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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » July 30, 2008
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Ukrainian Famine Remembered in Poland
July 30, 2008   
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Ukraine's ambassador to Poland Olexander Motsyk July 25 accepted a torch that has been traveling the world as part of a campaign commemorating the victims of a famine in Ukraine in which millions died of starvation 1932-1933.

Motsyk accepted the "inextinguishable light" from the Ukrainian ambassador to Belarus, Ihor Likhoviy, and members of the Ukrainian minority in Belarus at the Polish parliament in Warsaw. Motsyk said he was grateful that Poland had joined an international campaign to recognize the Ukrainian Great Famine as genocide. He added, "As good neighbors should, Ukraine and Poland are building a common Europe together, without dividing lines, of which our country will also become an integral part in the near future."

He said that "the joint organization and hosting of the Euro 2012 soccer championships in Ukraine and Poland will be a milestone on this road."

The Inextinguishable Light International Campaign began April 6, 2008 at the initiative of the Ukrainian World Congress in association with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko. Poland is the 17th country that the symbolic flame has visited. On Aug. 8 Motsyk and representatives of the Ukrainian community in Poland were to hand over the Inextinguishable Light to Ukrainians in Germany.

The Great Famine in Ukraine in the 1930s was not the result of a disaster, but of intentional measures taken by the communist authorities, who collectivized agriculture, stripped kulaks, or rich peasants, of their land and ruthlessly seized farmers' grain. The authorities introduced special passports without which no one could leave their area. The effects were deadly: researchers estimate the number of victims of starvation at anywhere between 3.5 and 7 million. Some even estimate 10 million.

Anna Korólczyk
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