Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia Loses the War of the Churches (44) / 85th Anniversary of the Ukrainian Holodomor


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Media reports indicate Russia intends to use the ROC in Ukraine to support targeting of pro-Russian party advertising in the upcoming elections, essentially using the ROC to meddle in Ukrainian politics. Rep. Boyle, House Foreign Affairs Committee, concerned about Russian escalation, using the ROC’s loss of status as a pretense. Patriarch Filaret comments on the impending loss of ROC influence. Updates on next week’s Synod. An excellent backgrounder by Turp exposing the politics of Russia’s play. Institute for Religious Freedom report on Russia’s persecution of followers of all churches other than the ROC in Donbass.

The 85th anniversary of the Holodomor has seen a number of comments and observations directly related to Russia’s improper use of the ROC as a tool of state power. Lemkin directly notes that the destruction of the Ukrainian church was an explicit aim of the Russian / Soviet colonisation effort in Ukraine, and as Ukrainians were murdered en masse, Russian internal transmigrants were transplanted into vacated Ukrainian lands. The ROC of course followed to fill the vacuum.  Hrynevych observes that “Stalin prepared the Holodomor with the very same methods which Hitler prepared the Holocaust”, which is in a sense out of order – Hitler and the NSDAP had a close relationship with Stalin during the 1930s and the Holodomor was clearly in  number of ways a template for the Nazi effort to murder all Jews in the later Holocaust. We should not forget that the scale of both mass murders is comparable, the lower estimates for loss of life in both genocide campaigns are similar, around 4 million people (both lower estimates being strongly disputed).

Pres Poroshenko states at a commemoration that “Historical responsibility for the Holodomor lies with the Russian Federation as the successor to the USSR, and this crime has no statute of limitations”. Russia has been very actively promoting itself as the successor to the USSR after 1992, to collect debts owed by Cold War proxies to the USSR, and to hold on to material assets of the USSR claimed by smaller former republics, and Russia has under Putin actively pushed propaganda denying or shifting the blame for the Holodomor. Unlike Germany that has made some effort to compensate survivors of the Holocaust, Russia has played the opposite game, trying to evade responsibility for Stalin’s crimes – the most bizarre blameshifting by Russian nationalists reported to date has been to blame post-Stalin Soviet crimes on Ukraine, on the basis that Khrushchov, Brezhnev, Chernenko, Andropov and Gorbachev were  “Ukrainian” by heritage, so Soviet crimes are Ukraine’s fault, not Russia’s.

Finally, some samples of related Russian propaganda.


Who targets Moscow-run church flock and why – LB.ua news portal

The closer the election, the more topical the issue of election campaigning is. Politicians need votes, so they often turn for support to an institution that enjoys one of the highest levels of public support, the church. Last week, parish groups of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC MP) in the Viber chat messenger received a request to share the trailer of Metropolitan Onufriy’s show “Primate’s Word” on pro-opposition Inter TV. Generally, video ads featuring a religious leader are common, there is nothing new in this. However, I noticed one particular thing about the text of the request being shared. Here is the full text: “His Grace Klyment sent this text: Good morning! I would like you to share in social networks exactly this link to FB, it will be targeted, this is important! And please pass it on to other groups.” The man in question is obviously Archbishop Klyment (Vecherya), the head of the Information and Education Department of the UOC MP. There is no other “his Grace Klyment” in the UOC MP. He is the official spokesman for the church. But this is not the most important thing. The word “target” is of interest. Targeting is an advertising tool that determines the target audience. On Facebook, you can place ads with specific content targeting those users who share a link or like a page. So, those who shared the video that Archbishop Klyment sent out are now targeted. This means that ads can now be shown to them as a separate group. What does it mean? This means that with the help of UOC MP spokesman Archbishop Klyment, parishioners of this church are being singled out into a group which can be shown specific ads. Who needs it? Let me wind back a while. A similar targeting method was used in the US presidential election in 2016. A potential audience was analysed and several groups with common interests were identified. Then, using these interests, users were offered a certain kind of advertising. Knowing the sentiment in a group, you can give them the advertising content that they will accept. That is exactly what happened in the US election. Each group of voters was offered advertisements matching their interests. That is why voters considered Trump to be the right candidate to fulfil their expectations. Let’s get back to our context. If the UOC MP wanted to do its own audience targeting, it would use the church resource. At least to be able to send ads directly. Since parishioners are targeted through the Inter TV channel, they are going to use the channel’s data, not that of the UOC-MP. What is in it for the channel? To build a competent information campaign, the political force that Inter will promote will need to offer the agenda relevant to each particular group of pro-Russian voters. For active UOC MP parishioners who oppose the concept of an independent Ukrainian Church, pro-Russian politicians will feed the idea of “protecting canonical Orthodoxy” (as Vitrenko did in the mid-2000s) and promise that if they vote for them, these politicians will revoke this decision. Here is an example of such creativity: The most interesting thing is that the man in the high rank of archbishop is involved in this campaign to track down and influence the flock. And not an ordinary one for that matter but the spokesman, who is the face and “talking head” of the UOC MP.

