To many people, the assessment of the Holodomor as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people, which is entrenched in the law passed by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Nov. 28, 2006, is unconvincing. The Russian Federation is particularly opposed to it. This places a great responsibility on historians. When the law was being passed, every Ukrainian MP was given a thick folder with documented proof. Now it is the task of our parliamentarians to convince those who still doubt the correctness of the position that was adopted by most Ukrainian parliamentarians. Scholars themselves must also show where they have achieved consensus and where they still disagree.
The international forum pegged to the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor is slated for Sept. 25-26 in Kyiv. This event will include an international scholarly conference that will examine the causes and demographic consequences of the tragedy that befell the Ukrainian people and issue a legal assessment.
What will be the scholarly verdict? That depends on the results of the discussion that must begin even before we take our seats at the conference table. On the pages of this newspaper, which has always devoted attention to the problem of the Holodomor, I would like to submit a number of questions for discussion by my colleagues and the general public.
FAMINE AND HOLODOMOR
There is actually no difference between the concepts of famine and Holodomor. In both cases, people were dying because they had no food. However, there is a quantitative difference: in the latter case, the death toll was incomparably higher. Hence the term, Holodomor, meaning “to kill by hunger.”
In December 1987 Volodymyr Shcherbytsky, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine (CC CP(B)U), admitted that a famine had taken place in the USSR, but he attributed it to drought. Drought was also indicated by the communist faction during the deliberations in the Ukrainian parliament of President Yushchenko’s Holodomor bill. However, weather statistics do not support the drought theory. Stalin himself did not fault the weather, and he explained the “food difficulties” by the inadequate work of the peasants on collective farms.
The resolution of the CC CP(B)U, entitled “On the Famine of 1932-33 in Ukraine and the Publication of Archival Materials Connected with It” (Jan. 20, 1990) attributed the famine to what was called “a grain-delivery policy that was disastrous for the peasantry.” Indeed, as a result of the confiscation of grain from the 1932 harvest, grain-producing regions were struck by famine, which led to tens of thousands of deaths. Ukraine differed from other regions in that the state took away almost all the grain not only from the 1932 harvest but also from the 1931 harvest. Thus, famine began in Ukraine in the first half of 1932 and continued practically uninterrupted until the second half of 1932. Like in other regions, it claimed the lives tens of thousands of peasants.
Russian politicians and scholars emphasize that the famine was a general peasant tragedy that was caused by the government’s policy. This policy is being condemned, but at the same time it is being justified. It is claimed that grain was confiscated in order to earn hard currency to build new projects for the first Five-Year Plan. It is stressed that the Soviet Union’s industrial weakness would have never allowed it to gain a victory in the Great Patriotic War. This vision of history allows the ruling circles in contemporary Russia to highlight the achievements of the past and to conceal crimes. This is precisely why our opponents in Russia are trying to dilute our tragedy, which claimed millions of victims in the all-Union famine that also took place in Ukraine before the Holodomor.
Non-recognition of the Holodomor as a separate phenomenon allows them to nullify any efforts to qualify it as an act of genocide. First of all, Soviet-era diplomats of the Stalinist regime succeeded in excluding social groups, among which peasants figure, from the text of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. There are only four population groups to which the facts of genocide apply: racial, religious, ethnic, and national.
Second, the confiscation of grain, whatever the circumstances, is explained by state interests (in this case, by the need to speed up industrialization). In other words, it is not linked to the deliberate creation of conditions that were incompatible with life, and the Convention on Genocide is supposed to establish this final goal.
Studying the past requires knowledge of the circumstances in which the mortality rate in Ukraine began to reach hideous proportions. This means that an analysis of the Kremlin’s socioeconomic and nationalities policies should be carried out within this set of information.
When the state was confiscating the grain, the peasants resisted. This passive resistance gradually took on spontaneous forms of massive sabotage of the work on collective farms. The loss of grain because of weed-infested fields and mismanaged harvesting campaigns became disastrous both for the state and the peasants. Active resistance consisted of unorganized but massive protests against the government. In March 1930 it was by and large Ukrainian peasants (nearly 3,000 compared to 1,275 in all other regions) who forced Stalin to suspend the collectivization process for half a year.
