Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ukraine / Russia / Holodomor

Medvedev Pays Tribute to Ukrainians Who Died in Stalin's Famine
By Tony Halpin
The Times, May 18, 2010
"Dmitri Medvedev lit a candle yesterday in memory of the victims of a Soviet-era famine that killed millions of people in Ukraine, as he moved to strengthen Russia's ties with its new pro-Kremlin President. Visiting a monument to what Ukrainians call the Holodomor, the Russian President placed the candle at the foot of a statue of a young girl clutching a sheaf of wheat. At least four million people died in what is described by some -- Viktor Yushchenko, the former President, among them -- as a genocide perpetrated by the regime of Joseph Stalin in 1932-33. That accusation infuriated the Kremlin, with Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine's new President who accompanied Mr. Medvedev yesterday, being quick to countermand it. He called the famine a common tragedy suffered by people across the Soviet Union.
The gesture marked the start of Mr. Medvedev's first formal state visit to Ukraine, sealed with an agreement between the two countries on the their common border, almost 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union. ... The two presidents also signed agreements on European security, co-operation between their respective intelligence agencies and efforts to try to solve the conflict in neighbouring Moldova’s rebel region of Transdniestria. [...]"

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