House Dem: Russia could move ‘even further into Ukraine’ as church rift deepens

A jurisdictional dispute within the Orthodox Church could lead to an escalation of violence between Russia and U.S. partners in Ukraine, political and religious observers worry. A jurisdictional dispute within the Orthodox Church could lead to an escalation of violence between Russia and U.S. partners in Ukraine, political and religious observers worry. “I have been and still am concerned that Putin will attempt to move even further into Ukraine,” Rep. Brendan Boyle, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told the Washington Examiner. That’s far from a certainty, but the Pennsylvania Democrat’s wariness points to the potential geopolitical ramifications of what might otherwise appear to be a simple clerical turf-war. Patriarch Barthlomew of Constantinople — the most prestigious leader in the global Orthodox church, although he doesn’t wield papal authority — has pledged to issue documents establishing a self-governing (autocephalous) Orthodox Church in Ukraine. That decision has outraged Russian officials and the Russian Orthodox Church, which has held jurisdiction over thousands of Ukrainian parishes for centuries. “The idea behind this is obvious – another step in tearing Ukraine from Russia, not just politically, but also spiritually,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in October. The Russian Orthodox Church cut ties with Constantinople in September, but Patriarch Bartholomew plans to proceed with the move in December. “It’s no exaggeration to write that the granting of autocephaly from the Russian Orthodox Church to Ukraine’s millions of Orthodox believers is as significant as the disintegration of the USSR for Ukraine,” Taras Kuzio, an expert in Russian-Ukrainian controversies, explained in a September post for the Atlantic Council. The question is whether Russian President Vladimir Putin will use force to resist that development. The opportunities for conflict could be myriad, especially if some of the 12,000 Orthodox congregations in Ukraine split over the question of adherence to Moscow or the new institution. “Some of the bishops are worried about that,” Valparaiso University’s Nicholas Denysenko, author of The Orthodox Church in Ukraine: A Century of Separation, told the Washington Examiner. Some of the NATO members nearest to Ukraine are, too. “There might be efforts to instigate violence,” a Baltic diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Washington Examiner. “Once you have violence, then you have something that can lead to something else more dangerous.”

“After autocephaly, there will be no Moscow spirit in Ukraine” – Patriarch Filaret | UNIAN

If the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is given autocephaly, there will no longer be Moscow and Moscow spirit in Ukraine,” head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiyiv Patriarchate, Filaret, said, while addressing the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s Parliament on Nov 23, on the occasion of the commemoration of the victims of the Holodomor of 1932-1933, Ukrainian Pravda reports. The Unification Council will convene in Ukraine in December 2018, while the exact date will be announced by the Synod of the Patriarchate scheduled to meet Nov 27-29.

Constantinople should approve decision on tomos for Ukraine on Nov 27-29 – Poroshenko – 23.11.2018 16:30 — Ukrinform News

The decision to approve a tomos of autocephaly for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will be made at a meeting of the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on November 27-29, President Petro Poroshenko said.&nbsp;

Constantinople should approve decision on tomos for Ukraine on Nov 27-29 – Poroshenko | MENAFN.COM

(MENAFN – UkrinForm) The decision to approve a tomos of autocephaly for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will be made at a meeting of the Synod of the Ec

Pavlenko to go to Istanbul to attend Ecumenical Patriarchate Synod on approving tomos on UOC’s autocephaly

Presidential adviser, director of the National Institute for Strategic Studies Rostyslav Pavlenko will take part in the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which will approve the text of tomos on granting autocephalous status to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has said.

Craig Turp | Christianity’s next Great Schism? – Emerging Europe

Putin only has himself to blame In this regard, Bishop Amfilohije is on the same page as the Russian president, who has long-blamed “outside elements” for manufacturing the current rift with Ukraine. “Moscow appears to be pinning its hopes on Ukraine’s 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections, but this is little more than the wishful thinking of a Great Power reluctant to admit it has made a great mistake,” says Peter Dickinson, a non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council and publisher of Business Ukraine and Lviv Today magazines. “In their heart of hearts, the members of Putin’s inner circle must know that the days of pro-Russian majorities in Ukrainian politics are long gone.” “Moscow is in the process of initiating a break with the global leadership of the Orthodox Church, all because it cannot entertain the notion of religious independence for Ukraine,” adds Mr Dickinson. “These dramatic measures are much more than the irrational actions of a lover scorned or a rejected spouse. They reflect the widely held belief that the emergence of a fully Westernised and democratic Ukraine would spell doom for the Putin regime and, quite possibly, for the Russian Federation itself.” What’s certain is that Serbia and Montenegro aside, the lack of any real support for Moscow’s stance following the decision to recognise the Ukrainian church is clear proof that it is being viewed across the world as both a direct result of Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea and its role in the four-year war in eastern Ukraine. It is also an example of how, even in ecumenical matters, Mr Putin’s expansive foreign policy has undermined Russia’s global standing. If there is to be another Great Schism – and the more time passes the less likely that looks – then it will be of the Russian president’s own making.

