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Council of Europe recognized the 1932-1933 Holodomor as a genocide of the Ukrainian people

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution recognizing the artificial famine, Holodomor, as an act of genocide intended to break the backbone of Ukrainian nationhood, language, and culture. 

The Assembly also called Russia “a de facto dictatorship” and supported establishing an ad hoc international criminal tribunal for the Russian leadership.

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe session.
Photo: Official website of the Council of Europe

The decision to recognize the artificial famine of 1932-1933 as an act of genocide was made with 73 votes “for” and one “against” at the PACE 23rd sitting on October 12, 2023, as part of the resolution “Ensuring a just peace in Ukraine and lasting security in Europe”.

“Restoring historical justice and paying tribute to Holodomor victims sends a message that justice is inevitable for all past and present Moscow’s crimes,” commented President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, also thanked the PACE for such a decision: “It is important that PACE encouraged all parliaments of the member states of the Council of Europe and other countries to follow suit. This is a morally, historically, and politically right thing to do”.

Holodomor (a term derived from the Ukrainian words for hunger (holod) and extermination (mor)) was an artificial famine organized by the leadership of the Soviet Union in Ukraine in 1932-1933. It was committed to suppressing Ukrainians and ultimately eliminating Ukrainian resistance to the regime, including efforts to build an independent Ukrainian state.

Read more: Food as a weapon. What you should know about Holodomor, the artificial famine that killed millions of Ukrainians

Ukraine adopted the Law “On the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine”, defining the Holodomor as a genocide back in 2006. As of October 2023, the European Parliament and more than 30 countries worldwide have recognized Holodomor as genocide at the parliamentary level. Among them are the Netherlands and Italy, which adopted similar resolutions in July 2023.

Voting results about the decision to recognize the 1932-1933 Holodomor as genocide.
Photo: Dmytro Kuleba, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

In addition, on October 13, the PACE called on the member states to recognize Putin’s authority as illegitimate after the end of his current term in 2024. “The overwhelming power of the President resulting from the extremely long term in office combined with the lack of any checks and balances such as a strong parliament, an independent judiciary, free media and a vibrant civil society has turned the Russian Federation into a de facto dictatorship,” the parliamentarians said.

The Assembly also reaffirmed its support for establishing an ad hoc international criminal tribunal to hold to account the Russian leadership, including Vladimir Putin, for their acts of aggression, including the Crimea occupation, the downing of flight MH17, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.