Wed. Nov 30th, 2022

A special service was held Tuesday at the Saskatchewan Legislative Building to remember the lives lost during the famine in Ukraine 90 years ago.

In 1932 and 1933, Ukraine experienced a man-made famine as a result of the Soviet Union’s mismanagement of agricultural crop production.

Crops were taken from farmers and regulations were imposed to prevent people from leaving their communities in search of food. Millions died of starvation. “Holodomor” means “extermination by hunger” in the Ukrainian language and is used to commemorate the day of remembrance.

“The incomprehensible tragedy of the Holodomor, the Great Famine, happened 90 years ago, but it must not and will not be forgotten,” said MP Terry Dennis, who is responsible for Saskatchewan-Ukraine relations.

“We remember and join our fellow citizens of Ukrainian descent in Saskatchewan to ensure that those who suffered and those who perished in those terrible years will forever remain in our memory.”

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Elena Krueger, president of the Ukrainian-Canadian Congress of Saskatchewan, said that Russia’s current actions are an extension of the oppression of the Holodomor.

“We are seeing a repeat of the actions of 90 years ago, as grain from the European basket is again kept from those who need it,” Krueger said. “The Russian Federation’s use of food as a weapon threatens world economic stability, contributes to skyrocketing prices and fuels hunger.”

Click to play video: 'Zelenskyy warns millions could soon face starvation without Ukrainian wheat and corn'

Zelenskyy warns that millions of people could soon face starvation without Ukrainian wheat and corn

Ukrainian refugee Anastasiia Vasylieva attended the ceremony and spoke about the current situation in Ukraine with the help of translator Oleh Kovalchuk.

“Gas and food are gone,” she said. “You could buy 20 liters of petrol, standing in line from six to 12 hours.”

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When Vasylieva left in March, most people in the cities were living in basements because the surface was constantly under fire, and most citizens were forced to drink drain water.

There are a few hospitals left. she explained, however, most people in need of care could not get there due to a lack of safe transportation.

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“The city is under constant shelling and there is not a single building that has remained undamaged.”

“People die not only from bombs, but also from disease, hunger and cold,” said her translator. “A humanitarian disaster has occurred. What is it if not the genocide of the Ukrainian people in 2022?”

The ceremony was closed with the lighting of a memorial candle that will burn throughout the week as a symbol of solidarity with those who commemorated the Holodomor genocide.

International Holodomor Day will be officially recognized by the people on November 26.

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