Following a debate in Westminster Hall in November which called on the UK government to recognise the Holodomor as a genocide and to include it in the national school curriculum, the AUGB wrote to Minister Alistair Burt MP seeking clarification on the Government’s position.

At the same time the AUGB also wrote to Prime Minister Theresa May MP calling on her to extend her solidarity with Ukraine and raise the anniversary of the Holodomor during PMQ’s.

In a reply to both letters, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office makes it very clear that it recognises the sheer scale of the Holodomor and agrees that “it is important that the events of the Holodomor are not forgotten and that the Government pays tribute to the people who continue to work to keep alive the memory of all those who perished in the Holodomor. The Holodomor was a horrific, man-made disaster of unimaginable scale. We recognise the appalling human tragedy that occurred and its importance in the history of Ukraine and Europe.”

On the specific questions of genocide and judicial process, the letter reiterates Government policy that recognition of genocide is a matter for international judicial bodies rather than governments.

While the government position on the question of genocide is disappointing, the letter makes clear that the government recognises that the Holodomor was a deliberate act by the Soviet authorities against Ukrainians.  

The letter concludes: “The fact that the UK government has not recognised the Holodomor as genocide in no way lessens our recognition of its severity and awfulness. Nor does it lessen our recognition that it is the Soviet leadership at the time who were responsible for the policies and political decisions taken which resulted in the famine causing the deaths of millions of Ukrainians.”

We will continue to press the government for recognition of the Holodomor as genocide and will be discussing this further with the Embassy of Ukraine in the context of commemorating the 85th anniversary of the millions who were starved to death by Stalin.

Click here to read the full text of the letter.

Ukrayinska Dumka


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