Germany’s Bundestag plans to pass a resolution declaring the famine of millions of Ukrainians under Joseph Stalin a genocide, a move parliamentarians hope will serve as a “warning” to Moscow as Ukraine faces a potential hunger crisis this winter is confronted.
The resolution, which will be put to a joint vote next week by the three governing parties and conservative opposition leaders, describes the 1932-1933 Holodomor as part of “a list of inhumane crimes committed by totalitarian systems that destroyed millions of lives in Europe. in the first half of the 20th century”.
“People all over Ukraine, not just in grain-producing regions, were affected by hunger and oppression,” the resolution said. “This satisfies the historical-political definition of genocide from today’s perspective.”
The victims of the Holodomor – Ukrainian for “death by starvation” – are traditionally commemorated in Ukraine on the last Saturday of November.
Kiev sees the historic event as part of a deliberate campaign by Stalin’s regime to collectivize agriculture and stamp out Ukraine’s nascent nationalist movement. Historians estimate that between 4 million and 7.5 million people died in the man-made disaster.
Moscow has dismissed Kiev’s version of history and placed the deaths in the broader context of famines that devastated regions of Central Asia and Russia.
“Putin is part of Stalin’s cruel and criminal tradition,” said Robin Wagener, the German Green Party MP who initiated the resolution. “Today, Ukraine is once again haunted by Russian terror. Once again, the plan to use violence and terror to deprive Ukraine of its livelihood is to subdue an entire country,” he told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Knut Abraham, ombudsman for the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of the parliament’s committee on legal affairs and human rights, said the resolution was intended to send a signal to Moscow. “This recognition is all the more important as Ukraine has once again become the target of Russian aggression.”
A spokesman for Germany’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, said: “She is very pleased that there is strong support for this in the German parliament.”