With Donbas occupation, Russia brought religious persecution alien to Ukraine: report |Euromaidan Press |

The Ukrainian Institute for Religious Freedom (IRF) has released a report titled “Religious Freedom at Gunpoint: Russian Terror in the Occupied Territories of Eastern Ukraine.” The paper reveals religiously motivated persecution in the occupied part of the East-Ukrainian region of the Donbas which had accompanied the installment of Russian-backed puppet states there starting from 2014.

Terror in occupied territories of eastern Ukraine: IRF published the facts of religious persecutions

The Institute for Religious Freedom has presented the Report “Religious freedom at gunpoint: Russian terror in the occupied territories of eastern Ukraine,” where human rights activists document numerous cases of religious persecution, carried out by Russian-backed militants in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The presentation of the report took place on October 24, 2018 at the Ukrinform press-center in Kyiv with the participation of the representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the All-Ukrainian Union of Churches of Evangelical Christian Baptists, the Ukrainian Pentecostal Church, the Ukrainian Christian Evangelical Church, the Union of Jewish Religious Organizations of Ukraine, and the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Ukraine. The international community plays the key role in stopping the current crimes against the believers and churches, committed by the occupation authorities in Eastern Ukraine. That is why, on the eve of a press conference, religious leaders and IRF’s experts held a special presentation of the Report for the representatives of diplomatic missions in Ukraine. ‘There is no doubt that the religious factor has been used as one of the tools of the Russian hybrid war against Ukraine, in which deceitful propaganda and the destabilization of society motivated by religious, ethnic and language differences play an essential role. By provoking splits and public anger, the Russian authorities paved the way for further military intervention and occupation’, the authors of the Report conclude. Evangelical Christians, Orthodox communities of the Kyivan Patriarchate, Greek Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses have become the main targets of religious persecution on the part of the Russian-backed occupation authorities.

Opinion: Does the UN have the courage to recognize the Holodomor as genocide? | Calgary Herald

I will never forget the paralyzing fear I felt when I was fleeing my homeland Crimea that had been occupied by the Russian Federation in 2014. After several people had been murdered and abducted in Crimea, I knew that this was just the beginning. A few weeks later, Russian troops invaded two eastern regions of Ukraine. Russia’s war against Ukraine is now entering its fifth year. The 2014 Russian military invasion of Ukraine is a direct result of the Famine Genocide of Ukrainians 85 years ago committed by Soviet Russia, and which took millions of lives but has yet to be officially recognized by the United Nations. For several hundred years, Ukraine has been struggling against the imperialism of its northern neighbour, Russia. The inability of the international community to call “a spade a spade” in terms of the Holodomor and to make a step towards historical justice only further emboldens the perpetrator. The so-called “Russian world” is slowly spreading its tentacles to the West by interfering with democratic institutions, backing extremist parties around the world, spreading disinformation, and occupying and invading countries at the cost of thousands of lives right on the border of the European Union. The Holodomor was a deliberate attempt to exterminate the Ukrainian population. The locals who survived the Holodomor became terrified of acknowledging their cultural identity. Any mention of the Holodomor was forbidden by the Soviet government, and out of fear, survivors remained silent. Many forgot their history, their roots, who they really were. People who lost their original identity became targets for manipulation — like many of my own family members who blocked out their Ukrainian origins. My grandfather lived through the Holodomor as a three-year-old boy. He remembered pancakes made of acorns, which made him feel sick. He never knew his grandfather, because his grandfather was shot to death and thrown into a river for opposing the forced collectivization of agriculture. Others were either forcefully deprived of what they earned through hard work or gave it away in fear of reprisals. People were starving, while grain was being exported abroad. It was impossible to escape the deadly trap because the borders were sealed. These actions unequivocally demonstrate that this was a deliberate extermination of the Ukrainian peasants, whose lands were later populated by migrants from other parts of the U.S.S.R. The main message of contemporary Russian propaganda in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine justifying the invasion focused on the need to save the Russian-speaking population from Ukrainians, ridiculously and falsely labelled by Russian propaganda as “Nazis.” The same message of defending the Russian people was spread from Russia to other eastern and southern regions of Ukraine following attacks on Ukrainian public activists. Just two weeks ago, my friend and former colleague, public activist Kateryna Handziuk died as a result of a sulfuric acid attack. The fact that she was a tireless opponent of the “Russian world” in the Kherson region (neighbouring Russian-occupied Crimea) leaves many questions regarding who ordered this murder. Taking into account that Russian agents have infiltrated countries such as the U.K. and the U.S., their presence in Ukrainian structures should not be surprising. Invasion, occupation, genocide and assimilation are the four stages of colonization identified by Gord Hill (2009) in his book “500 years of indigenous resistance.” Ukraine went through these stages of colonization by the Russian empire and then Soviet Russia. Today, Putin is again seeking to subjugate Ukraine. Both Stalin and Putin realized that without Ukraine there can be no imperial Russia. Raphael Lemkin, a legal expert who defined the term “genocide” for the UN Convention of Genocide, described four precise steps of the Ukrainian genocide perpetrated by the Soviets: destroy the intelligentsia (the brain), extinguish the Ukrainian independent church and the clergy (the soul), exterminate the independent peasantry (the national spirit and culture), and move in non-Ukrainian population to deteriorate the cohesion of the Ukrainian population.