Newly-published OGPU documents indicate that in the second half of 1932 the situation in the Ukrainian countryside, which had been starving for two years in a row – was becoming particularly explosive. The economic crisis in the USSR was intensifying, one of whose indicators of which was the mass famine among the population. Stalin dispatched extraordinary grain-delivery commissions to Ukraine, the North Caucasus, and the Povolzhie (Trans-Volga region), which confiscated all the grain. To forestall protests by the starving peasantry, Stalin addressed a joint session of the Politburo of the Central Committee and the Presidium of the Central Control Commission (TsKK) of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolshevik) (VKP(B)) on Nov. 27, 1932, declaring that anti-Soviet elements were penetrating the collective farms in order to commit acts of wrecking and sabotage. “It would be unwise for the communists, proceeding from the fact that collective farms are a socialist form of economy, to fail to respond to the blow of these individual collective farmers and collective farms with a destructive blow,” he emphasized.
Ukrainian collective farmers became the main target of Stalin’s preemptive attack. It was precisely in the Ukrainian SSR and the Kuban region that the collective farms that were most in arrears with regard to the grain deliveries in November and December 1932 found themselves blacklisted. These collective farms were constantly searched for hidden grain, and all food supplies were confiscated. The starving populace was becoming incapable of resisting. In January 1933 the Chekists confiscated nearly all existing foods on the entire territory of Ukraine. Thus, in the final months of 1932 and the first half of 1933 the all-Union famine was transformed into the hideous Holodomor in Ukraine. At the same time, the state declared for the first time that collective farm production belonged to it and not the collective farmers. In January 1933, instead of limitless food apportionment (prodrozkladka), mandatory grain deliveries in the form of taxation were introduced in the USSR. The acute economic crisis that threatened to unseat Stalin thus came to an end, and collective farms acquired the format in which we remember them.
PROOF OF GENOCIDE
The ROSSPEN (Russian Political Encyclopedia) Publishers recently issued a fundamental monograph by Professor Viktor Kondrashin of Penza University, entitled The Famine of 1932-33: The Tragedy of the Russian Countryside. The author refers to my book, Why Did He Destroy Us? Stalin and the Ukrainian Holodomor, which was issued last year as part of The Day’s Library Series. He states the following: “In today’s Ukraine, because of the political state of affairs, a theory has appeared which divides the tragedy that befell the entire Soviet peasantry in 1932-1933 into an ‘act of genocide, namely the Holodomor, in Ukraine’ and the famine that befell other regions of the former USSR, including Russia. According to the cynical assessment of some advocates of this approach, Russia should agree with this evaluation of events that took place in 1932-1933 in order to become a ‘democratic country.’”
There is only one point with which I could agree with Kondrashin: Ukraine’s legislative and executive branches united for the first time when they recognized the Holodomor as an act of genocide. This is the current state of affairs. However, I must point out that the emergence of this ‘theory’ has nothing to do with it. It is easy to prove that contemporary politicians were simply listening to arguments that have been in scholarly circulation for more than two decades.
In January 1990 I familiarized myself with two sets of information that are independent of each other and which compelled me to separate the Ukrainian famine from the all-Union one. The most important document of the first set was located in a collection in the party archives at the Institute of Party History. This is a resolution passed by the Politburo of the CC CP(B)U on Nov. 18, 1932, which contains a clause about levying meat fines on those who were in arrears with regard to the state grain deliveries. The Radnarkom’s resolution about levying meat fines and “and other foodstuffs” (potatoes) was included in a collection of documents that was being prepared for publication by the Institute of History at the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR.
This collection of party documents was submitted to the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU) on Jan. 20, 1990. After a heated debate, it was decided to publish it. None of the CC members who had voted for its publication understood what “fines in kind” meant. As stated above, the famine was attributed to the grain deliveries.
The other set of information consisted of three volumes of eyewitness testimonies provided by Holodomor survivors. These testimonies were submitted to the US Commission on the Ukraine Famine. James Mace, its executive director, brought me the galleys of this three-volume publication. I described the manuscript’s contents in the journal Pid praporom komunizmu (Under the Banner of Communism), and I highlighted the universal searches in the course of which not only meat and potatoes were confiscated as “fines in kind” but all foodstuffs. The facts were shocking: a half-bottle of grain brought by a grandmother to her grandsons was confiscated, a pot of borshch was overturned on the stove-even a rag doll was confiscated because there was a chunk of bread sewn into one of the sleeves.
