Ukraine's law on the Famine-Genocide

Following is the text of the law of Ukraine about the Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine, as published at and translated by Svitlana Kobzar for The Ukraine List (No. 406, November 30). The bill was passed on November 28 and signed into law on November 29.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine,

Honoring the memory of the millions of compatriots who became victims of the 1932-1933 Famine and its consequences in Ukraine;

Respecting all citizens who lived through this terrible tragedy in the history of the Ukrainian people (Ukrainskoho narodu);

Realizing our moral obligation to the past and future generations of Ukrainians and recognizing the necessity for the rebirth of historical justice and our affirmation of intolerance towards any signs of violence;

Recalling that the Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine was officially repudiated by the USSR government for many decades;

Condemning the criminal acts of the totalitarian regime of the USSR, directed towards the organization of the Famine, the consequences of which became the extermination of millions of people, the destruction of the social basis of the Ukrainian people, its ancient traditions, spiritual culture and ethnic traditions;

Expressing condolences to other peoples of the former USSR which fell victim to the Famine;

Highly appreciating the solidarity and support of the international community in condemning the Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine, which is illustrated in the legislation of the parliaments of Australia, the Argentine Republic, Georgia, the Republic of Estonia, the Italian Republic, Canada, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Poland, the United States of America, the Republic of Hungary, as well as the dissemination of an official document of the 58th Session of the United Nations General Assembly to remember the 70th anniversary of the Famine - the Great Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine, signed by the Argentine Republic, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the People's Republic of Bangladesh, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Benin, the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Guatemala, Georgia, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Kazakhstan, Canada, the State of Qatar, the Kyrgyz Republic, the State of Kuwait, the Republic of Macedonia, Mongolia, the Republic of Nauru, the Kingdom of Nepal, the United Arab Emirates, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Republic of Peru, the South African Republic, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Syrian Arab Republic, the United States of America, the Republic of Sudan, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, the Republic of Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Jamaica, as well being supported by Australia, the State of Israel, the Republic of Serbia and Montenegro and 25 governments - members of the European Union.

Following the recommendation of the parliamentary hearings regarding commemorating the victims of the 1932-1933 Famine, adopted by an Act of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine as of March, 2003, No. 607-IV, and the address to the Ukrainian people by the members of the extraordinary hearing of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine as of May 14, 2003, regarding perpetuating the memory of the victims of the Famine of 1932-1933, adopted by an Act of the Verkhovna Rada as of May 15, 2003, No. 789-IV, in which the Famine is recognized as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people, the result of deliberate actions by the totalitarian regime aimed at the mass extermination of parts of the Ukrainian and other peoples of the former USSR;

Recognizing the Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine, in accordance with the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide as of December 9, 1948, as a deliberate act of mass extermination of peoples;

Adopt this law.

Article 1. The Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine is a genocide of the Ukrainian people.

Article 2. The denial in public of the Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine is recognized as a sacrilege against the memory of the millions of victims of the Famine, and also disrespect of the Ukrainian people and is considered illegal (protypravnyi).

Article 3. Government bodies and local government, according to their roles, are responsible for:

- partaking in the process of creating and implementing government policy supporting the national memory of the Ukrainian people (narod);

- influencing the consolidation and development of the Ukrainian nation (natsiya), its historical and cultural sense, dissemination of information about the Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine among its citizens as well as worldwide, ensuring teaching about the tragedy of the Famine as part of the educational curriculum of Ukraine;

- taking actions to ensure the commemoration of the victims of the Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine, including constructing memorials in honor of those who suffered and memorial markers for the victims of the Famine;

- ensuring, in accordance with government regulation, that researchers and citizens who investigate the issues of the Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine and its consequences have access to academic and public materials, including the archives and other institutions that contain information regarding the Famine.

Article 4. The government provides conditions for conducting research and activities to commemorate victims of the Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine in accordance with the relevant government program, the funding of which is allocated yearly from the government budget of Ukraine.

Article 5. Final Provisions:

- 1. This law is enacted from the day of its publication.

- For the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine:

- 1) determine the status and functions of the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance, as a special representative body of the executive branch for the renewal and protection of the memory of the Ukrainian people, and ensure the sustenance of the institute using funds from the Ukrainian National Budget,

- 2) three months from the inception of this law: provide proposals to the Verkhovna Rada for the harmonization of Ukrainian legislation in accordance with this law; align its normative-legal regulations in accordance with this law; ensure the annulment of any existing legislation which contradicts this law;

- 3) address relevant issues, according to the plans developed with the participation of the Kyiv City Government Council, regarding the construction of the Ukrainian memorial before the 75th anniversary of the Famine of 1932-1933 in remembrance of its victims.

Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, December 10, 2006, No. 50, Vol. LXXIV

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