‘Stalin prepared the Holodomor the same way Hitler did the Holocaust,’ Hrynevych says | Euromaidan Press |

Ukrainian historian Liudmyla Hrynevych says that “Stalin prepared the Holodomor with the very same methods which Hitler prepared the Holocaust,” thus making explicit that the terror famine in Ukraine was an act of genocide that merits being put alongside Hitler’s mass murder of European Jewry. In an interview with Delovaya stolitsa on the occasion of Memorial Day for the Victims of the Holodomor, the director of the Holodomor Ukrainian Research Center and editor of the Holodomor Studies journal says that today the term genocide is used too freely but that it certainly applies to what happened in Ukraine in the 1930s. What happened in Ukraine, Hrynevych says, “fully corresponds to the provisions” of the UN Convention on Genocide,” despite the arguments of some that it is not or is sufficiently different from other mass murders that the term shouldn’t be used. In 1932-33, there was “a genocide of part of a national group, the citizens of the Ukrainian SSR without distinction as to nationality or religion,” she continues. “Ethnic Ukrainians, of course, “made up the core of this group. There was also the genocide of the Ukrainian ethnic group in the Kuban,” a region of the RSFSR. In both these cases, Hrynevych says, “the criminal intentions were directly linked to the fear of the disloyalty of the population and an attempt to retain power. The Holodomor stopped the process of what we call in the language of today the Ukrainian political nation.” She continues: “In the 1980s, an International Commission on Investigating the Famine of 1932-33” existed in the US, and at that time, there were suggestions that there must be a clear recognition that there were a series of genocides in the USSR at that time because there were famines in Kazakhstan and the Middle Volga, where “by the way, then lived many Germans.” Speaking of a series of famines is one thing, the historian says; but “in the formula, ‘an all-union famine,’ I see a political trick. For decades, the Soviet Union denied the famine. When that became impossible, they … set up ‘a second line’ of defense: any famine was the common tragedy of Soviet peoples and the communists did everything to save people.

Historical responsibility for the Holodomor lies with the Russian Federation as the successor to the USSR — President — Official website of the President of Ukraine

“Historical responsibility for the Holodomor lies with the Russian Federation as the successor to the USSR, and this crime has no limitations period,” President Petro Poroshenko noted in the course of the ceremony of honoring memory of the victims of the Holodomor of 1932-33. “Russia again, like a hundred years ago, launched an aggression against Ukraine to bring it back to the empire. In the Kremlin, they again hate and fear a free European Ukraine. But I know for sure that they will no longer be able to turn the wheel of history back,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized. The Head of State noted that thousands of people come to the National Museum “Holodomor Victims Memorial” every year in the late autumn. “They come from different parts of Ukraine and from distant countries. They bring here the desire to honor the dead and remind the world of one of the greatest crimes of the twentieth century – the Holodomor organized by the Kremlin,” Petro Poroshenko noted. According to him, the genocide of the Ukrainian people was thoroughly planned. “They wanted to resolve the Ukrainian issue forever, which has been haunting Russia’s mind for centuries and, frankly speaking, it still does. In the early thirties, the memory of the Ukrainian National Revolution, the centenary of which we celebrate this year, was still fresh. Our revolution turned out to be too romantic, too much hoped for peace and brotherhood, too little cared about the army. Because of this, it was suppressed by invasion from the north,” he said. At the same time, the President stressed that national consciousness awakened by the revolution remained: “Russian-Bolshevik tyranny tirelessly extinguished the fire of freedom, but it was still the same or even emerged with a new force. The history of Ukraine of that period shows a large number of uprisings, as the farmers did not want to give away grain, bread for free, and the Ukrainization, which Stalin viewed as a temporary gift, was perceived by the national communists seriously and vigorously, strengthening our Ukrainian identity. “The secret idea of ​​millions was expressed by the short slogan of Mykola Khvylovy: “Away from Moscow!” along with the other one in our linguistic style of those times: “Europe now!”.

