemy of the nation”. Russia has long ago destroyed the “Iron Curtain of silence” about which you write.

The famine in the Soviet Union in 1932-1933 was not aimed at the destruction of any one nation. It was the result of a drought, forced collectivization and de-kulakization [campaign of political repressions of the better-off peasants and their families] and affected the entire country, not only Ukraine. Millions of people in the middle and lower Volga regions, northern Caucasus, central Russia, southern Urals, western Siberia, Kazakhstan and Belarus died.

We do not condone the repression carried out by the Stalinist regime against the entire Soviet people. But to say that it was aimed at the destruction of Ukrainians means going against the facts and trying to give a nationalist subtext to a common tragedy. As to referring to “qualitative differences” between the famine in Ukraine and that in Russia and other regions of the USSR, it is, in our view, merely cynical and immoral.

I would note that the decisions taken about collectivization were made by the multinational leadership of the Soviet Union and the Soviet republics, while the policy of enforced food requisition was carried out in the Ukrainian Republic by predominantly Ukrainian personnel. The latter both zealously acting on instructions from the centre as well as often making “counterplans”, including reprisals against their brothers, Ukrainians themselves.

Historical truth demands that we adopt a responsible approach. But attempts to resort to the “national factor” are unfair to the memory of the victims, not to mention the questionable legal basis of such claims.

With regard to steps taken by the Ukrainian side in international organizations to “ascertain the nature and ensure the condemnation of such crimes” I would note that the UN and UNESCO have already expressed themselves on this subject. The 2007 UNESCO General Conference paid tribute to the millions of deaths from starvation in the 1930s regardless of the victims’ nationality and refused to recognize this tragedy as a “genocide of the Ukrainian people”.

And at the 58th UN General Assembly most of the CIS member states including Russia, Ukraine and many other nations issued a joint statement in which they expressed their deepest sympathy to millions of Russians, Ukrainians, Kazakhs and representatives of other nations, victims of starvation in USSR.

The statement refers to the events of the 1930s as a “tragedy”. I believe that further discussion of this topic in international organisations would not be beneficial and will not produce any results.

Therefore, as I have already said, we should focus on correcting a dangerous disparity which has arisen, whereby the slogan “condemnation of the genocide of Ukrainians” belittles the tragedy of other affected peoples of the former Soviet Union. I propose to begin work on a joint approach to these events. In doing so, it would be useful to involve experts from Kazakhstan, Belarus and other interested CIS countries.

Meanwhile, in the light of the above, I do not consider it possible to participate in the activities surrounding the 75th anniversary of the “Holodomor” in Ukraine.

For my part I would like to confirm my sincere desire to build a positive atmosphere of cooperation in the cultural and educational spheres, and to substantiate this cooperation with concrete actions that are understandable to our citizens and benefit the traditionally friendly relations between our countries and peoples.

Sincerely, Dmitry Medvedev.


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Matvey Ganapolskiy, Political Commentator, Ekho Moskvy
Ekho Moskvy radio, Moscow, Russia, in Russian, Friday, 14 Nov 08
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, In English, Friday, November 14, 2008 

In his commentary on the Russian president’s decision not to attend the events in Kiev dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the famine of 1932-1933, Matvey Ganapolskiy, political commentator of the Ekho Moskvy radio station, said:

“Yushchenko and Medvedev are worth each other. The first wants the victims of bloody maniac Stalin to be exclusively Ukrainians. In other words, he does not care a damn about the fact that everyone was dying from famine and that the very essence of the famine mechanism was not to eliminate someone but to eliminate all for the sake of the bright idea of world communism.

This has been proven a thousand times, but we know that any president for the benefit of his own country would not even stop at deceiving his own people. And since the benefit in question is immediate accession to NATO, the fairy-tale about exclusive Ukrainians still goes on.

“But Yushchenko has a spitting image. His name is Dmitriy Medvedev. He does not want to stand next to nationalist Yushchenko, so he writes a letter to him in which he explains how everything should be interpreted and understood. He does not go to the remembrance ceremony but teaches how the event should be remembered. It is reminiscent of his speech on the eve of Obama’s victory. The latter had not yet won the election but Moscow had already issued instructions.

“Anyway, Medvedev could have attended the ceremony in Kiev and the two countries may have reconciled. But the Putin-Medvedev duet is hiding in the bushes, waiting for these devil incarnates – Yushchenko and [Georgian President Mikheil] Saakashvili – to disappear. And now they will be waiting not for eight but 12 years.

“As we can see everyone plays their own game. And in this game everything is important, except the main thing, the wretched victims of Holodomor, whose memory is being buried in the lies of some and the political expediency of others.”