Was the state selling grain abroad in order to purchase turbines for the Dniprohes, the Dnipro Hydroelectric Station? Any connection between Dniprohes and the Holodomor can be ruled out as soon you remind yourself of that overturned pot of borshch or the rag doll. What happened in January 1933 was a huge operation aimed at annihilating millions of people before the very eyes of the population of the entire country, which did not notice anything. After all, how can one notice the deaths of millions on a limited territory in the conditions of an information and physical blockade, when people in other regions were also starving to death?
The organizers of the Holodomor proved so skilful at concealing it that it would take years to reveal the truth. I already had five years’ experience studying the subject, and I understood the goal of the “fines in kind.” Therefore, I believed Mace’s eyewitnesses, who in our country were called fascist collaborators. That is why in my book Tsina “velykoho perelomu” (The Price of the “Great Breakthrough”), issued by the Ukraina Publishers in 1991, I reached the following conclusion: “The famine and the genocide in the countryside were programmed beforehand” (p. 302).
In order to conceal their criminal actions, those who organized the all-out confiscation of foodstuffs from peasants’ homes left no official records. It was carried out on the basis of verbal orders by brigades of “grain deliverers” led by Chekists. The similarity of their actions in each raion is corroborated by eyewitnesses who survived the Holodomor. Their accounts are included in the Memorial Books of Holodomor Victims, copies of which will be available in every oblast of Ukraine as of this year. Along with documents attesting to the “fines in kind,” they indicate that the Stalinist government deliberately used famine as a weapon meant to destroy the Ukrainian peasantry.
To sum up: in 1929-31 the USSR carried out collectivization, which was accompanied by repressions that targeted millions of peasants. The economic relations between the city and the countryside, which were established after collectivization, led to a crisis that the state overcame by both economic and terror measures. The confiscation of all foodstuffs took place in only two regions where Ukrainians comprised two-thirds of the population. In other words, this confiscation was aimed not against peasants in general but against Ukrainian peasants.
ETHNIC CLEANSING OR TERROR?
The documented mechanism behind the organization of the Holodomor consisted of three elements: the confiscation of food, the ban on the departure of starving peasants from Ukraine and the Kuban to other regions, and the information blockade. All together, these measures meant the creation of conditions incompatible with life, i.e., genocide. The UN Convention does not require that the causes of genocide be explained. However, in our case, it must be proved that Ukrainian peasants were being destroyed not as peasants but as Ukrainians. This is where the problem arises: in which of two groups – ethnic or national, as laid down in the UN Convention – should Ukrainians be placed?
Historians have already informed the world community about the immense scale of the tragedy of the Ukrainian people. It was acknowledged in the Joint Statement on the Great Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine (Holodomor) by 36 countries (including Russia) during the 58th session of the UN General Assembly on Nov. 10, 2003, in connection with the 70th anniversary of the Holodomor. When questions about qualifying this tragedy arise, a wall rises up between us and our fellow discussants. The problem is not just people who are not well versed in this topic but also knowledgeable people and even those who lost relatives during the Holodomor. The crux of the matter is not the grasp of facts but their interpretation.
Were the Ukrainians in the USSR an ethnic or national group? The answer to this question is crucial.
The USSR was a state with a maximum degree of centralization of administration, but it had the look of a commonwealth of sovereign republics, each of which had the right to secede from the federation. The inherent contradiction between the form and content of Soviet statehood was the sword of Damocles hanging over the “titular nation” that made up a Union republic with the status of a state. This “titular nation” was supposed to remain an ethnic community, not a state one. The Kremlin regarded any attempt to realize state rights as separatism.
Did the long-standing policy of overemphasizing the linguistic-cultural segment and the destruction of state political ones within the structure of a nation affect the mentality of the population? They certainly did, as evidenced by sociological surveys. According to the monitoring conducted by the Institute of Sociology at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, respondents were asked to answer the question, “How do you primarily consider yourself?” (in percentages).
