Ukrainian ambassador to Bucharest asks Romanian PM Nicolae Ciuca to recognise the deadly famine created on Stalin's orders 'as an act of genocide of the Ukrainian people'.
Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca (centre-left) met the ambassador of Ukraine in Romania, Ihor Prokopchuk (centre-right). Photo: Ukraine`s Embassy to Bucharest Facebook page
Ukraine is asking Romania to formally recognise the terrible famine in Soviet Ukraine known as the Holodomor, between 1932-1933, as an act of deliberate genocide.
The ambassador of Ukraine in Romania, Ihor Prokopchuk, raised the issue in discussion with Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca.
“The ambassador of Ukraine raised the issue of the recognition by the Romanian side of the Holodomor of 1932-1933 as an act of genocide of the Ukrainian people,” the Ukrainian embassy in Bucharest wrote on its Facebook page.
The Romanian side did not mention this topic after the meeting. Until the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, relations between Kyiv and Bucharest were cool due to Ukraine’s closure of some schools with Romanian-language teaching.
The Romanian-speaking community in Ukraine is significant. Romanians and Moldovans living in Ukraine number almost half a million people.
After the outbreak of the war in Ukraine in February, relations between the two countries became closer.
Romania is hosting about 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. It also helps Ukraine transport its goods by land and through the Black Sea port of Constanta. Bucharest also supplies Kyiv with ammunition and weapons that the two capitals prefer to keep under wraps.
The Great Famine, or Holodomor, in Ukraine was part of a broader Soviet famine from 1931 to 1934 that caused mass starvation in the grain-growing regions of the Soviet Union.
The Ukrainian famine was made deadlier by a series of political decrees issued by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, primarily aimed at Ukraine.
The main victims were Ukrainian farmers and peasants, representing about 80 per cent of the population of Ukraine in the 1930s. Historians estimate that the total number of victims of the Holodomor ranged between 3.5 and 7 million Ukrainians.
The Soviet Communist Party forced Ukrainian peasants to give up their land, personal property, and sometimes housing to collective farms. It also ordered the deportation of the so-called “kulaks” – wealthier peasants – and any peasants who resisted collectivisation altogether.
Mass starvation was artificially created by imposing quotas of food to be given to Moscow.
The “Five Stalks of Wheat” decree in August 1932 stated that anyone caught taking any product from a farm field could be shot or imprisoned for stealing from “socialist property”. At the beginning of 1933, about 54,645 people were tried and convicted, and 2,000 were executed.
Also, in January 1933, Stalin ordered the restriction of the departure of peasants who sought to leave Ukraine to avoid starvation by closing the borders.
(c) Balkan Insight 2022