By failing to learn from the past, the international community risks repeating the same mistakes.
Many countries have already recognized Holodomor as a genocide. If the rest of European countries have the courage to recognize the Holodomor as a genocide and consequently, to stand up for the values of freedom and democracy in an era when the enemies of freedom and democracy are becoming dangerously powerful? The Holodomor has never been officially recognized nor condemned by the collective international community. The Holodomor has been recognized as a genocide by 17 countries.
Invasion, occupation, genocide and assimilation are the four stages of colonization identified by Gord Hill (2009) in his book “500 years of indigenous resistance.” Ukraine went through these stages of colonization by the Russian empire and then Soviet Russia. Today, Putin is again seeking to subjugate Ukraine. Both Stalin and Putin realized that without Ukraine there can be no imperial Russia.
Disinformation during the Holodomor played a key role in the implementation of the genocidal policy. The truth about the Holodomor was carefully hidden by the Soviet secret police. It was only thanks to a few western journalists and the testimony of survivors who left Ukraine after the Second World War that this horrific crime was revealed. It is only since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the opening of historical archives in Ukraine that the truth and extent of this genocide are becoming known. For Russian President Vladimir Putin, the collapse of the Soviet Union was “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century” (2005) and today he is using the same methods of disinformation used by the Soviets.
Raphael Lemkin, a legal expert who defined the term “genocide” for the UN Convention of Genocide, described four precise steps of the Ukrainian genocide perpetrated by the Soviets: destroy the intelligentsia (the brain), extinguish the Ukrainian independent church and the clergy (the soul), exterminate the independent peasantry (the national spirit and culture), and move in non-Ukrainian population to deteriorate the cohesion of the Ukrainian population.
The main message of contemporary Russian propaganda in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine justifying the invasion focused on the need to save the Russian-speaking population from Ukrainians, ridiculously and falsely labelled by Russian propaganda as “Nazis.” The same message of defending the Russian people was spread from Russia to other eastern and southern regions of Ukraine following attacks on Ukrainian public activists.
For several hundred years, Ukraine has been struggling against the imperialism of its northern neighbour, Russia. The inability of the international community to call “a spade a spade” in terms of the Holodomor and to make a step towards historical justice only further emboldens the perpetrator. The so-called “Russian world” is slowly spreading its tentacles to the West by interfering with democratic institutions, backing extremist parties around the world, spreading disinformation, and occupying and invading countries at the cost of thousands of lives right on the border of the European Union.
Our opinion is that the 2014 Russian military invasion of Ukraine is a direct result of the Famine Genocide of Ukrainians 85 years ago committed by Soviet Russia, and which took millions of lives but has yet to be officially recognized by international community and the United Nations.