At the entrance to the memorial park in Kyiv, there is a sculpture of an extremely thin girl with a very sad look holding a handful of wheat in her hands. Behind her back is the Candle of Remembrance. This monument commemorates the Holodomor (Ukr. Голодомор).
What is the Holodomor?
After the end of the First World War, Ukraine was an independent state, but in 1919 the Soviet Union "sucked" it into the community of Soviet states. The Ukrainians considered themselves a Central European country, like Poland, and not an Eastern European country like Russia. They tried to restore Ukraine's independence.
In 1932, not wanting to lose control of Europe's main source of grain, Stalin took away the grain-producing land from the Ukrainian peasants and also all the grain, creating artificial famine. The goal was to "teach Ukrainians to be smart" so that they would no longer oppose Moscow. The people who produced the most grain in Europe were left without a crumb of bread.
Holodomor means Great Famine or "to kill by starvation".
The peak of the Holodomor was in the spring of 1933. In Ukraine at that time, 17 people died of hunger every minute, more than 1,000 every hour, and almost 24,500 every day! People were literally starving to death in the streets. A United Nations joint statement signed by 25 countries in 2003 declared that 7–10 million people perished.
Stalin settled Russians into the emptied Ukrainian villages. During the next census, there was a huge shortage of population. Therefore, the Soviet government annulled the census, destroyed the census documents, and the census takers were shot or sent to the gulag, in order to hide the truth.
Since 2006, the Holodomor has been recognized by Ukraine and 15 other countries as a genocide of the Ukrainian people carried out by the Soviet government. You couldn't learn about it in school because almost all evidence was destroyed and victims were covered up for decades. To this day mass graves are being uncovered.
The Holodomor at that time broke the Ukrainian People, but it did not destroy its identity and made the desire for Ukraine's independence from Russia eternal.
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