News Society, 25/11/2019

Kharkiv Commemorates Holodomor Victims

On November 23, Kharkiv residents honored the victims of Holodomor also known as the Terror-Famine and Famine-Genocide.

Commemorative events started in the morning and have taken place during the whole day in various city locations. In the morning, about 1,500 people including representatives of local authorities, political parties and civic organizations, heads of law enforcement agencies, officials and common people honored the victims’ memory with a minute of silence, laid flowers, and lit candles at the Memorial to Holodomor Victims. It is located on the city’s boundaries, in remembrance of people who were forbidden to cross this border in search of food.

On this day, the doors of Museum of Holodomor Victims, commemorating three waves of famine in 1921-1923, 1932-1933, 1946-1947, were opened for visitors. The memorial complex was established last year.

The exposition includes household items of the Kharkiv region residents of the 1930s, clothes and utensils of that time, as well as unique documents and photos, which survived the destruction of Holodomor evidence orchestrated by Kremlin. Most of the exhibits were transferred to the museum by the region residents, whose families managed to preserve the artifacts that witnessed artificial starvation in Ukraine.

At about 1 p.m., the traditional sacred mourning procession started on Maidan Konstytutsii (Constitution Square in Ukrainian) as part of commemorative activities of Holodomor and the political repressions of 1932-1933 victims. Participants marched along Sumska Street to Molodizhnyi (Youth in Ukrainian) Park.

Ukrainian Leadership Academy students held “Uncounted since 1932” remembrance action. Several dozen young people laid down on the ground next to the entrance to Universitet metro station to remind people of the tragic events of 1932-1933. Activists chanted “Glory to Ukraine!”

The students organized a “street restaurant,” a field kitchen, where people were treated with soup made of bark, cones and needles of pine trees. The organizers claimed that people ate such soup trying to survive during Holodomor.

Activists of the right radical Fraykor organizations, notorious for its anti-LGBT clashes, held protest action near the Russian Consulate.

According to Bohdan Voytsekhovskiy, the organization’s head, it was a reminder that Russia is the successor to the USSR, and they are guilty of the Holodomor as an act of genocide against Ukrainian people, “We came to the Russian Consulate because Russia, Russian propaganda deny Holodomor as genocide against Ukrainian people, their international policy is aimed at preventing other states from recognizing Holodomor as genocide.”

Also, at 4 p.m., Kharkivites gathered on Maidan Svobody to join the all-Ukrainian commemorative “Light a Candle” action. Activists laid out a cross made of candle lamps to remember millions of victims who died during those years. People all over Ukraine put a lit candle on their windowsills, many social media users shared pictures of candles on this day.

Reference: The Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Holodomor is an annual national Memorial Day, which is held in Ukraine on the fourth Saturday of November since 1998. More than 20 countries including Estonia, Australia, Canada, Hungary, Vatican, Lithuania, Georgia, Poland, Peru, Paraguay, Portugal and the USA recognized the famine of 1932–1933 as the genocide against the Ukrainian nation. According to different sources, the tragedy took the lives from three to ten million people. Most Ukrainians died from starvation in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Odesa, Chernihiv, Zhytomyr, Poltava, Sumy and Cherkasy regions.

Text: Natalia Ivanova

Photo: Kharkiv National Police, vecherniy.kharkov.ua, Fraykor, kh.suspilne.media