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Statement by the Prime Minister on Holodomor Memorial Day

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The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on Holodomor Memorial Day:

“Today, we join Ukrainian communities in Canada and around the world to remember the millions of people who suffered and died during the Holodomor.

“From 1932 to 1933, Joseph Stalin’s totalitarian Soviet regime created a devastating famine in Ukraine – a genocide meant to break the spirit of the Ukrainian people, erase their identity, and stop their aspirations for freedom and independence. Millions died of starvation, many of them children, and others were arrested, deported, or executed as part of this brutal campaign.

“In the face of such cruelty, Ukrainians endured. They held tightly to their language and their culture, despite all attempts of the regime to repress and persecute them. In 1991, after over half a century of Soviet oppression and rule, Ukraine won its independence.

“For decades, the vicious reality of the Holodomor was denied and the suffering of Ukrainians was hidden from the world. It is our responsibility to remember the stories of those who were lost and the families who suffered. We must accept these hard truths, and commit ourselves to always act when human rights are threatened.

“On this solemn anniversary, I encourage all Canadians to honour the memory of the victims of the Holodomor, and recognize the ways that Ukrainian Canadians have contributed to building a better country for all of us. I also reaffirm Canada’s unwavering support for a free and independent Ukraine.

“Vichna Yim Pamyat.”