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REUTERS, Moscow, Russia, Friday, November 14, 2008

MOSCOW – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev accused Ukraine’s pro-Western leader yesterday of distorting history for political gain by commemorating a famine engineered by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

The dispute over next week’s anniversary of the 1932-33 famine is part of a long series of rows between the ex-Soviet neighbours over Kiev’s shift towards the West which includes seeking membership of NATO and the European Union.  Historians say about 7.5 million people died in the famine, intended to break the spirit of Ukraine’s independent farmers.

Ukrainian authorities, led by President Viktor Yushchenko, have sought to have the famine declared internationally a “genocide”. Russia denounces such an interpretation, saying the events at that time hit many ethnic groups in the Soviet Union.

“We clearly see that this theme, along with persistent attempts to secure an invitation to NATO’s ‘prep classes’ has in recent years all but become the main element of Ukrainian foreign policy,” Medvedev told the Ukrainian leader in a letter.

“Such steps can hardly be explained by a bid to restore historical justice or to honour the victims’ memory. They are more likely aimed at dividing our peoples as much as possible.”

Medvedev said the famine was “the consequence of drought and forced collectivisation…To suggest that the main aim was to destroy Ukrainians is to fly in the face of the facts and paint a general tragedy in nationalist tones.”

Russia has repeatedly been at odds with the pro-Western leaders swept to power by the 2004 “Orange Revolution” mass protests against election fraud.
Moscow is highly critical of moves by Ukraine and pro-Western Georgia to join NATO and said on Friday it would pull out of the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty if the two ex-Soviet states were placed on the path to membership.

The Kremlin was deeply angered by Yushchenko’s support for Georgia in the brief war pitting it against Russia in August. The foreign ministry in Moscow this week denounced a decision by Ukraine to halt the screening of a Russian film on the conflict.

Border demarcation disputes further divide the neighbours as does Ukraine’s intention to end in 2017 the presence of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in the Crimea peninsula. Several days of commemorations next week include a conference to be attended by regional leaders, the unveiling of a monument and a solemn procession to honour victims.

The famine, one of three to strike Ukraine last century, is particularly sensitive as it touched many regions in a country usually divided into a nationalist west and Russian-speaking east. Soviet authorities denied for years that it had occurred.

It was created by authorities setting impossibly high harvest quotas and requisitioning crops and livestock. Farmers were left to die in their own homes.
At its height, 25,000 people perished every day. Soldiers dumped bodies into pits and cannibalism became rife.  

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UkrInform – Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 14, 2008

KYIV – The leader of the Crimean Communists, radical and deputy of the Ukrainian Parliament Leonid Hrach supported Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s position who officially refused today from an invitation from Kyiv to participate in the events to perpetuate the memory of the Holodomor victims of 1932-33.

Hrach had repeatedly accused President Viktor Yushchenko of “falsification of historical facts of the Soviet period” and in a “cynically-refined Russophobian policy”.

The Parliamentary deputy from the CPU faction called memorial events on the Holodomor in Ukraine as a “Sabbath”. “Medvedev’s refusal is a signal to the Ukrainian society so that it looked attentively at its leaders, who lead it apparently not to right side, lead it to confrontation with Russia actually in all the spheres, turning it into a state ideology”, Hrach said.

As UKRINFORM earlier reported, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stated in an address to President Viktor Yushchenko that the famine in Ukraine in the early 1930ies has been used for reaching short-term political aims.  According to the Russian President, the Holodomor, alongside with the course towards NATO, is a part of Ukraine’s foreign policy.

Dmitry Medvedev once again confirmed the Russian position that rejects availability of genocide during the famine of 1932-1933.

Large-scale memorable events will take place in Ukraine on November 18-22, dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor 1932-1933, recognized by about 15 countries as genocide, participation of thirty foreign delegations is expected, including at the highest level.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (of the Moscow Patriarchy) recognized the Holodomor of 1932-33 as act of genocide at the Holy Synod over these days.

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By Marcus Franklin, Associated Press (AP), New York, NY, Friday,  November 14, 2008

NEW YORK – The New York Civil Liberties Union has demanded that city officials explain why they ordered a private art school to remove a banner displaying an image of Josef Stalin.

In a letter Thursday to the Department of Buildings, NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman expressed concern that the banner was taken down from The Cooper Union after some residents of the local Ukrainian community complained that it “seemed to promote” the Soviet dictator on the 75th anniversary of a famine he imposed. The famine, called the Holodomor, killed millions of Ukrainians.

The banner was part of an art exhibit, “Stalin by Picasso, or Portrait of Woman with Mustache.” Lene Berg, the artist who created the banner, said it was intended to provoke discussion about the relationship between art and politics.

