Every year, on the fourth Saturday of November, Ukrainians worldwide commemorate the great famine of 1932-1933 in soviet Ukraine. It is called the Holodomor.

People gathered at Winnipeg’s city hall, in front of the Holodomor memorial, for a short panakhyda – a mass in memory of the lives lost in the genocide.

Lubomyr Luciuk, a professor at the Royal Military College of Canada, said the Holodomor took the lives of no less than 4.5 million people in just six months.

“When you think of that, you think of the enormous loss of life, the concentration in the geographical area, soviet Ukraine, and the intensity of the losses, it’s a tragedy that’s almost unique in world history,” said Luciuk.

He said this event is important in bringing to the world’s attention just how little known the Holodomor still is.

“The soviets denied it right to the end of the soviet union. There were people in Canada, unfortunately, who conspired to deny the famine," said Luciuk.

On the same day that Ukrainians held vigils around the world, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau voiced his solidarity and support for the Canadian–Ukrainian diaspora.

“Today, we stand with Ukrainians in denouncing the historical atrocities committed against them, and in support of their enduring right to self-determination, freedom, and democracy,” said Trudeau.

Prime Minister Trudeau also touched on the current ongoing crisis in Ukraine stating that Canada can play an important part in bringing this conflict to an end.

“The Government of Canada stands firmly against Russia's ongoing military aggression in Ukraine,” said Trudeau. “As a country, we also remain committed to helping rebuild the democratic, economic, and security institutions that will help Ukraine flourish once more.”

In Winnipeg, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights posted a picture of the life-size statue of the young girl clutching a handful of wheat. She is the representation of the human loss of the Holodomor.



During the winter of 1932 and 1933, millions of Ukrainians died of hunger in a famine caused by the Soviet government...

Posted by Canadian Museum for Human Rights on Friday, November 27, 2015

Luciuk said after years of people suppressing the truth about the famine, it finally came out.

“Today is about remembering the losses and making sure something like this doesn’t happen again,” said Luciuk.