Washington becomes first US state to recognize Holodomor as genocide

The holodomor memorial in Kyiv stands near the Mykhailivskyi monastery.

The holodomor memorial in Kyiv stands near the Mykhailivskyi monastery. 

2017/05/25 - 04:44 • News

On 22 May 2017, the Washington State Senate approved a resolution calling Holodomor “genocide by Stalin’s regime against the people of Ukraine,” Voice of America reported. The resolution was introduced by Republican Senator Mark Milosia, while the Ukrainian diaspora led by Honorary Consul of Ukraine for Washington and Oregon States Valeriy Holoborodko lobbied the adoption of the document.

As well, the resolution calls to establish 26 November 2017 as Holodomor Remembrance Day in Washington State.

Here is the full text of the resolution:

  • “WHEREAS, 2017 marks the 84th anniversary of the Holodomor, or “murder by starvation,” the tragic man-made famine in Ukraine that resulted in the deaths of at least five million men, women, and children in Ukraine;
    “WHEREAS, The man-made famine was deliberately caused by the Soviet regime through the confiscation of land, grain, and animals and the blockade of food shipments into the affected areas, as well as by forcibly preventing the starving population from leaving the region, for the purposes of breaking the resistance of Ukrainian farmers to Soviet authority and destroying Ukraine’s national identity;
    “WHEREAS, Holodomor was genocide by Stalin’s regime against the people of Ukraine;
    “WHEREAS, Until the collapse of the Soviet Union, many denied the existence of the famine because the Soviet Union forbade foreigners from traveling to the Ukrainian countryside during that time and later barred access to government records from the era, and many official records were falsified, lost, or destroyed;
    “WHEREAS, The Western journalists and scholars who witnessed the mass starvation and wrote about it were subjected to disparagement and criticism in the West for their reporting of the famine;
    “WHEREAS, In 1988, the US Commission on the Ukraine Famine reported to Congress 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”;
    “WHEREAS, Although the Ukraine famine was one of the most horrific massacres in the 20th century, it remains largely underreported and unknown in the United States and throughout the world;
    “WHEREAS, Washington State is now home to the fifth largest Ukrainian-American population in the United States, and Americans with Ukrainian heritage living in Washington State have enriched our state through their leadership and contributions in agriculture, business, academia, government, and the arts; and
    “WHEREAS, In August 2015, a memorial to the millions who perished in the Ukrainian man-made famine of 1932–1933, known as “Holodomor,” was erected in the United States capital, and the dedication ceremony took place on 7 November 2015;
    “NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That the Washington State Senate solemnly remember and honor the millions of victims of the tragic famine that occurred in Ukraine in 1932-1933; and
    “BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Legislature designates November 26, 2017, as Holodomor Remembrance Day in Washington State and encourages individual citizens, educators, businesses, groups, organizations, and public institutions to observe Holodomor Remembrance Day with appropriate activities designed to honor the victims and educate residents of Washington State about this tragedy; and
    “BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be immediately transmitted by the Secretary of the Senate to the US Committee for Ukrainian Holodomor-Genocide Awareness 1932-33, and for the Consulate of Ukraine in Seattle for appropriate distribution.”

Previously, legislature to commemorate the victims of the Holodomor were officially recognized by Senates of several states, including California, but in these documents, the Holodomor was not called a genocide.

This isn’t the first time the topic of Holodomor as genocide is being brought up in the USA. Some websites list the U.S. among the countries that recognize the Holodomor as genocide. According to Lana Babij, U.S. official documents make reference to the Holodomor as genocide, but there is no Congressional resolution that  actually explicitly “resolves”  that the Holodomor is genocide, nor is there a U.S. law that explicitly recognizes that the Holodomor is a genocide.

However there have been several other pieces of legislature. In 1988, the U.S. Commission on the Ukraine Famine reported to the Congress that “Joseph Stalin and those around him committed genocide against Ukrainians in 1932-1933.” This statement is the closest to an official declaration; however, the findings of commissions are considered advisory, rather than having the legal weight of Congressional resolutions that must be passed and approved.

