The deaths in Ukraine during the Holodomor started in the aftermath of Joseph Stalin dispatching police to seize all the grain and livestock in Ukraine for the recently collectivized farms, as well as the seed that was set aside to plant the next seasons crops. Despite Ukraine being one of the most important producers of crops in Europe, this seizure by Stalin meant the Ukrainians would not have enough food to even feed their own people. All due to the goal of eliminating the Ukrainian nation and its statehood(3). Despite recognition by many of these events, Russia continues to deny the labeling of the Holodomor as a genocide, such as when Russian soldiers tore down a monument to the Holodomor in Mariupol with the stated reasoning it was a symbol of “disinformation at the state level.”
Sympathy has been expressed by many beyond Ukraine this year, including in the United States where President Biden has expressed his sympathies and a reaffirmation of American commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Such sentiments have been echoed by other European states, such as Belgium whose Prime Minister stated the importance of continuing support to Ukraine as Russia increasingly targets civilians and infrastructure. Germany has itself indicated that is will be passing a new resolution that declares the starvation imposed on Ukrainians during 1932 to 1933 as a genocide, partly in hope of it serving as a warning against Russia in the hard winter ahead for those in Ukraine. Indeed, Robin Wagener, the German Green party MP who initiated the resolution, called President Putin of Russia a “part of Stalin’s cruel and criminal tradition” and that the Russians are once again planning to use violence and terror in order to subdue the entire country of Ukraine, which has been echoed by Ukraine who has explicitly made the comparison between the “genocidal” tactics of the 1930s with what the Russian armed forces have been engaged in over the course of the war.
The message conveyed by the United States and its allies is that so long as this war endures, and Ukraine keeps fighting for its people against the Russian aggressors, the West will be alongside them in support, in friendship, and in remembrance of those lost in the fight against tyranny.