It turns out that only one-half of the respondents respect their state, and this situation has lasted for 15 years with only a slight trend for the better. At the same time, it is becoming clear that living within the bounds of their own nationality is not germane to the residents of Ukraine. The small number of people among the respondents who consider themselves representatives of this ethnos is primarily explained by the acceleration of migration processes. On the contrary, closed ethnic communities are germane to the Ukrainian Diaspora. Ukrainians who live outside Ukraine are law-abiding citizens of their host countries, but for the most part they cherish their own nation.
Interpreting facts pertaining to the Holodomor depends on how a person considers him or herself: a representative of the Ukrainian ethnos or a citizen of Ukraine? The exposure of this tragedy began in the Diaspora, which is why overseas the predominant idea was that the Kremlin rulers had assigned themselves the task of exterminating Ukrainians as an ethnic group. This idea was picked up on by part of the population in Ukraine because it was Ukrainians who had died en masse. At the same time, the thesis about the deliberate extermination of Ukrainians caused a sharp reaction in another part of the population. After all, it was no less understandable that the Soviet government was not hunting down every Ukrainian only because s/he had the misfortune of being born Ukrainian. The most painful reaction came from Russians both in Ukraine and in Russia. Ethnic cleansing always involves the clearing of a certain territory in favor of another ethnic group. It is not difficult to guess which one.
The interpretation of the Holodomor as ethnic cleansing placed it typologically on a par with the Holocaust. That was why the Diaspora started referring to the Holodomor as the Ukrainian Holocaust. Vasyl Hryshko’s classical work Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears first appeared in New York in 1963. It was reprinted in 1978 under a new title, The Ukrainian Holocaust.
The word combination “Ukrainian Holocaust” is unacceptable in relation to the Holodomor. To begin with, there was a Ukrainian Holocaust, one in which half a million Jews were massacred by the Nazis and their allies in Ukraine during the Second World War. This cannot be forgotten, and the application of this word combination to another tragedy is an indirect invitation for us to forget the first one. Secondly, the identification of the Holodomor with the Holocaust pushes the former into the category of ethnic cleansing, whereas the Holodomor should be considered a form of terror.
In the last few years a large number of documents on the Kremlin’s nationalities policy have been published. They offer undeniable proof that Stalin strove to make the Ukrainian nation, which was a threat to his personal power, into a politically harmless ethnic group. When the Holodomor turned Ukrainians into an inert mass of hunted individuals, he adopted efforts to give them the appearance of a blossoming nation. In 1934 the Ukrainian capital was transferred to Kyiv, the national center of the Ukrainian people.
According to Mace, the objective of the Stalinist terror by famine was understood long before the publication of the Kremlin’s secret documents. In 1982 this 30-year-old scholar addressed a Holocaust conference in Tel Aviv, where he briefly defined this goal: to destroy the Ukrainian people as a political factor and as a social organism. He repeated this formula about the destruction of the Ukrainians in a paper that he presented at the first scholarly conference on the famine of 1932-33, held in Montreal in 1983.
ORGANIZERS AND – EXECUTORS
Perhaps the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory’s most significant event last year was an exhibit entitled “My zvynuvachuiemo! (We Accuse!). It is available in the form of color panels and as an album that was issued in a large print run. Four pages of the album are dedicated to “Stalin’s Satraps: The Organizers of the Great Famine.” There are eight of them: Joseph Stalin, general secretary of the CC AUCP(B); Viacheslav Molotov, head of the Sovnarkom; Lazar Kaganovich and Pavel Postyshev, secretaries of the CC AUCP(B); V. Balytsky, plenipotentiary of the OGPU in Ukraine; Stanislav Kosior, general secretary of the CC CP(B)U; Vlas Chubar, head of the Radnarkom of the Ukrainian SSR; and Mendel Khataevich, secretary of the CC CP(B)U.
This list can – and must be – updated. The names of Kosior and Chubar should be deleted because they knew nothing about Stalin’s plan. Khataevich may have known, but his position did not allow him to play an independent role. This leaves five people, but another individual must be added-Ye. Yevdokimov, the OGPU’s plenipotentiary in the North Caucasus. Of these six, one-half died a natural death (Stalin, Molotov, Kaganovich), and the other half was purged. Stalin did not want to leave any traces, not even in people’s memories.
