Publised date : 21 Mar 2018

Perthshire North MSP, Mr John Swinney, has written to the Prime Minister, Theresa May MP, to enquire about the UK Government’s position on recognising the Holodomor as an act of genocide.

Following a debate at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 20th March on the subject of the Holodomor – an act of man-made famine imposed on the people of Ukraine by the Soviet regime during 1932-33, which was responsible for the estimated deaths of between 2.4 and 7.5 million people – Mr Swinney was contacted by constituents with family ties to Ukraine asking for assistance in having the UK Government recognise it an act of genocide.

Describing the atrocity as “an appalling time in human history”, Mr Swinney expressed his deep sorrow at the events and called for a renewed focus on the suffering inflicted upon the people of Ukraine during this period.

Commenting, Mr Swinney said:

“The Holodomor was a horrific period of starvation and suffering and a particularly dark chapter in the 20th century. It was quite simply an appalling time in human history. 

“I was very interested to learn of the personal interest some of my constituents have in the Holodomor, specifically through having had family members who survived, or perished. Their stories will be shared by the Ukrainian diaspora throughout Scotland and it is therefore vitally important that the people of this nation and beyond continue to remember and honour the suffering of the Ukrainian people.   

“I am pleased that the Scottish Parliament recently debated this matter but I have written to the Prime Minister in order to clarify the steps the UK Government is taking to commemorate the millions of deaths during the Holodomor. I have also sought guidance on what consideration is being given to recognising the events in Ukraine as a genocide.”

The Holodomor has been recognised as an act of genocide by 16 countries, including Australia and Canada. A further five countries, including Spain and the United States, recognise the events of 1932-33 as a criminal act of the Stalinist regime.

AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD: John Swinney MSP's letter to the Prime Minister.

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