Wikipedia cites as the recognition document:  H. RES. 356 [108th] “Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the man-made famine that occurred in Ukraine in 1932–1933.” (2003). However, nowhere does this document “resolve” that the famine is genocide. In the Senate, also in 2003, the following Resolution was introduced, but NOT passed: S.RES. 202  [108th] – “A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate regarding the genocidal Ukraine Famine of 1932-1933.” Unfortunately, S. Res. 202 died in Committee and was never put to a vote on the floor. Another resolution was passed in the House in 2008: H. RES.1314 [110th] which clearly describes the genocidal nature of the famine and refers to the US Commission findings, but again without directly calling the famine a genocide, or resolving that it is a genocide.

But, Babij states, a 2006 US law authorizing funding for the Holodomor memorial might be construed to show indirect US acknowledgement, as it says that “the Government of Ukraine is authorized to establish a memorial on Federal land in the District of Columbia to honor the victims of the Ukrainian famine-genocide of 1932– 1933.”

This memorial was constructed in 2015.

Also, the mayor of New York recognized the Holodomor as genocide against the Ukrainian people, according to Ukraine’s embassy to Canada.

Altogether, there are 18 countries recognizing the Holodomor as genocide. The latest one to do so was Portugal.

Read more: 

 

 

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  • Mykola Banderachuk

    about time

  • zorbatheturk

    Stalin belongs in hell.

    • Victor Victory

      He’s there sucking satans pp

      • Maxtrue

        No that’s Saddam according to SP

    • Mephisto

      yes, we have him here

      • zorbatheturk

        LOL.

  • Turtler

    Excellent!

    I may not see eye to eye with the average Washingtonian on a lot of things, but this is something I can get behind.

    • Oknemfrod

      Ditto!

    • Maxtrue

      Not eye to eye with this. The gloves are off I guess….

      “Unless corrected by the Supreme Court, the majority’s new approach, which is unsupported by any Supreme Court case, will become a sword for plaintiffs to challenge facially neutral government actions, particularly those affecting regions dominated by a single religion. Government officials will avoid speaking about religion, even privately, lest a court discover statements that could be used to ascribe a religious motivation to their future actions. And, in the more immediate future, our courts will be faced with the unworkable task of determining when this President’s supposed religious motive [in the 2016 election] has sufficiently dissipated so as to allow executive action toward these or other majority Muslim countries.” http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/05/25/federal-judges-invite-muslims-veto-security-policy-campaign-statements-free-elections/

      As for Stalin and his social engineering, the effects for Ukrainians rivals ISIS on the very Muslim countries POTUS seeks to contain. Here is what Stalin did:

      “Survival was a moral as well as a physical struggle. A woman doctor
      wrote to a friend in June 1933 that she had not yet become a cannibal,
      but was “not sure that I shall not be one by the time my letter reaches
      you.” The good people died first. Those who refused to steal or to
      prostitute themselves died. Those who gave food to others died. Those
      who refused to eat corpses died. Those who refused to kill their fellow
      man died. Parents who resisted cannibalism died before their children
      did.[50]” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor

      • Turtler

        Indeed, and the judicial wannabe coups have been irritating as hell. I have a friend who lives just over the border in Oregon and he’s kept me up to date about what a truly miserable and terrible thing it is.

        But even given the ulterior motives and potential manipulation, I think more recognition for the crimes of Communist totalitarianism is a good thing.

        • Maxtrue

          As a poster below points out below the NYT helped to cover up Stalin’s crimes. Why? Pulitzer from USS Maine fame let his award stand. The same elite system and journalism is at work targeting Trump’s attempt to contain another scourge (Not to take a Spencerian view on the subject).

