GHOSTS OF THE HOLODOMOR

Author: Tatyana Grigoryevna Ivzhenko

GHOSTS OF THE HOLODOMOR. (By Tatyana Grigoryevna Ivzhenko, NG staff correspondent in Ukraine. Nezavisimaya gazeta, June 1, 2009, p. 3. Complete text:) This week [on May 22 - Trans.] the Ukrainian Security Service (USS) launched a criminal case against the perpetrators of the Holodomor - the artificially created famine of 1932-1933 that took the lives of millions of people. This news shocked even those whose ancestors survived that horrific time, those who for their entire lives have honored the memory of the dead even without political decrees instructing them to do so. After all, with its rock-hard specificity, a criminal case based on a particular article of the Criminal Code is fundamentally different from the sacred duty of remembering, a duty that shapes the moral values of the nation. In just one day, men in uniform turned the tragedy into a farce.

It hasn't even been a year since the USS published a list of the people who orchestrated the Holodomor. It had 19 names on it, with Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin in the No. 1 spot. Not much is known about the remaining 18. To this day, it is not entirely clear why this was done: Ordinary Ukrainians do not need the authorities to tell them that the blame rests not so much with people who are long dead as with a system that ceased to exist long before 1991. President Viktor Yushchenko has repeatedly said that recognition and commemoration of the Holodomor has nothing to do with trying to settle accounts with the perpetrators. This is precisely one of those cases in which it is the living who need to know the truth.

Could it be that, in publishing its list, the USS was trying to send a message that there is no one to file complaints against? Or was this perhaps the way that Ukraine wanted to convince Dmitry Medvedev to come to Kiev last ...

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