Saturday, November 26, 2005


A little known bit of history in modern Ukraine passed on to me a few years back...

Several years ago, when Kuchma was President, Yuschenko was Prime Minister, the Diaspora was commemorating the Holodomor, the US Senate, President Clinton issued Holodomor statements and nothing was forthcoming from the Ukrainian government.

A member of the executive board of the UCCA, Ronya Lozynskyj was in Ukraine. She attempted to get something from the Ukrainian government commemorating this Ukrainian tragedy to no avail. Finally, she called Maryna Ostapenko who was at that time a news anchor on the Inter television network and is currently the spokesperson for the SBU, the Security Service of Ukraine. Ostapenko was shocked and angry that nothing was forthcoming from the Ukrainian side. She called Sashko Martynenko, who at the time was Kuchma's press spokesman and is now back with Interfax Ukraine. Martynenko was acutely embarrassed that it seemed that everyone but the Ukrainians themselves cared about this crime against the Ukrainian nation. He placed it on the agenda of the Cabinet of Ministers and at least de jure, Holodomor Remembrance Day was instituted in Ukraine. But of course, we know that beyond that not much more was, in fact, done.

President Yuschenko has committed to educating the not only the world, but even the Ukrainian people themselves about this dark period in world history. Certainly, national self respect demands that the Holodomor finally be recognized for the genocide that it was. Certainly every child that died, every grandparent who perished, every father who couldn't feed his children, every mother who scoured the fields for a single grain, deserves our heads bowed in acknowledgement and prayer.