I have already publicized the names of the people who were involved in organizing the Holodomor in The Day, after which I was scolded by Yu. Hubenia-for failing to mention Kosior and Chubar. “Are our homegrown criminals any better? Did they kill in a more humane fashion?” (Den, Aug. 1, 2008.) I would be happy to make Mr. Hubenia happy, but the list is what it is. Also, why should we consider those who ruled Ukraine as “homegrown”?
In fact, the number of people who were involved in this heinous crime turns out to be quite small. In fact, with the exception of Balytsky, Yevdokimov, and Postyshev, who were purged, but with the addition of Nikolai Yezhov, they were the ones who carried out a series of large-scale punitive operations not only in Ukraine but all the other Soviet republics in 1937. Society, as well as the state party that was formally empowered as a dictatorship, proved to be powerless against the ill will of the small group of leaders.
If we have identified the organizers, identifying the executors is a far more complicated task. What is Soviet power? This is three separate verticals of over-centralized power that had practically merged with the society: the party one (tens of thousands of apparatchiks, hundreds of thousands of activists, millions of party and Komsomol members); the soviet one (hundreds of thousands of employees, millions of members of unions and civic organizations); and the Chekist one (tens of thousands of operatives, hundreds of thousands of secret informers). To which rung of this hierarchical ladder should we restrict ourselves?
On every rung there were zealous executors of the leaders’ will, agents provocateurs, and brave and outspoken individuals. Therefore, I would not risk drawing up a list of executors. People found themselves in a situation from which there was no escape. Today they could be hangmen and tomorrow-victims. Starving members of the komnezams (poor peasants’ committees) were directly involved in carrying out Stalin’s action, which was aimed at confiscating all foodstuffs. They were fed as long as they “worked.” Eventually they too starved to death.
At any rate, a list of executors has already been compiled and posted in July of this year on the Web site of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). What can I say about it?
The SBU’s initiative should be supported because, barring television, the Internet is the most effective way to acquaint the general public with topical historical problems. However, the manner in which the pertinent data is provided is inadequate according to several parameters.
First, one-third of the documents relates to the famine, not the Holodomor. Second, the documents on the Holodomor do not describe the mechanism of terror. The absence of such documents in the SBU archives cannot justify their absence on the Web site. This is an archival-documentary project, and it should use documents that have been published. Third, the signature under a directive does not necessarily mean that this person was the initiator of events that were supposed to be carried out by executors of the lower level or parallel structures.
One should not forget the main feature of Soviet power: the absolute subordination of lower rungs to the higher ones. The principle of “democratic centralism,” which underpinned the activity of any organized structures, led to omnipotence at the top of the power pyramid. Those at the top dictated the conduct of all organs and links of the state administration. They were the ones who determined who was to sign documents about carrying out the repressions, as well as the content of these documents.
After this list of documents was made public, a small scandal erupted in the press, which was caused by the over-zealous deciphering of the real surnames or names of the listed individuals. For example, Mironov’s real name turned out to be Kagan; Genrikh Grigorievich Yagoda turned out to be Yenokh Gershenovich. The Ukrainian Jewish Committee immediately accused the SBU of anti-Semitism. Its committee’s executive director Eduard Dolinsky declared: “This list contains 18 names, and the majority of them are Jewish. At the same time, the real culprits, such as the ethnic Ukrainians Hryhorii Petrovsky and [Vlas] Chubar, did not make it into this list.”
There were actually 19 names on the list, including one Georgian, two Ukrainians, five Russians, eight Jews, and three individuals of various ethnic backgrounds. Contrary to Dolinsky’s allegation, Jews do not figure prominently in this list. However, the accurate decoding of the names is probably proof of the compilers’ desire not to omit a single Jew. This is sad. Fifty-five years after Stalin’s death we are still looking at each other the way this expert on the nationalities question was counting on. It is not at all surprising that the list has only two Ukrainian names; there were many more Ukrainians in the non-Ukrainian regions. It is not surprising that there are eight Jews on this list, considering that they were separated from the Ukrainian milieu. All of the ones on the list were used and then killed. Stalin skillfully played on national prejudices; this was the legacy of past historical eras.
