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November 2023: Ukrainian Genocide Remembrance Month
November 01, 2023
WHEREAS, 90 years ago, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and his totalitarian regime committed an act of genocide through the implementation of an engineered famine, confiscating all foodstuffs from the Ukrainian people resulting in the deaths of 7 - 10 million innocent men, women, and children; and,
WHEREAS, this genocide, Holodomor, meaning “murder by starvation”, was specifically designed by the Soviet regime to punish independent-minded Ukrainians for their resistance to Stalin’s political, economic, cultural, and social subjugation; and,
WHEREAS, even as the Soviets continued to export Ukraine’s grain to the rest of the world, Ukrainian farmers, who tended to the farms in the breadbasket of Europe, were purposefully starved in a slow and painful death; and,
WHEREAS, hundreds of archival KGB documents created during this genocide detailed and described the Soviet regime’s actions and intention to destroy Ukraine’s national identity by deporting and executing Ukraine's religious, intellectual, and cultural leaders, and prosecuting or executing others who dared to speak of the Holodomor; and,
WHEREAS, the official recognition of the Holodomor as a genocide by the government of Ukraine represents a significant step in adjudicating Soviet crimes and in re-establishing Ukraine’s national identity and the advancement of efforts to establish a democratic and free Ukraine that is fully integrated into the Western community of nations; and,
WHEREAS, the current war in Ukraine has been referred to as a genocide and is yet another example of relentless Russian aggression attempting to suppress a freedom-loving nation and its social, cultural, historical, economic, and national development; and,
WHEREAS, in relating the historical context of the 1932-1933 Holodomor and the current war in Ukraine, the poignant theme of the 90th anniversary commemoration of the Holodomor remains profound and significant: “Holodomor Then, Genocide Now, Justice When?”;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim November 2023 as Ukrainian Genocide Remembrance Month in Michigan.