Today marks the beginning of a week-long remembrance of the estimated seven million Ukrainians who perished during this particular chapter of Stalin’s terror against the people of the Soviet Union.

Thanks to the diligent research and reports by experts such as Timothy Snyder and Anne Applebaum, we know much more about the causes as well as the methods used by the communist government to achieve two personal goals of Stalin.

First, Stalin wanted force land-owning Ukrainian farmers to give up the right to their property and submit to his plan to collectivize all farming in the USSR. Secondly, Stalin wanted to crush any notion of independence patriotism or sovereignty the Ukrainian people might have harbored in the 1930s.

Using all the power at their disposal, Stalin’s henchmen issued unachievable harvest goals, appropriated grain from starving families and even exported wheat at a time when Ukrainians died in the streets of hunger in cities and villages.

It is imperative we take time to remember the Holodomor because we can never let a tragedy this terrible ever happen again.

As the Soviet dissident, Oleksandr Solzhenistyn, said of the many crimes of communist rule, “the crimes will never be forgotten, and all those who take part in them will be condemned endlessly, while they live and after they are dead.”

So, I ask this week that you light a candle or perhaps offer a prayer for the millions of men, women, and children who perished tragically under the murderous Stalin regime. Slava Ukrayini

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