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It was one of the darkest times Ukrainians have ever faced. This week, Ukrainian-Canadians will remember, somberly.

This week is National Holodomor Awareness Week, dedicated to the remembrance of the Holodomor, a 1930s famine that occurred in Ukraine under the Soviet Union. Historians estimate that up to 10 million people starved to death. The Canadian government, along with 15 other countries, European Parliament, and the UN General Assembly, regard the famine as dilberately imposed by the USSR, and consider it to be genocide.

While Canada considers the Holodomor genocide, most countries don’t. Notable countries that do not recognize the Holodomor include France, Germany, China, and Russia.

 

“Right now, we’re at 16 countries that have recognized it, and we’re very fortunate and grateful that Canada was one of the leading countries,” says Iryna Mycak, National Committee Chair for the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. Mycak, reached at her Toronto office, added, “Unfortunately, many countries still have to follow suit.”

 

The week involves events across Canada, including in Regina. Commemoration services will be held on Thursday at the Saskatchewan Legislature, and on Saturday, at the Ukrainian National Federation Hall.

 

There will also be a special touch to the event. “We do have a Holodomor statue, a replica of the exact one that’s in Kyiv, and it is being put as we speak in Wascana Park,” says Orest Gawdyda, Regina’s branch president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. The statue was previously displayed at the Legislative Building.

 

A full schedule of Regina’s events is on the Ukrainian Canadian Congress’ website, at www.ucc.ca.