Prague, Czech Republic – The Czech Republic has officially recognised the man-made Holodomor famine as a genocide against the Ukrainian people.
Submitted by speaker of Parliament Markéta Pekarová Adamová (TOP 09) and ODS MP Pavel Žáček, the resolution approved by Czech lawmakers earlier this week states that the famine imposed on Ukraine in 1932-1933 was “cynically and cruelly planned” and “artificially provoked by the criminal Stalinist regime”.
Approved by 125 MPs present and two abstentions, the text expressed solidarity with the victims’ families and said the Czech Republic was determined to identify and prosecute the perpetrators of such crimes.
The move comes as Russia is facing accusations of genocide and war crimes in its invasion of Ukraine, amid mounting evidence of atrocities committed by Russian forces against civilians, including arbitrary murders and rapes.
“Putin’s Russia has taken over the worst of the bloody legacy of the totalitarian Soviet Union”, Žáček, who heads the security committee, said.
There have also been reports of Ukrainian troops executing Russian soldiers taken prisoners, which also constitutes a war crime.
Up to 10 million people could have died of starvation during the Holodomor throughout the Soviet Union according to the most pessimistic estimates, including four million in Ukraine after Stalin forced the collectivisation of farms and ordered food to be seized from peasants.
Genocide is defined by the United Nations as an “intentional effort to completely or partially destroy a group based on its nationality, ethnicity, race, or religion”.
Several different acts can fall under that category, including “killing members of the group, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part, imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.”