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Friday, November 14, 2008

Russia dubs Holodomor commemorations "Ukraine's Great Famine stunt"

Wow. There's certainly little respect for the dead (specifically, Ukrainian dead) in Russian political circles, as illustrated by this article in the publication Russia Today.

[Russian president] Medvedev says it’s completely unreasonable for Kiev to describe Holodomar as a deliberate genocide against the Ukrainian people when a full and independent inquiry into the tragedy is yet to be carried out.

Well what, one may ask, have they been waiting for? It's been 75 years! But, interestingly enough, Moscow politicians haven't exactly been leading the charge for any inquiry into why, in the glory days of soviet communism, millions of Ukrainian food producers starved to death in a single year.

Much research actually has been done by many highly-credentialled and independent non-Ukrainian and non-Russian scholars and experts. The material is readily available for the use of this yet-to-be-formed inquiry and it would no doubt add some fullness to the records Moscow is still keeping under wraps.

For starters, they can send their independent inquirers to sites like this and this to start their quest for truth. Because, of course, for a full picture they would need to get all sides of the story, right?

Assuming, of course, they have any interest in any one else's side of the story.

Which may be debatable. Given that the successors (and would-be revivors?) of Russia's old gory glory days feel compelled to enter a public debate. This is the best they can do to rebut the experts:

Extreme drought and forced nationalisation of land and property are thought to be the main reasons behind the tragedy.

So there you go. Mix in a bit of truth (nationalisation of land and property) with total bunk ("extreme drought") for a 21st century stalin-era agit-prop remix.

Well, maybe that little teeny bit of truth is as much independence of thought as they can tolerate.

As for Ukrainians, after 75 years, there is no hope of anything like a Nuremburg trial ever bringing the perpetrators of this genocide to justice. They're all long dead. But after 75 years, you'd think at least the people alive today would stop the genocide denial.

What would it hurt to say "Vichnaya pamyat"? And/or maybe even "We're so sorry for your loss and will ensure nothing like that happens again"?

Yeah, well. Dream on, I guess.

Original article (and links to more like it) can be found here.

In the meantime, here's an independently-produced video with some links to resource sites... for inquiring minds genuinely interested in a full picture of this genocidal tragedy.


Ukemonde said...

This type of propaganda being spewed by Russia's so called president, might have had a bigger effect in the 1960's - 1970's. But we are living in a new era Dimitri, with new technologies and a new generation that does not fear you and your war mongers any longer. The truth is out there to behold, but you keep holding the line like a good communist and denying the fact that the communist regime under Joseph Stalin masterminded one of the most heinous crimes in history of mankind, by deliberately planning to starve to death over 10,000,000 people.

The wedge you are talking about was set in motion by your state, which can not come to terms that there no longer exists a Soviet Union. That Ukraine is a free independent country, and is courageous enough to look back into it's history and call a spade a spade. So, while Ukraine and Ukrainians around the world commemorate this tragic event HOLODOMOR, by coming to terms with this sad part of our history, you keep hiding behind your iron curtain and keep lying to your own people about this famine- genocide that was perpetrated by the Soviets, something you did so well before, and continue on with this tradition.

Vasyl Pawlowsky said...

Pawlina, it may have not been by mistake that you referred to the gory days of Russia.

In fact the powers that be in Moscow, continue to have influence in this part of the world, be it through their stance on Ukraine's will to be part of NATO or the European Union, or simply bitching about the availability of Russian TV in Ukraine.

It would be nice if they acknowledged that their predecessors were some pretty nasty people, but I think we need a few generations for that... Unfortunately!

Anonymous said...

Dear Pawlina, could you please let me know how we do celebrate the memorial day of Holodomor in G. Vancouver? In Edmonton it was an outstanding ceremony in City Hall every year. Yes, I am going to put a candle in my window. But what on community level?

Anonymous said...

And thak you Pawlina for inspiring me to write this

Pawlina said...

Roman, you said it so well.

But even in the highly unlikely events the one(s) you were speaking of (and to) read this blog, it's doubtful it would make any difference. I don't know what could melt such cold hearts. Maybe it just isn't possible.

Which is why the rest of us can't forget.

Pawlina said...

You're right, Vasyl. It was a freudian typo (if there is such a thing) but thought it fit so left there.

Anyway, I agree that it will take a long time for Russia to come to grips with its past, and deal with it honestly.

In the meantime, I suppose all we can do is keep trying to help them do so.

Pawlina said...

Stan, I'm delighted to have provided you with inspiration to write ... however inadvertently. :-)

As for Vancouver's Holodomor commemorations (I wouldn't use the word "celebration" in this context, altho I do know what you meant) ... there was a presentation last Saturday at St. Mary's Orthodox centre fearuring a video and survivor testimony. This coming Sunday there will be a panakhyda and program at St. Mary's Catholic centre in Vancouver.

FYI, you will find each week's upcoming community events announced on Nash Holos radio. They are also listed on the features page of the NH website.

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