President Viktor Yushchenko opened the second meeting of the Holodomor Commemoration Coordinating Council in Kharkiv on Tuesday.

He said the place of the gathering was symbolic, as Kharkiv was the first capital of Soviet Ukraine where its Bolshevik leaders made their criminal decisions and issued criminal orders, president's press office reported.

Yushchenko said Ukraine must “take key steps” in honoring the victims of those man-made famines in 2007-2008, seventy-five years after them. He said it was crucial to publish a National Memory Book with the names of each victim and each village and town hit by the famine. This book must become a “core” of the Holodomor Memorial which is expected to be unveiled next autumn, he said.

The president said Ukraine’s central and local authorities should work “more actively and systemically” to honor the Holodomor victims and added that each governor was responsible for commemorating the tragedy at the highest state level in 2007. “It is a holy thing for us to honor the victims of Holodomor. This is the government’s obligation,” he said, urging the Education Ministry, Culture Ministry and State Radio to help the Ukrainian people learn more about those events.

Participants of the meeting – among them members of the Coordinating Council, central and local officials and Holodomor researchers – heard reports by a few governors from Ukraine’s eastern regions on what had been done to commemorate the tragedy.


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