First “defamation case” over denial of Holodomor as genocide rejected

11.03.2010 |

The District Court in Novoyazovsk (Donetsk region) has found in favour of a journalist who publicly expressed doubt as to whether Holodomor 1932-1933 was genocide of the Ukrainian people.

The Court on 9 March rejected the suit brought by Vasyl Kovalenko against the newspaper “Ridne Pryyazovya” claiming defamation of the Ukrainian people and asking that an article on Holodomor by Sergei Shvedko be declared an affront of the memory of the victims of the tragedy.

As reported, the court hearings began on 21 January 2010.  Shvedko is the Chief Editor of the above-mentioned newspaper. On 25 November 2009, he published an article entitled “Holodomor strides around the country” and was taken to court over it by Vasyl Kovalenko, owner of a business called “Vlasko” and the Head of the district branch of the political party “Our Ukraine”.  As usual, unfortunately, there is a political flavour to all of this, with the respondent receiving support from another political party – Party of the Regions [“Our Ukraine” is that headed by Viktor Yushchenko, Party of the Regions – by Viktor Yanukovych – translator].

According to the report issued by the local branch of the Party of the Regions, the Court’s judgment reads that “In view of the fact that the respondent in his article did not deny the fact of Holodomor, did not circulate incorrect information, and on the whole the article contains value judgments, convictions, a critical assessment of certain facts and events which are an expression of the subjective opinion and views of the author of the article; in view of the fact that the claimant has not proven that the respondent circulated incorrect information resulting in a violation of his person non-property rights, the Court has ruled to turn down the defamation suit brought by Kovalenko against the Novoyazovsk newspaper “Ridne Pryyazovya” and its Editor”.

From the report at


 Share this