Ukraine Marks 73rd Anniversary of Famine

Yesterday marked a dark period in Ukrainian history. Some 33,000 people died every day during the 1932-33 famine, wiping out a third of Ukraine's population in a calamity known here as Holodomor - Death by Hunger. Cases of cannibalism were widespread as desperation deepened. Those who resisted were shot or sent to Siberia.

The Soviet Union dumped 1.7 million tons of grain on Western markets during the Genocide - nearly a fifth of a ton of grain was exported for each person who died of starvation. Over 3,000,000 children born between 1932-1933 died of hunger.

Soviet dictator Josef Stalin started the Great Famine when he ordered the government to seize crops as part of a campaign to force Ukrainian peasants to join collective farms. The famine is already recognized as genocide by 10 countries, including the United States. The Rada, Ukraine’s Parliament is expected to vote this week on the term to be used to describe the horror. President Yushchenko's bid is to include the word "genocide" but such a move is strongly opposed by Russia and our Russian leaning parliament, which has proposed dropping the word and calling the 1932-33 Great Famine a “tragedy” instead.

For more information on the Great Famine of 1932-33: