UCCA Statements

Re-counting “Holodomor” Losses

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The recent unveiling of the “Holodomor” Memorial in Washington DC was an important event in the history of the Ukrainian nation as a whole, as well as the Ukrainian diaspora. Naturally it renewed much discussion of this tragedy of the Ukrainian people which took place more than eighty years ago. Some of the discussion centered on issues of somewhat disproportionate significance. The Russians once again spread distractions insisting that this was not a genocide and made attempts to minimize the size of the tragedy.

The issue of whether this historical event was, in fact, a genocide of the Ukrainian people, however, has been resolutely determined. This in spite of Russian persistent propaganda and distraction and some international reluctance to recognize the genocidal nature of the “Holodomor” by appeasing governments. Among them, unfortunately and shamefully is the current administration of President Barrack Obama who refers in all annual proclamations since Mr. Obama took office to the “Holodomor” as a great tragedy, crime against humanity, etc. but not genocide. These proclamations instead of honoring the victims,  not only offend the Ukrainian living but disrespect the findings of a United States Congressional commission from the 1980's on the Ukraine famine as well as the U.S. Congress in session and the president of the United States in office in 2006.

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Statement on the Holodomor by Congressman Brendan Boyle

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In commemoration of the 82nd Anniversary of the Holodomor, Congressman Brendan Boyle from Pennsylvania delivered the following remarks on the House Floor on November 5, 2015.

 

Mr. Speaker, as we near the anniversary of the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide of 1932-1933, I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the victims, survivors and families of this tragedy.

During this time, nearly 10 million Ukrainians were killed under the direction of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin who ordered the borders of Ukraine sealed to prevent anyone from escaping the man-made starvation and prevent any international food aid from entering.

Grain harvests were deliberately confiscated so millions of innocent men, women and children starved all to destroy the nationally conscious movement for independence.

In 1985, the United States Commission on the Ukraine Famine formed to expand the world’s knowledge and understanding of the events of this genocide of 1932-1933. They found that the victims were “starved to death in a man-made famine” and that “Joseph Stalin and those around him committed genocide against Ukrainians in 1932-1933”.

And so, today I stand here in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, to remember the suffering experienced under Stalin. I am a proud representative of Pennsylvania’s 13th District where I have many Ukrainian constituents whom I would like to specifically acknowledge.

I commend the Congress when in 2006 legislation was enacted to authorize the construction of a memorial in the District of Columbia to honor the victims of the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide. Today, we can see the culmination of this effort with a meaningful memorial by Union Station that I visited earlier today.

Unfortunately, today many people have never heard of Holodomor, despite the 10 million that perished. I call for more efforts to be made like that of the Commission to educate the public on this issue, so everyone understands the events of this genocide. We must learn our history so we do not repeat the mistakes of our past. We must ensure this never happens again – especially at a time where Russia continues to show aggression in Ukraine.

 

Remembering Vasyl Stus

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Thirty years ago, the world lost one of Ukraine’s greatest literary talents and one of the most active and determined members of the Ukrainian dissident movement. After 23 years of inhumane Soviet imprisonment, renowned Ukrainian poet and publicist, Vasyl Stus, died in a Soviet gulag at the age of 47.

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UCCA's Annual Report to the Ukrainian World Congress

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This report is only available in the Ukrainian language.

On the 24th Year of Ukraine’s Independence

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August 24th marks the 24th anniversary of Ukraine’s renewed independence, when in 1991 Ukraine’s Parliament valiantly proclaimed an end to the nation’s bondage and announced the promise of a free and democratic Ukraine; a promise that for all Ukrainians became a driving force in our existence.

 

This day has enormous significance for Ukrainians as for centuries the nation remained under the oppressive rule of foreign regimes, most notably the Russian Czarist Empire and later, the Soviet Union.  The people of Ukraine endured cruel persecution, unspeakable hardships and garish attempts by the Russian czars and, later, the Soviets, to eradicate the nation of close to 50 million.  During the Holodomor – the Famine-Genocide of 1932-33, 7-10 million Ukrainians were murdered when, in an attempt to destroy the nationally conscious Ukrainian peasantry, the Stalinist regime confiscated all food, leaving the people to starve to death. Countless others suffered in Soviet Gulags forced into backbreaking labor and unbearable conditions, only to perish in desolation. Ukrainians endured numerous purges, assaults and discrimination throughout history.  And yet – they endured.

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