“I pray for Ukraine”: after the Angelus of Sunday, November 26, 2017, St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis spoke of the Holodomor, the Stalinist famine that has killed millions, in the presence of some 30 000 people, and he invoked peace over the country.
“In particular, I salute the Ukrainian community for remembering the tragedy of the Holodomor, the death by hunger caused by the Stalinist regime with millions of victims. I pray for Ukraine so that the strength of faith can help heal the wounds of the past and promote paths of peace, “the pope said in Italian.
Pope Francis had said that he was close to Ukrainians already in 2013, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the “extermination by hunger” that hit Ukraine in 1932 and 1933 under the Soviet regime. Historians estimate that the “Holodomor” would have made between 2, 6 and 5 million deaths.
The Holodomor took place under Stalin, general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party from 1922 to 1952 and leader of the USSR from 1920 to his death in 1953.
In 2008, the European Parliament condemned the Holodomor as a “provoked” famine and as a “crime against the Ukrainian people and against humanity”.