          If the NYT was serious about Putin they would have dedicated a Sunday magazine section to the horrible irony of that Polish crash in the Katyn forest of Stalin infamy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katyn_massacre http://www.dw.com/en/smolensk-plane-crash-divides-poland-to-this-day/a-38373842 Putin was the investigator. He later graduated to verifying Assad’s CW removal and then as master compliance officer of the Iran Deal.

          So the forces in 1932 still seem alive in 2017…….

  • Randolph Carter

    I find the title “Washington becomes first US state to recognize Holodomor as genocide” to be particularly egregious – where the hell are the others (or the Federal government)? Failure to recognize the Holodomor as genocide seems to indicate that the remaining 49 states and/or the USA government do not see Ukrainian persecution as worth recognition. How much more evidence is needed before the Holodomor is seen as it truly is, a crime against humanity?

    Quoting from Wikipedia (which I understand many feel is a questionable source):

    “In 1932 (Walter) Duranty received a Pulitzer Prize for a series of reports about the Soviet Union, 11 of them published in June 1931. He was criticized then and later for his denial of widespread famine (1932–33) in the USSR, most particularly the mass starvation in Ukraine. Years later, there were calls to revoke his Pulitzer; The New York Times, which submitted his work for the prize in 1932, wrote that his articles constituted “some of the worst reporting to appear in this newspaper.”

    Ultimately, Sig Gissler, administrator of the Pulitzer Prize board, declined to revoke the award. In a press release of 21 November 2003, he stated that with regard to the 13 articles by Duranty from 1931 submitted for the award “there was not clear and convincing evidence of deliberate deception, the relevant standard in this case.”

    Sally J. Taylor, author of the critical Duranty biography Stalin’s Apologist, argues that his reporting from the USSR was a key factor in U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1933 decision to grant official recognition to the Soviet Union and thus revoked the United States’ recognition of an independent Ukraine”.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      The FDR White House should have been renamed “Pink House” at the very least because of the many Soviet Fellow Travellers and admirers in FDR’s administration and entourage.

  • Screwdriver

    Fact check: So called “Holodomor” was part of “Great Soviet famine” which covered not only parts of Ukraine, but also big parts parts of Russia and Kazakhstan. So if this was a “genocide” – it was against ALL the nationalities of those regions : Russians, Ukrainians, Jews, Kazakhs, Tatars, Greeks, etc…

    • Randolph Carter

      Screwdriver, could you cite your sources? From Wikipedia:

      From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor

      The statistical distribution of famine’s victims among the ethnicities closely reflects the ethnic distribution of the rural population of Ukraine Moldavian, Polish, German and Bulgarian population that mostly resided in the rural communities of Ukraine suffered in the same proportion as the rural Ukrainian population.

      From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denial_of_the_Holodomor

      Denial of the Holodomor is the assertion that the 1932–1933 Holodomor, a man-made famine in Soviet Ukraine, did not occur or diminishing the scale and significance of the famine. This denial and suppression of information about the famine was made in official Soviet propaganda from the very beginning until the 1980s. It was supported by some Western journalists and intellectuals. It was echoed at the time of the famine by some prominent Western journalists, including Walter Duranty and Louis Fischer. The denial of the man-made famine was a highly successful and well orchestrated disinformation campaign by the Soviet government. According to Robert Conquest, it was the first major instance of Soviet authorities adopting the Big Lie propaganda technique to sway world opinion, to be followed by similar campaigns over the Moscow Trials and denial of the Gulag labor camp system.

      Below, a “Red Train” of carts from the “Wave of Proletarian Revolution”
      collective farm in the village of Oleksiyivka, Kharkiv oblast in 1932.
      “Red Trains” took the first harvest of the season’s crop to the
      government depots. During the Holodomor, these brigades were part of the
      Soviet Government’s policy of deliberately taking away food from the
      peasants.”

