“I wish that at least our children witness the incredible. I wish there would be such changes in Russia that will make its new elite also recognize the Holodomor as a genocide. Or at least repent for it. The Russian Federation has voluntarily called itself the successor of the Soviet Union. Hence, whether it wants it or not, it took over not only the assets of the former USSR but also the responsibility for the crimes of the Soviet regime,” President Petro Poroshenko addressed the Ukrainians during the commemoration of the victims of the Holodomor of 1932-33 in Ukraine.
At the same time, he stressed that in Russia “these crimes are justified so far with the assumption that the confiscation of grain in Ukrainian villages provided means for industrialization”.
“It turns out that the peasants of Ukraine were deprived of lives to secure the great power of Russia. Actually, that’s what it was,” Petro Poroshenko said.
The Head of State noted that “nowadays in Russia, there is a restoration of the cult of Stalin, for the first time since the twentieth congress of the CPSU the monuments to one of the bloodiest dictators have been opened, and the famous book series “Life of Wonderful People” released his biography”.
“It seems like Stalin will soon be dug out and put near Lenin in mausoleum. Two peas in a pod,” the President noted.
The Head of the Ukrainian State stressed that “the main motive for organizing the Holodomor was that Ukrainians – the second largest nation of the former Soviet Union – had a huge cultural and historic heritage, their own traditions of state-building, the experience of national liberation struggle”.
“The wide range of Ukrainian intellectuals and economically independent peasantry did not accept the policy of Moscow. Therefore, the regime has set itself the objective of eliminating Ukrainians as a nation that will sooner or later raise the question of independence,” Petro Poroshenko said, adding that “the peasants were killed by starvation, and the intellectual class – by bullets”.
The President appealed to Ukrainians around the world with a request to light a candle today in memory of not only victims of the Holodomor, but also the Executed Renaissance.
“80 years ago, on November 3, 1937, at Sandarmokh (Karelia), a great group of political prisoners were executed – those who are now called the bloom of national intelligentsia in the textbooks: Les Kurbas, Mykola Kulish, Valerian Pidmohylny and many more,” the President said.
He emphasized that blood purge, arrests, executions of Ukrainian historians, writers, artists and musicians had had a devastating effect on Ukraine.
“The people who were patriots, who dreamed of their state and could convey their patriotism and enthusiasm to the descendants were eliminated,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized, recalling the words of American journalist Anne Applebaum who published the book “Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine” this autumn. He noted that this work is comparable to the works by Robert Conquest and James Mace.
The Head of State also noted that he had met with Mrs. Applebaum and emphasized that her book “deserves prompt Ukrainian translation and publication in Ukraine”.
“They shot the chosen ones, but aimed to exterminate the whole Ukraine. Yet it turned out to big and only this, according to Khrushchev’s memories, prevented them from sending all Ukrainians to Siberia,” the President said.
At the same time, the President noted that we must remember our own responsibility as well. “It is easy to blame Russia today, there are reasons for that. But we shouldn’t forget about our own responsibility. Could the Holodomor and the great terror of the thirties, the deportation of the forties and the Russification of the seventies have been possible if we, Ukrainians, had preserved the independence proclaimed a hundred years ago? We lost it then because the leaders of the national revolution allowed the internal discord, through which Ukraine became a prey to an external enemy. And the Holodomor is a terrible echo of an unforgiving loss of Ukrainian statehood and Ukrainian independence,” the President emphasized.
“That is why, dear leaders of parties and factions, I urged and urge all political forces to be united for Ukraine. Yes, we are all for division into power and opposition, democracy and multi-party system. It is generally acknowledged that competition is an engine of progress, and it is fully relevant to the political sphere of Ukraine. But the internal political struggle should not reach such a temperature that Russia could benefit from it. Moreover, as Mrs. Applebaum writes correctly, the fear of Russia’s regime of Ukraine remains extremely high,” Petro Poroshenko said.
He emphasized that Russian aggression against us is a continuation of the same policy of destruction of Ukraine that Moscow introduced in the 1930s, just with other methods.
The President of Ukraine appealed to the politicians: “Please, do not use accusations of genocide or the Holodomor in the political rhetoric. Do not make any of these painful words for each Ukrainian a filler-word. Do not defile the memory of the millions who became victims of genocide. And respect the feelings of tens of millions who suffer from this tragedy”.