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19.12.2008

Russia blocks UN resolution on Holodomor

   

The Russian Federation Ambassador to the UN, Valery Churkin, announced at a press conference on 18 December that Russia had succeeded in blocking Ukraine’s attempt to have the General Assembly consider and vote on a resolution recognizing Holodomor as genocide of the Ukrainian people.

In Churkin’s words, “I can say that the campaign has ended and ended with nothing. We were able to block their efforts to have this issue placed on the agenda of the previous 62-d session of the General Assembly and we blocked the same efforts at the 63rd.  They realized that they didn’t have enough votes for any resolution on the issue.”

He claimed that the Ukrainian delegation, having lost hope of getting a resolution passed, had circulated a declaration on the issue, but that only 32 countries, including Ukraine, out of 192 had signed it.

“We had a difficult diplomatic confrontation with our Ukrainian neighbours although I find it most unpleasant to speak of confrontation in relation to Ukraine”.

Churkin claimed that Ukraine had politicized the issue, but that Russian diplomats had carried out serious work with colleagues from other countries, explaining all the historical details, and that had achieved results with the overwhelming majority of countries supporting Russia.

Russia claims that famine in the USSR in the 1930s was the shared tragedy in the history of the peoples of the Soviet Union and that it gripped many other areas and republics.

This is not in dispute, however what Russia ignores is the period of time – Holodomor – from November 1932 to around the middle of 1933 when all food was taken away from the peasants in Ukraine and in largely Ukrainian-populated Kuban (in the Northern Caucuses), and when blockades were set up to prevent people fleeing to save themselves and their families from starvation.

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