Poroshenko blames Russia as USSR successor for 1930s famine

The responsibility for the Holodomor, the 1932-1933 famine in Ukraine, lies with Russia as the successor to the Soviet Union, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Saturday. “The historical responsibility for the Holodomor lies with the Russian Federation as a successor to the USSR, and this crime has no statute of limitation. Yet again, like 100 years ago, Russia has launched an aggression against Ukraine to bring it back into empire (…) But I know for sure: they will no longer be able to turn the wheel of history in the opposite direction. Ukraine is confidently going down its own path,” Poroshenko said on the 85th anniversary of the famine in Kyiv on Saturday. On the eve of the anniversary “we heard words of memory about Holodomor victims from Pope Francis” and Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople offered his condolences and support to the Ukrainian people, the president said. The patriarch said that, “it was a tragedy which speaks for itself among the other atrocities against the humankind and God’s creation carried out in the 20th century,” Poroshenko said. To mark the anniversary, a “Ukraine remembers, the world recognizes” forum is taking place in Kyiv no Saturday, which brought together representatives from 50 countries, he said. Poroshenko blames Russia as USSR successor for 1930s famine KYIV. Nov 24 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The responsibility for the Holodomor, the 1932-1933 famine in Ukraine, lies with Russia as the successor to the Soviet Union, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Saturday. “The historical responsibility for the Holodomor lies with the Russian Federation as a successor to the USSR, and this crime has no statute of limitation. Yet again, like 100 years ago, Russia has launched an aggression against Ukraine to bring it back into empire (…) But I know for sure: they will no longer be able to turn the wheel of history in the opposite direction. Ukraine is confidently going down its own path,” Poroshenko said on the 85th anniversary of the famine in Kyiv on Saturday. On the eve of the anniversary “we heard words of memory about Holodomor victims from Pope Francis” and Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople offered his condolences and support to the Ukrainian people, the president said. The patriarch said that, “it was a tragedy which speaks for itself among the other atrocities against the humankind and God’s creation carried out in the 20th century,” Poroshenko said. To mark the anniversary, a “Ukraine remembers, the world recognizes” forum is taking place in Kyiv no Saturday, which brought together representatives from 50 countries, he said.

Russia responsible for Holodomor of 1932-1933 as USSR successor, – Poroshenko – 112.international

Responsibility for the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine lies with Russia. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said this during events dedicated to the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Holodomor in Kyiv. ‘The historical responsibility for the Holodomor lies with the Russian Federation, as it is the successor of the USSR. And this crime has no statute of limitations. Russia again, like 100 years ago, launched the aggression against Ukraine to bring it back to the empire. The Kremlin again hates and fears the free European Ukraine. But I know for sure: they will not be able to turn back the wheel of history. Ukraine confidently goes its own way. We remember,’ said Poroshenko.

Poroshenko, his wife honor memory of Holodomor victims | UNIAN

President Petro Poroshenko and his wife Maryna Poroshenko have honored memory of the victims of the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine. The head of state urged people not to forget the crimes of the Soviet regime.

Ukraine is grateful for your participation in the commemoration of the victims of the tragedy — President to the participants of the International Forum dedicated to the 85th anniversary of the Holodomor — Official website of the President of Ukraine

