|PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES OF THE 113th CONGRESS, 1st SESSION
||Washington, Tuesday, November 19, 2013
THE 80TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE UKRAINIAN FAMINE
HONORABLE BENJAMIN L. CARDIN
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Mr. CARDIN. Madam President, this year we commemorate the 80th
anniversary of the Holodomor, the genocidal Ukrainian Famine of 1932-
1933. Eighty years ago, an engineered famine in Soviet-dominated
Ukraine and bordering ethnically-Ukrainian territory resulted in the
horrific deaths of millions of innocent men, women, and children.
I visited the Holodomor monument in central Kyiv, a poignant reminder
of the suffering perpetrated by Soviet dictator Stalin's deliberate and
inhumane policy to suppress the Ukrainian people and destroy their
human, cultural, and political rights. Requisition brigades, acting on
Stalin's orders to fulfill impossibly high grain quotas, took away the
last scraps of food from starving families and children. Eyewitness
accounts describing the despair of the starving are almost
unfathomable. Millions of rural Ukrainians slowly starved--an
excruciatingly painful form of death--amid some of the world's most
fertile farmland, while stockpiles of expropriated grain rotted by the
ton, often nearby.
Meanwhile, Ukraine's borders were sealed to prevent
the starving from leaving to less-affected areas. International offers
of help were rejected, with Stalin's henchmen denying a famine was
taking place. At the same time, Soviet grain was being exported to the
The final report of the congressionally created Commission on the
Ukraine Famine concluded in 1988 that ``Joseph Stalin and those around
him committed genocide against Ukrainians in 1932-33.'' No less than
Rafael Lemkin, the Polish-Jewish-American lawyer who coined the term
``genocide'' and was instrumental in the adoption of the 1948 U.N.
Genocide Convention, described the ``destruction of the Ukrainian
nation'' as the ``classic example of Soviet genocide.''
We must never forget the victims of the Holodomor or those of other
republics in the Soviet Union, notably Kazakhstan, that witnessed
cruel, mass starvation as a result of Stalin's barbarism, and we must
redouble our efforts to protect human rights and democracy, ensuring
that 20th-century genocides such as the Holocaust, Armenians in the
Ottoman Empire, Ukraine, Bosnia, Cambodia, and Rwanda become impossible
to imagine in the future.