International Remembrance Flame Stopped With Scare Tactics
WINNIPEG, Oct. 14 /CNW/ - The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) condemns
the recent and blatant abuse of human rights by the Russian government which
has banned events planned in Russia to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the
Holodomor - famine genocide in Ukraine of 1932-33.
Prior to the arrival of the International Remembrance Flame in Russia,
the Ukrainian Embassy received notice on October 6 from Russia's Foreign
Ministry that commemorative events must fall in line with the Russian position
on the famine or be cancelled. Russia continues to claim that the Holodomor
was not a genocide and that Ukraine's effort to secure such recognition is "a
political matter that is aimed against Russian interests."
It has been confirmed by the Ukrainian World Congress that Ukrainian
community activists in Orenburg, Tumen, Ufa, St. Petersburg and Krasnodar have
been subjected to undue pressure and scare tactics by government officials in
the region resulting in the cancellation of planned events.
Russia was the next scheduled stop on the itinerary of the International
Remembrance Flame - a symbol which has traveled through 29 countries since
April of this year. Events in conjunction with the arrival of the Flame honour
the millions of victims of Stalin's deliberate attempt to eradicate the
Ukrainian nation through starvation. The Flame will be received in Ukraine in
November for nation-wide commemorations.
"The Ukrainian Canadian community is appalled by Russia's continuing
disregard for basic human rights, among them freedom of speech and
expression," stated Iryna Mycak, Chair of UCC's National Holodomor
Commemoration Committee. "Russia must understand that Canada will not tolerate
such actions which clearly demonstrate that the country has not shed its past.
It willingly continues the tactics of intolerance and oppression that were
used by its predecessor regime that also perpetrated of the horrific crime of
"What is especially appalling is that the international community,
including Canada, has recognized the Holodomor as a genocide, yet Russia still
cannot come to terms with this dark part of Soviet History," stated Paul Grod,
National UCC President.
The UCC urges every Canadian to join in this protest. The international
community stood idly by in the thirties as 10 million Ukrainians were brutally
murdered for simply being Ukrainian. Let's not repeat the same apathy 75 years
later. Contact the Russian Embassy and write to your Member of Parliament and
to the Prime Minister of Canada. Let them know that such human rights abuses
in 2008 will not be tolerated. Let them know that, this time, the world is
For further information:
For further information: UCC Media Contact, Darla Penner, Tel. (204)
942-4627, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ucc.ca