Cardiff Ukrainians and Helen Mary Jones AM with the Torch. To her left - Vladyslav Rohovyy, and to her right - Askold Lozyskyj and Margaret Siriol Colley

The visit of the Holodomor Torch to the Welsh National Assembly on July 3 produced an immediate result. The Assembly Members who received the Torch are calling for recognition of the Holodomor as genocide.

Helen Mary Jones from Plaid Cymru – part of the ruling coalition in Cardiff - was backed by opposition members of both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties. She described the Holodomor as barbaric and systematic starvation of more than seven million Ukrainians.

She received the Torch from Vladyslav Rohoviy, cultural attaché at the embassy of Ukraine in London. The ceremony on the steps of the Senedd – the Assembly building - was also addressed by Askold Lozynskyj, President of the Ukrainian World Congress, and Dr Margaret Siriol Colley, niece of Gareth Jones, the Welshman who was the first journalist to write an honest and accurate account of the 1932-33 famine. He was murdered two years later, probably at the instigation of the NKVD.

Members of the Ukrainian community travelled from across south Wales to be present, including some from Llanelli, the town Helen Mary Jones represents in the Assembly. The visit by the Torch was also covered by ITV Wales in a report for its politics programme.

A similar call by Assembly members for recognition of the Armenian genocide, committed by Ottoman Turkey in 1915, led last year to the unveiling of a permanent memorial in Cardiff.

The statement reads:
75th Anniversary of the Ukrainian Holodomor genocide

This Assembly:   

1. Notes the 75th anniversary of the Ukrainian Holodomor – the barbaric and systematic starvation of more than 7 million Ukranians, including a third of all children in Ukraine, between 1932 and 1933.

2. Recognises the Ukrainian Holodomor as an act of genocide.

3. Calls on the Welsh Assembly Government to make representations to the UK government to follow the lead of Australia, Canada, the USA and others and acknowledge the Holodomor as genocide.

Ukrayinska Dumka


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