AUGB President, Zenko Lastowiecki, hands the torch to Coventry branch chair, Roman Leszczyszyn.

Over 100 people gathered at the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Coventry to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor. Neighbouring communities from Rugby, Leicester and Wolverhampton were also represented. The Holodomor torch of remembrance was passed over by AUGB President Zenon Lastowiecki to Branch Chairman Roman Leszczyszyn. The service was conducted by o. D. Senyk and o. M. Matwyjyvski. Also present at the service were Askold Lozinsky, President of the World Congress of Ukrainians and Vladislav Rohoviy from the Ukrainian Embassy. After the service two flowering cherries were planted in the Church gardens in memory of those who died, by Askold Lozinsky and Roman Leszczyszyn as well as the youngest members of the community Maxym Hnativ and Luka Greshko who were helped by their respective mothers.

The previous Friday an article appeared in the Coventry Evening Telegraph about the remembrance service:

Coventry Ukrainian community remembers dead

June 27 2008

MEMBERS of the Ukrainian community in Coventry will be gathering on Sunday to commemorate the millions of people who died through famine 75 years ago.

The Holodomor, believed by many to have been an act of genocide by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, happened in 1932-1933 killing about seven million Ukrainians.

At the peak of the famine 25,000 people were dying every day.

Up to 25 per cent of the population of Ukraine eventually died.

To mark the 75th anniversary, the Holodomor Torch is travelling around the world and will reach Coventry on Sunday.

A commemorative service will be held in the Ukrainian Catholic Church, in Broad Street, at 6pm, attended by Askold Lozinsky, president of the World Congress of Ukrainians.

Mario Kosmirak, vice-chairman of the Coventry Branch of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, said: "It's very important because the Holodomor was a major atrocity but it was suppressed and hidden for a long time. The Russian government still doesn't want to recognise it for what it really was."

"But this is not a commemoration from a political point of view but to remember the suffering of all those people."

Ukrayinska Dumka


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