The French parliament has recognised as “genocide” the 1930s starvation of millions in Ukraine under Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, a move welcomed by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
In a resolution adopted by 168 votes to two, the legislators called on the French government to do the same as the current Russian invasion in Ukraine revives memories of the atrocity meted out on Ukraine in the 1930s by Stalin.
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The text adopted in Paris on Tuesday recognised “the genocidal nature of the forced and planned famine by the Soviet authorities against the Ukrainian population in 1932 and 1933”.
The 1932-33 “Holodomor” — the Ukrainian word for “death by starvation” — is regarded by Kyiv as a deliberate act of genocide by Stalin’s regime with the intention of wiping out the peasantry. Stalin’s campaign of forced “collectivisation” seized grain and other foodstuffs and left millions to starve.
Zelenskyy said on Tuesday that he appreciated the “historic decision”, in a tweet thanking the French members of parliament. Kyiv has urged the international community to declare the starvation in Ukraine as “genocide”.
“Today we have a decision of the French Parliament, which recognized the Holodomor as genocide of the Ukrainian people. I am grateful for this principled and fair step, for spreading the historical truth to another European country,” Zelenskyy said later.
🇫🇷 Parliament's recognition of the Holodomor of 1932-33 as genocide of 🇺🇦 people is important & significant. Grateful for 🇫🇷's strong contribution to exposing totalitarian Russia's past & present crimes, establishing truth, justice, & hence accountability. Thank you France 🇺🇦🤝🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/nNNYr1leHD
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 28, 2023
Moscow rejects Kyiv’s account of the period, placing the starvation in Ukraine in the broader context of famines that devastated regions of Central Asia and Russia.
Russia’s ongoing war, the targeting of Ukrainian grain storage facilities and its blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea exports have raised accusations that Moscow is using food as a weapon of war once again.