Ukraine, its people are grateful to the representatives of the countries that are present at the events dedicated to the commemoration of the victims of the Holodomor of 1932-1933, President Petro Poroshenko emphasizes. “Dear friends, who came together today to mark the 85th anniversary of the terrible tragedy, I am sincerely grateful for your participation in the commemorative events on the occasion of the tragedy that took place eighty-five years ago. Imagine, representatives from more than 50 countries are today with us. I am deeply touched by such a manifestation of solidarity with Ukraine,” the Head of State said, addressing the participants of the International Forum “Ukraine Remembers – the World Recognizes!” dedicated to the 85th anniversary of the Holodomor. “This is an evidence of how deeply you share our pain and how sincerely you care for our fate. In this historical period – it has a special significance for us and incites the warmest feelings in the hearts of all Ukrainians,” Petro Poroshenko added. He noted that today we bow our heads in the memory of the innocent souls who have found their premature rest due to one of the most terrible crimes against humanity. “In those dark 32nd and 33rd years, the Moscow totalitarian regime with a devilish enthusiasm started to break the freedom-loving Ukrainian soul, having organized genocide against the whole nation. There were no natural disasters. There were no tragic circumstances. It was only a plan meticulously made in the Kremlin’s offices that brought an unprecedented human tragedy to the fertile Ukrainian lands,” the President stressed, noting that the regime of Stalin saw the only opportunity to consolidate its positions in Ukraine at the cost of millions of lives. In support of this, the Head of State cited a quotation from the secret report on the artificial famine in Ukraine at that time reflecting the tragedy. Eyewitnesses wrote: “About the political situation, it needs to be said that real famine reigns in Ukraine, entire villages and counties die. Dreadful mortality among children should be emphasized separately. This is a policy aimed at finally breaking the Ukrainian nation as the only national force capable of serious resistance. Some will die, others will dissipate all over the endless spaces of Russia”. “This is a real assessment of the Kremlin’s Holodomor crime. The assessment is not given by us and not today, the assessment is given by its witnesses. And such evidence is enough to silence even the most fierce apologists of the Holodomor denial,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized. The President stressed that the number of states that recognize the Holodomor as a genocide of the Ukrainian people is expanding every year. “Already about three dozen states at one level or another have provided an appropriate assessment of this human tragedy. Important decisions by the US Senate and the Assembly of Portugal have been made recently. We have due respect for the memory of the victims of the Holodomor at the level of international organizations – such as the United Nations, the European Parliament, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe,” he remarked. Petro Poroshenko noted that Ukraine is grateful to foreign partners who have joined the restoration of historical truth. However, he noted that today we are still halfway: “Therefore, we count on the wide international support for the draft UN declaration made by Ukraine to the 85th anniversary of the Holodomor”. “I urge our partners to support and join the co-authors of the declaration,” the Head of State said.

President calls for the completion of decommunization in Ukraine — Official website of the President of Ukraine

During a speech on the occasion of the 85th anniversary of the Holodomor and commemoration of the victims of the genocide of the Ukrainian people, President Petro Poroshenko called on the Ukrainian Parliament to complete the process of decommunization in Ukraine. “We carried out decommunization and erased the names of our people’s torturers from the Ukrainian map, removed their idols. This process must be completed,” the Head of State said. “I appeal to the Verkhovna Rada to rename Dnipropetrovsk region to Dniprovsk. Recently, the bill was submitted to the Verkhovna Rada. The law requires this decision to be made through amendments to the Constitution,” the President emphasized.

As a sign of commemoration of the victims of the Holodomor, Ukraine will provide humanitarian assistance to the countries in need of it — President — Official website of the President of Ukraine

President Petro Poroshenko called for supporting those in need as a sign of commemoration of the victims of the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine. “Let’s support those who need our help today. For this is our present atonement to those who could not be saved in the past,” the Head of State noted during a speech at the International Forum “Ukraine Remembers – the World Recognizes!” dedicated to the 85th anniversary of the Holodomor. “And as a symbol of commemoration of the victims of the Holodomor, I supported the initiative to provide humanitarian assistance to the Republic of Yemen, the Republic of Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The corresponding Decree of the President of Ukraine has already been signed,” Petro Poroshenko noted. “Let us unite in the protection of humanity,” the President emphasized.

Marking the 85th Anniversary of the Ukrainian Holodomor

Press Statement Heather Nauert Department Spokesperson Washington, DC November 23, 2018 This month we join Ukrainians around the world in marking the 85th anniversary of the Holodomor, when millions of innocent Ukrainians were deliberately starved to death by the regime of Josef Stalin. The Soviet Union’s barbaric seizure of Ukrainian land and crops was undertaken with the deliberate political goal of subjugating the Ukrainian people and nation. This catastrophic man-made famine was one of the most atrocious acts of the twentieth century and a brutal reminder of the crimes of communism. Today, Ukrainians are once again dying as a result of Russia attempts to destroy the identity and Western aspirations of the people of Ukraine. Russia’s ongoing aggression in eastern Ukraine has resulted in more than 10,000 deaths. However, Russia will not vanquish the resilient Ukrainian spirit, nor dampen Ukrainians’ desire for a better future. As we remember the Holodomor’s millions of innocent victims, we reaffirm our unwavering support for Ukraine’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the Ukrainian people’s right to chart their own course.

U.S. State Department Marks Holodomor Anniversary, Blasts Russia’s ‘Ongoing Aggression’ In Ukraine

The U.S. State Department has issued a statement marking the 85th anniversary of a horrific famine — known as the Holodomor — that killed millions of people in Ukraine.

