As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence -- a testament to the spirit and determination of the people of Ukraine -- we also remember the suffering they endured seventy-eight years ago during the catastrophic famine that has come to be known as the Holodomor – the “death by hunger.” This terrible tragedy, created by the intentional seizure of crops and farms across Ukraine by Joseph Stalin, was one of communism’s greatest atrocities. Today, Americans join with the people of Ukraine and Ukrainians around the world in remembering those who suffered and died senselessly as a result of this manmade famine.
In the wake of this brutal and deliberate attempt to break the will of the people of Ukraine, Ukrainians showed great courage and resilience. The establishment of a proud and independent Ukraine twenty years ago shows the remarkable depth of the Ukrainian people’s love of freedom and independence.
The United States values the friendship between our peoples and offers our deepest condolences on this solemn occasion. As we remember this tragedy, we recommit ourselves and reaffirm our shared determination to prevent similar tragic acts from ever happening again.