The 52-foot-by-36-foot banner features a reproduction of a 1953 Pablo Picasso portrait of Stalin. At the time, the image was viewed as a critique of the Soviet leader.

But the Ukrainian community found it offensive, said Tamara Olexy, president of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America. “It’s like hanging a portrait of Hitler in a synagogue or in a Jewish community,” she said.

After receiving several complaints, the Department of Buildings investigated the banner’s legality and determined it violated construction and zoning regulations, the agency said Friday.

“We determined the sign was too high, too large, lacked a permit and blocked the building’s windows,” buildings spokeswoman Kate Lindquist wrote in an e-mail. “The department does not regulate sign content.”

But Lieberman said the NYCLU’s understanding was that the complaints were about the banner’s content, not its size. “The question remains as to whether the building code was enforced because of objections to the content. If so, that raises questions about censorship,” Lieberman said in a statement.

In a Nov. 13 letter to buildings department community affairs director Donald Ranshte, Lieberman said the banner’s removal would raise First Amendment concerns if regulations had been selectively enforced based on complaints about its content.

Buildings officials told the school Oct. 31 to remove the banner because it didn’t have a permit, Cooper Union spokeswoman Jolene Travis said Friday. The school immediately took down the banner, which had been put up on Oct. 26.

Cooper Union initially planned to apply for a permit to display the banner again, but not until after Nov. 15, when the Ukrainian community in the nearby East Village plans to hold events commemorating the famine, Travis said. But the school abandoned the effort after being told by buildings officials that banners can’t block windows because of fire hazards.

The banner controversy comes less than six months after a Roman Catholic watchdog group protested a Cooper Union student art exhibition that included what the group considered vulgar depictions of religious symbols such as a crucifix and a rosary. 

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UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, November 20, 2008
KYIV – The President of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko calls the refusal of Russian President to attend events on commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Ukrainian great famine a humiliation for millions of Ukrainian murder victims. According to the President`s press-office, he said this in an interview with El Pais newspaper (Spain).
Victor Yushchenko claimed he “does not have any big desire to comment” on the statement of his Russian counterpart, who shows “an inadequate attitude to the tragedy of the Ukrainian nation”, which could have been explained “with a historical misunderstanding”.
At the same time, the President of Ukraine stressed: “The President of Russia humiliates millions of people, who are dead as of today, those innocent murder victims, who did not hurt anybody”.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on November 14, D.Medvedev claimed that the Ukraine’s famine of 30s is used to achieve an immediate political aim, and refused to attend the events on commemoration of the Holodomor 75th anniversary.
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UNIAN News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, November 19, 2008 
KYIV – Leading representatives of the Ukrainian intelligentsia disagree with the position of Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev on Holodomor in Ukraine.
According to an UNIAN correspondent, Mykola Zhulynskiy, director of the Institute for Literature at the National Shevchenko University, claimed this to a press conference in UNIAN.
“Tomorrow the Ukrainian intelligentia will publicize its statement, in which we will express a categorical position, a categorical disagreement with the position voiced by Dmitriy Medvedev”, he said.
At the same time, M. Zhulynskiy stressed that, in his opinion, “the Russian President, as Russia considers itself the successor of USSR, could at least bow his head respectfully before memory of Holodomor victims, because they were citizens of USSR, and, by doing so, to show his friendly attitude to us”.
M. Zhulynskiy stressed that, among representatives of the Ukrainian intelligentsia, who will sign the statement to D.Medvedev, will be Ukrainian Intelligentsia Congress chairman Ivan Drach, academician Ivan Dzyuba, Borys Oliynyk, Nina Matviyenko, and others. M.Zhulynskiy invited other Ukrainian intellectuals to join the move.
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Russian government pays little attention to the 1930s famine & Soviet political repressions in general
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, November 19, 2008

MOSCOW – The attempts to portray the 1930s famine in the Soviet Union as genocide against the Ukrainian people are a gross distortion of historical facts and a ‘crime’, Russian ombudsman Vladimir Lukin told Interfax on Wednesday.