UAWire – US on Holodomor: today once again Russia is trying to destroy Ukraine’s identity

The United States Department of State published a statement on the anniversary of the Holodomor in which Washington condemned this crime and …

Remembering The Holodomor, The Stalin-Era Famine In Ukraine

Each year, on the fourth Saturday of November, Ukraine remembers the millions who died during the Holodomor, the Stalin-era famine that devastated the population in 1932-1933. Many countries consider it to have been genocide.

“Let me take the wife too, when I reach the cemetery she will be dead.” Stories of Holodomor survivors | RFE/RL via Euromaidan Press |

Anastasiia Sakovska This year Ukraine remembers Holodomor victims on 24 November. The artificial famine of 1932-1933 claimed the lives of millions of Ukrainians. Radio Svoboda asked its readers how the Holodomor had affected their families. Here we publish their replies. Editor’s Note

85 Years Later, Ukraine Marks Famine That Killed Millions – The New York Times

With each passing year, fewer witnesses to the tragedy of the Great Famine of 1932 and 1933, are still alive.

Ukraine remembers Stalin-era famine after 85 years

Ukrainians on Saturday marked 85 years since millions died in a Soviet-era famine that many now regard as a genocide ordered by then leader Joseph Stalin. The 1932-33 famine took place as harvests dwindled and Stalin’s police enforced a brutal policy of requisitioning grain and other foodstuffs

Services in West Yorkshire mark Stalin-era Ukraine famine – BBC News

Millions died in the famine that many label a genocide by the Soviet regime of Joseph Stalin.

Jason Kenney on Twitter: “Attended moving requiem for the millions killed in the #Holodomor on the 85th anniversary of the Communist famine-genocide in #Ukraine.… https://t.co/FmyKvUQOR2”

Ukraine commemorates Holodomor victims – 24.11.2018 11:10 — Ukrinform News

On Saturday, November 24, Ukraine commemorates the victims of the Holodomor (famines) – millions of innocent Ukrainians killed by the totalitarian communist regime.

15 states recognized Holodomor genocide of Ukrainian people, – Poroshenko – 112.international

A dozen of states at the level of parliaments recognized the Holodomor of 1932-1933 as the genocide of the Ukrainian people. This was stated by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko during a speech after a prayer for the memory of the victims of this tragedy, which was broadcasted by 112 Ukraine. “This year, the Senate of the US Congress recognized the Holodomor as genocide. In total, a dozen and a half states at the level of parliaments qualified the famine of 1932-1933 as genocide,” he noted.

See which countries recognize Ukraine’s Holodomor famine as genocide on an interactive map |Euromaidan Press |

Alya Shandra On November 24, Ukraine marks Holodomor remembrance day, commemorating the millions of Ukrainian peasants who died in result of an artificial famine during Stalin’s repressions 85 years ago, in 1932-1933. The Holodomor was one of Stalin’s intentional policies regarding the Ukrainian population, an act of coercion and intimidation, an answer to the disobedience and resistance of Ukrainians against the coerced collectivization with which the totalitarian empire of the Soviet Union was to be built. According to the research results of the Ptukha Institute of demography and social studies, 3 million 530 thousand people died from Holodomor in 1933. In 1932, 250 thousand died from starvation, and in 1934 – about 160 thousand. Overall, in three years – 3.9 million died, and 0.6 million more of the unborn, or, as they are also referred to, “indirect losses.” I.e., overall 4.5 million Ukrainians were lost due to the Holodomor of 1932-1933.

Gennadiy Yefimenko | So how many Ukrainians died in the Holodomor? |Euromaidan Press |

The reasons and consequences of why the estimates range from 3 to 15 million. The debate on how many Ukrainians died as a result of the Holodomor famine of 1932-1933 rages on. The Ukrainian website likbez.org.ua, a joint project of Ukrainian professional historians as well as journalists to popularize Ukrainian history and debunk historical myths and propaganda, gives a short review on why the number of losses from the Holodomor one can encounter is so diverse, of which we offer an adapted translation to English. The main issue being disputed is the number of people that died from starvation – it ranges from 1.8 to 15 million people. There is one point that parties from all sides agree with: establishing the precise amount of the dead is impossible. This is conditioned by the very nature of the crime and the poor work of the state registration offices in the Ukrainian SSR during 1932-1933. Therefore, this post will focus on the different estimates of losses and their justification. The analysis is based on the assumption that the amount of those that died from starvation is calculated as the difference between the overall number of deaths and the “usual” background mortality that would have existed had there been no hunger. Neither the civil registrars nor the General Political Directorate of the NKVD carried out special estimates of the number of deaths caused by the Holodomor.