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ff24913a34b0ace81a80d09a459075a4de5b60edf4fb983728c0f78008560ad5.jpg

      • Screwdriver

        “The Soviet famine of 1932–33 affected the major grain-producing areas of the Soviet Union, leading to millions of deaths in those areas and severe food shortage throughout the USSR. These areas included Ukraine, Northern Caucasus, Volga Region and Kazakhstan,[2] the South Urals, and West Siberia”

        “Estimation of the loss of life[edit]
        The 2004 book The Years of Hunger: Soviet Agriculture, 1931–33 by R.W. Davies and S.G. Wheatcroft, gives an estimate of 5.5 to 6.5 million deaths.[17]
        Encyclopædia Britannica estimates that 6 to 8 million people died from hunger in the Soviet Union during this period, of whom 4 to 5 million were Ukrainians.[18]
        Robert Conquest estimated at least 7 million peasants’ deaths from hunger in the European part of the Soviet Union in 1932–33 (5 million in Ukraine, 1 million in the North Caucasus, and 1 million elsewhere), and an additional 1 million deaths from hunger as a result of collectivization in Kazakh ASSR.[19]
        Another study, by Michael Ellman using data given by Davies and Wheatcroft, estimates “‘about eight and a half million’ victims of famine and repression”, combined, in the period 1930–33.[20]
        In his 2010 book Stalin’s Genocides, Norman Naimark estimates that 3 to 5 million Ukrainians died in the famine.[21]
        In 2008 Russian state Duma issued a statement about the famine, stating that within territories of Povolzhe, Central Black Earth Region, Northern Caucasus, Ural, Crimea, Western Siberia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belaruss the estimated death toll is about 7 million people.[22]”
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_famine_of_1932%E2%80%9333

        • Randolph Carter

          Thank you. One thing though – most of these citations indicate the majority of the deaths coming from Ukraine, i.e.

          “Encyclopædia Britannica estimates that 6 to 8 million people died from
          hunger in the Soviet Union during this period, of whom 4 to 5 million
          were Ukrainians.”

          “Robert Conquest estimated at least 7 million peasants’ deaths … (5 million in Ukraine, 1 million in the North Caucasus, and 1 million elsewhere)”

          Also the Wikipedia Talk page for this article seems to be very contentious about neutrality, especially in defining the loss of life to be primarily Ukrainian vs. Soviet as a whole. With Ukraine appearing over and over, and most of the deaths happening there, suggests more than a natural occurrence and more of a deliberate political focus on Ukraine. This article from Rutgers shows that the Holodomor was deliberately engineered by Stalin:

          “Determined to teach Ukrainian farmers “a lesson they would not forget,”
          Stalin commenced with a political and social initiative to force
          collectivization through man-made famine in the country.”

          “By 1933, Ukrainians are dying at the rate of 25,000 per day, at least
          half of that being children, with a final count approaching 10 million.
          Despite such staggering numbers and convincing suggestions to the
          contrary, Stalin continued to deny famine in Ukraine and to keep
          international aid out of the country.”

          There are citations on the Rutgers page from which they obtained their data and historical information.

          http://www.ncas.rutgers.edu/center-study-genocide-conflict-resolution-and-human-rights/ukrainian-famine

          • Screwdriver

            “One thing though – most of these citations indicate the majority of the deaths coming from Ukraine,”

            You need to realize that eastern parts of “Ukraine” ( Novorossiya) were more Russian then Ukrainian. If Stalin wanted to kill Ukrainians he would do that on the left side of Dnipro river (Malorossiya)., without millions of dead ethnic Russians, Jews, Kazaks, Greeks and Tatars

          • Randolph Carter

            The map below indicates that the deaths due to the Holodomor happened on both sides of the Dnieper. Just out of curiosity, why do you refer to Eastern Ukraine as “Novorossiya” and Western Ukraine as “Malorossiya”? Given that Ukraine is independent, it would seem that these are archaic names and that “Novorossiya” is an outdated concept whose creation failed. Are they pre-glasnost USSR names?

            http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/ukraine/images/holomodor-map-1.jpg