Ukraine marks Remembrance Day of Holodomor Victims on November 23.
The Annual Day of Remembrance of Holodomor Victims falls on the fourth Saturday of November.
Traditionally, on this day, Ukrainians go to commemorative church service and put symbolic pots with wheat and candles to the memorials to the victims of Holodomor.
The main commemorative event is held near the Memorial sign 'The Candle of Remembrance in Kyiv.' Leaders of the country, foreign politicians, representatives of different organizations and religious denominations take part in it.
A national minute of silence is announced at 4 p.m., and after that, people all over Ukraine start bringing candles to the memorial to the victims as part of the action 'Light the Candle.' One can also light the candle in the window of the house.
Since 2005 there’s a tradition in Ukraine - "Light a candle!". The famous historian and Holodomor researcher James Mays proposed introducing it. People light candles on city squares and at home, putting them on the window sill.
Three famines - one genocide
There were three famines in the 20th century: 1921-1923, 1932-1933, 1946-1947. There is a certain conflict here, which should be clarified.
In 2015, the Ministry of Culture on its website announced the renaming of the "Memorial to the Victims of Famine in Ukraine" to the "National Museum "Memorial to the Victims of Holodomor".
This was reasoned by the fact that "at the legal and legislative level, only the genocide of 1932-1933 has the status of the Holodomor. The events of 1921-1923 and 1946-1947 are qualified as mass hunger, the genocidal nature of which has not yet been proved, and therefore, from the use of the word "famine" in the plural, the concept of the Holodomor of 1932-1933 as genocide is smoothed down."
The ministry also noted that "the use of the concept of "famine" in the plural is often the cause of criticism from the international community and opponents and is the reason for not recognizing Holodomor as a genocide of the Ukrainian people."
Thus, officially a memorable date is called "Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Famine", but officially it is often about the second - the most ambitious and causing the most discussion.
In 2006 Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada officially recognized the 1932-1933 Holodomor a genocide of the Ukrainian people.
The Holodomor lasted 17 months - from April 1932 to November 1933. Researchers have not yet finally decided on the number of victims:
- a number of victims vary from 1.8 to 10 million. Most experts believe that 3 to 3.5 million people died of starvation;
- there is a Unified Register of Holodomor Victims in Ukraine;
- most of the Ukrainians died in the modern Kharkiv, Kyiv, Poltava, Sumy, Cherkasy, Dnipropetrovsk, Zhytomyr, Vinnytsia, Chernihiv and Odesa regions;
- 17 people died every minute in the spring of 1933 in Ukraine, according to historians.
Which countries recognized the Holodomor as genocide
15 UN member states and the Vatican out of 195 countries of the world at the interstate level recognized the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine as the act of genocide.According to the Famine Relief Committee, about 8 million peasants suffered from hunger in the south of the USSR in winter of 1922.
First and third hunger
The first famine, 1921-1923, covered mainly southern regions of the then Ukrainian Soviet Republic. Its main reason was the massive export of bread from Ukraine to Russia by the then Soviet government. The negative effect of this action was aggravated by drought and crop failure in the south of Ukraine, the Kuban and the Volga region.
The reason for the third famine of 1946-1947 was not even a post-war crop failure, but the plans of the Soviet leadership regarding the transfer of grain to fraternal regimes of the socialist camp. So, in 1946, the USSR exported 350 thousand tons of grain to Romania, in 1947 - 600 thousand tons of grain to Czechoslovakia, and 900 thousand tons
- to Poland.
The third famine spread across southern Ukraine and Moldova. According to the reports, in the first half of 1947, 130 cases of cannibalism were officially registered in the starving regions.