DEMOGRAPHIC CONSEQUENCES OF THE HOLODOMOR
It would seem that there is nothing easier than determining the demographic consequences of the Holodomor. After all, we have the results of the 1926 and 1927 censuses, as well as annual data on mechanical and natural migration processes. Natural migration was recorded in 1932-33, but very poorly. With accurate data on all the other years of the inter-census period it is possible to determine the rates of non-natural mortality.
Apart from statistics, there is also the Institute of Demography and Social Studies, which is in a position to make computations on a professional level. Why, then, does the above-mentioned album We Accuse contain ten different assessments ranging from three to seven million people? Why does the writer Vasyl Bahriany or the legendary army commander Vasyl Kuk, people who are not experts in the field of demography listed as experts? Last but not least, why does this album not cite such a specialist as the Ukrainian academician Serhii Pyrozhkov, the founder of the Institute of Demography and Social Studies, who is now Ukraine’s ambassador to Moldova?
The first scholarly findings on the mortality rate in Ukraine were published in 1990. Since then, Ukrainian, US, Australian, and French researchers have analyzed Soviet demographic statistics and arrived at a more or less identical conclusion: in 1932-33, Ukraine’s natural mortality rate was exceeded by three to four million people. The drop in the birth rate owing to the famine raises the total of demographic losses to five million. Considering the abnormally high mortality rate in the North Caucasus, the famine claimed six million.
In stating the losses resulting from the Holodomor, Ukraine’s official representatives unjustifiably relied on statistics that figured in Ukrainian Diaspora publications. These overstated figures were disconnected from demographic statistics, which in Soviet times were concealed from the public no less assiduously than Soviet defense statistics. Volodymyr Kubijovic, an authoritative demographer and geographer in Diaspora circles, declared that the direct losses amounted to three million, specifying that “Most authors list much higher losses caused by the famine-four to seven million. If these figures were accepted, one would have to consequently assume a very strong influx of people to Ukraine from other republics, particularly to the countryside, in order to equalize such huge losses. We have no data on such a massive influx of non-Ukrainians to Ukrainian villages.”
In New York City this past April I met with Askold Lozynsky, the president of the World Ukrainian Congress, and gave him a copy of my monograph in which I devote special attention to the demographic consequences of the Holodomor. Unfortunately, my book did not convince Mr. Lozynsky. In an article published in The Day on 6 June he once again repeated the Diaspora’s figures of seven to ten million victims. Will the demographic section of our conference slated for September finally be able to resolve this question?
The UN General Assembly will not examine the Holodomor issue this year. Russia’s representatives proposed that it be postponed for a year, explaining that they have to coordinate their position with Ukraine.
We have to convince not only Russia but also our own society and the international community of the correctness of the findings on the Holodomor. However, we must convince not with emotions but on the basis of data stemming from scholarly analyses of this historical phenomenon. This is why authoritative scholars must have a common position on the problems raised in this article. A common position will be instrumental in shaping world public opinion in regard to the Ukrainian Holodomor. Then it will be possible to resubmit this question to the United Nations.
On Aug. 10, 2008, Vladimir Putin visited Vladikavkaz, the capital city of North Ossetia, to make the sensational statement that in the current conditions South Ossetia cannot be re-integrated into Georgia. He called the situation in South Ossetia an act of genocide against the Ossetian people.
There was nothing coincidental about his statement about genocide. On a Web site (http://osgenocide.ru/) that was created in May 2007 you can find meticulously collected data on all inter-ethnic conflicts. This Web site has become the ideological justification of political events that are aimed at withdrawing South Ossetia from Georgia.
Putin’s statement sparked an almost instant reaction. On Aug. 14 the investigative committee of Russia’s Prosecutor-General’s Office initiated criminal proceedings in connection with the killing of Russian citizens and Russian peacekeepers by Georgian troops in South Ossetia. This criminal case was initiated on the strength of the genocide clause. Georgia may well respond with its own account of the events that are now commonly referred to as the war between Russia and Georgia. What is surprising is how quickly and expertly Russia’s leaders are using the legal concept of genocide in order to achieve their political objectives.
Perhaps we should borrow from this experience and create our own Web site. We can guarantee that we will not have any political goals. Our sole objective will be to call a spade a spade. Current and future generations of Ukrainians should know that the victims of the Holodomor were victims of genocide.