“The desire of Ukrainian nationalists to prove that Russians were killing Ukrainians is false. Clearly, this is an attempt to create some national buzz at the expense of the fraternal neighbor who also suffered from the Stalinist regime,” Lukin said.
“The 1930s famine was a grave crime by the Soviet authorities against their own Soviet people, not just Ukrainians. Talking like this and turning all these events inside out is also a crime,” the Russian ombudsman said. The famine of the 1930s affected Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and other parts of the Soviet Union, he said.
“Arguing with Ukrainian nationalists whether the famine did happen is terrible. Of course, it did. The totalitarian Soviet regime deliberately caused mass famine during peace, particularly, in the most developed agricultural areas. This is one of the most horrendous crimes of the Stalinist regime,” said the Russian ombudsman.
There is a lot of evidence from the Soviet period showing that, “this crime was not genocide or aimed against a particular ethnicity,” he said. “Among those who killed and those who were killed were Ukrainians, and Russians, and the people of other Soviet ethnicities,” Lukin said,
When asked why the Russian leaders are not going to attend the mourning ceremony in Ukraine on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor, Lukin said: “I would have commemorated this horrible famine with Ukrainian friends, were it not for this terrible political context.”
The Russian government is paying little attention to the 1930s famine and Soviet political repressions in general, he said. “There can be no positive progress without considering lessons from the past, and not just those that we like,” Lukin said.
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Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago, Illinois, Sat, Nov 22, 2008
CHICAGO – The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art respectfully invites you to the opening of the next exhibition: Holodomor Through the Eyes of a Child:
The Famine Remembered on Sunday, November 23rd from 12 to 4 p.m. A children’s program of music, readings and poetry to begin at 2:00 pm.

This exhibition reflects the FAMINE as interpreted through the heart and hand of over 300 young Ukrainian students. For more information please contact Luba Markewycz:

By Luba Markewycz, Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago, Illinois, Sat, Nov 22, 2008
Holodomor – death by hunger, death by starvation.  A most frightening concept.  Yet we assigned to schoolchildren the task of interpreting their
understanding of this horrendous period in our nation’s history.

It is difficult for me to write an introduction to this exhibit, not only because is it an exhibit of children’s art, but also because it was an experience and a journey, both for the children involved in the project – and for me.

This project was the result of efforts to find a unique way to commemorate Holodomor – the Famine of l932-1933. One of the best ways to honor the memory of all the lives lost and to keep it alive for generations to come is to show our children what happened, and what caused this genocide.

Children, students and young people speaking to each other and with their teachers about Holodomor learned about the past, so they could teach future generations and make certain that such an event would never again occur. Thus the journey began.

The journey took me to nine cities throughout Ukraine, to over twenty schools, which also included regional centers. I spoke to and met with hundreds of students, their teachers and school administrators. I asked children from grades seven through eleven to visualize and interpret their understanding of Holodomor.
What made the experience unique was that I, as a teacher, a Ukrainian from America, was asking teachers in Ukraine to work with their students on art work whose theme was the Ukrainian Holodomor. Teachers in schools willingly accepted the idea and promised that they would prepare lessons for their students, so that they could learn about and understand that part of history and begin the process of visualizing the event and recording their interpretation of it on paper. 
There were cities where juried children’s art shows where held with Holodomor as their theme. As the projects developed across Ukraine, students and teacher began to discover and delve deeper into the history of this most tragic aspect of Ukraine’s history and this event of worldwide significance. For them this was an enormous learning experience.

This exhibit is the culmination of this tremendous project, a testimonial to their ancestors who died during the tragedy of Holodomor by the children of the first generation born in Ukraine since its independence seventeen years ago.
In these works of art you can see the deep involvement of the students as they created their art and interpreted their understanding of the atrocities of death by hunger. They poured their minds, hearts and souls into each depiction of the tragedy as they understood it.

I bow my head with deep respect to all the teachers who prepared their students to achieve this body of work. I thank all the students for their efforts, which have met with great success. I fervently hope that the lessons they learned will be remembered by future generations.

Hospody pomylui.

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Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008 

KYIV – A collection of works by well-known American researcher of the Holodomor 1932-1933 James Mace “Your Dead Have Chosen Me…” has been  published in Ukraine. The book presentation took place within the frames of the events dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor.

The name to this book was taken from one of the most emotional articles by the historian and journalist who was the first among western researchers to seriously prove and publicly state that the Holodomor 1932-1933 was an act of genocide of the Ukrainian people.
A collection of Mace’s little known works have been gathered for the first time, where the reasons and trends have been analyzed that brought to this tragedy. Articles “Political Reasons of Holodomor in Ukraine (1932-1933), “Ukraine as Post-Genocide State”, “Wild Spirit of Shot down Renaissance”, “Great Experiment (about History of National Communism in Ukraine)” and others reveal political reasons of the Holodomor.
James Mace is a historian, political scientist and researcher of the Holodomor in Ukraine. In 1982, he stated at the international conference that the Holodomor has been organized by Stalin to exterminate the Ukrainians as a nation and Ukraine as a state and consequently is genocide of the Ukrainian people.
In 1986-1987, Mace headed a commission of researchers under the U.S. Congress that studied archive documents and collected testimonies of the people about the Holodomor. In 1993, Mace moved from the USA to Ukraine, lived and worked in Kyiv, lectured at the Kyiv Mohyla Academy, married the Ukrainian. He died on May 3, 2004, and was buried in Kyiv.
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