WHEREAS, 2017-2018 marks the 85th anniversary of the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-1933, known as Holodomor, meaning “Murder by Starvation”; and
WHEREAS, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and his totalitarian regime committed an act of genocide through the implementation of an engineered famine by confiscating land, grain, and animals from the Ukrainian people and millions of innocent men, women, and children perished; and
WHEREAS, Holodomor was specifically designed by the Soviet regime to punish independent-minded Ukrainians for their resistance to its economic, political, and social oppression; and
WHEREAS, at the height of the Holodomor in 1933, Ukrainians died at the rate of 28,000 a day, with nearly a third of its victims being children younger than 10 years old; and
WHEREAS, even as the Soviets continued to export Ukraine’s grain to the rest of the world, Ukrainian farmers, who tended to the farms in the “breadbasket of the U.S.S.R,” were tragically starved to a slow and painful death; and
WHEREAS, with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, archival documents created during this time detailed the Soviet regime’s deliberate actions and intention to destroy Ukraine’s national identity by deporting and executing Ukraine's religious, intellectual, and cultural leaders, prosecuting or executing those who spoke of the famine or who spoke against the Soviet authorities publicly, further destabilizing Ukraine’s political structure; and
WHEREAS, under the global theme “Ukraine Remembers, the World Acknowledges,” it is necessary that Holodomor be officially recognized by the global community as a tragic and heinous crime against humanity in order to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize 2017-2018 as the 85th ANNIVERSARY OF HOLODOMOR in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.