TASS: Society & Culture – Russian Orthodox Church blasts Ukraine’s authorities for inciting confrontation

Kiev continues the policy of oppressing the canonical church, Spokesman for Patriarch Kirill Alexander Volkov noted. MOSCOW, November 24. /TASS/. The Ukrainian authorities’ actions towards representatives of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, churches and monasteries are leading to greater confrontation inside the country, Spokesman for Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Priest Alexander Volkov told TASS on Saturday. Read also Russian Church slams crusade to strong-arm Ukrainian clergy into ‘unification’ council “Unfortunately, the Ukrainian authorities continue the policy of oppressing the canonical church – the summons of the episcopate and the clergy to the SBU [the Ukrainian Security Service], legal decisions aimed at depriving churches of property. The authorities are acting under the worst scenario, setting citizens and believers of the Ukrainian church against it and all these oppressions will lead to the increase of confrontation in Ukrainian society,” the spokesman said. Ukraine’s Justice Ministry made a decision on Friday to cancel the transfer of the compound of buildings of the Holy Dormition Pochayev Laura (Monastery) to the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church for use. As Ukrainian First Deputy Justice Minister Yelena Sukmanova alleged, the state registration of the right to use the compound of buildings of the Holy Dormition Pochayev Laura – the Dormition Cathedral, the Trinity Cathedral, monastic cells, the church house, the belfry and other structures was carried out with violations of the existing legislation.

Kiev continues the policy of oppressing canonical [Russian] church: Patriarch Kirill

Uniindia: Moscow, Nov 24 (UNI) The Ukrainian authorities’ actions towards representatives of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, churches and monasteries are leading to greater confrontation inside the country, Spokesman for Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Priest Alexander Volkov said on Saturday.

“Show loyalty”: in the Russian Orthodox Church responded to the calls of Constantinople to lift the ban on communion – 24 Channel | The Koz Telegram

Constantinople Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church calls for the repeal of prohibition for the laity to take communion in their churches. But the ROC claims that believers do not go to churches of Constantinople “out of loyalty”. This was reported in his message, the Archbishop of Harabalinsky John, Exarch of Russian Orthodox churches in Western Europe, says Russian “Interfax”. The Archbishop expressed the appeal of Russian Orthodox churches under the jurisdiction of Constantinople. According to him, the decision of the Moscow Patriarchate on the break of communion with Constantinople is a “great suffering.” In the current situation, our priests and deacons are not allowed to concelebration in the churches that belong to the Moscow Patriarchate (…) But, according to Orthodox ecclesiology, this prohibition cannot be touched by laity the message reads Exarch. He also hoped that the break of communion between the two churches would soon be overcome. In the Russian Orthodox Church did not hesitate to answer. They said that the laity of the Russian Orthodox Church to avoid communion in the churches of the Patriarchate of Constantinople “not so much because of fear of violating some prohibition, and showing loyalty to the Church which break the lawless actions of Constantinople”. “In the end, the people themselves decide based on their conscience,” – said the publication of the Secretary of the Department for external Church relations of the Moscow Patriarchate on inter-Orthodox relations, Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk.

Russian church leader asks UN, Pope to intervene with Kiev over ‘discriminatory’ religious laws — RT World News [17 May, 2017 21:15]

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, has appealed to a number of international religious and political leaders, asking them to not let Kiev enforce its recent initiative that might see Orthodox religious communities diminished in Ukraine.

Armenian church dragged into Russia-Ukraine feud | Eurasianet

Armenia’s top church official has weighed in on the dispute between the Russian and Ukrainian churches.

Flash – Romania consecrates giant Orthodox cathedral amid row over costs – France 24

BUCHAREST (AFP) – Romania will inaugurate a massive new Orthodox cathedral on Sunday, amid criticism that public funding for the project could be used to pay for hospitals and schools in one of the EU’s poorest members. Construction of the Romanian People’s Salvation Cathedral in Bucharest began in 2010 and is only scheduled to be completed in 2024. But the consecration mass on Sunday — being celebrated by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and Romanian Patriarch Daniel — is expected to attract tens of thousands of worshippers from all over the country following the ceremony both inside the cathedral and outdoors. The cathedral “will be the most important place in Romania on Sunday,” according to a statement released by the Orthodox Church. Covering an area of 14,000 square metres (150,000 square feet), the cathedral will be Romania’s second tallest building with its main bell tower measuring 120 metres (390 feet) in height. Situated in the centre of the capital city behind the pharaonic Palace of Parliament of former communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, it will be able to hold as many as 5,000 worshippers. Originally, the cost was estimated at around 80 million euros ($91 million). But it has already spiralled to 110 million euros and tens of millions more are expected to be spent before it is completed. With around 75 percent of the amount already paid for by public funds, the cost has created controversy in a country where investment in dilapidated infrastructure is badly needed. Around 88 percent of the population of a total 20 million are Orthodox.

 

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