Victor Yushchenko attended a requiem in Lugansk on Thursday to unveil a plaque where a monument to honor the victims of the Great Famine of 1932-1933 will be built, president's press office reported.

In his speech, the President said it was important to create a full and truthful picture of that tragic period of Ukraine’s history.

“I am convinced that if we are responsible for our own life, our family and children, we must spare no effort to ensure that the history of Ukraine of 1932-1933 becomes a part of our consciousness,” he said.

He called on the citizens of Ukraine to collect eye witness accounts about the Soviet-era famine, find and tidy up graves of its victims. He asked the region’s authorities to honor the victims of the tragedy by building monuments, compiling registers and renaming streets and squares named after those involved in that crime. He said the region had lost a quarter of its population then.

Yushchenko said it was necessary to criminalize Holodomor denial.

“I insist that the public denial of the Great Famine in Ukraine be outlawed and will ask parliament to pass a bill to do it,” he said, adding that it would help the nation compromise. He thanked two thirds of Ukraine’s population for approving the recognition of Holodomor as genocide against the Ukrainian nation.

He said the National Memory Institute was now carrying out a large-scale project to compile a National Memory Book. He called on the country’s young to join it.  

Lugansk Governor Oleksandr Antypov said the genocide law and a decree on how to mark the 75th anniversary of the Great Famine, signed on March 28, would help Ukraine restore historical justice and democratize our society.


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