The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged Israel to recognize the man-made famine, known as the Holodomor, as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people.
He said this after meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has visited Ukraine for the first time since March 1999. On August 19, Zelenskyy and Netanyahu held talks in Kyiv.
“I called on the Israeli side to recognize the Holodomor as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people. Also, Mr. Prime Minister and I will visit Babyn Yar (a site of massacres in Kyiv where German forces killed over 30,000 Jews over the course of two days in September 1941 -ed.) and honor the victims of mass shootings in Babyn Yar and the Holocaust,” Zelenskyy said.
On January 21, 2019, the then-President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko also urged Israel to recognize the 1932-33 Holodomor as the genocide of the Ukrainian people. In 2018, Ukraine's Parliament Speaker Andriy Parubiy did the same during his visit to Israel.
In 2016, Ukrainian Parliament approved an appeal to the foreign states to recognize the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine as the genocide of the Ukrainian people.
16 foreign countries have recognized the Holodomor as an act of genocide. Ukraine itself did the same in November 2006. Several others recognize the Holodomor as a crime against humanity.
The early 1930s Soviet man-made famine is one of the most tragic chapters of Ukraine’s history. An estimated four million Ukrainian peasants died of starvation as a result of Joseph Stalin’s forced collectivization policy.
During Netanyahu's first visit, the ambassadors of Ukraine and Israel have also signed an agreement to promote studying Hebrew in Ukrainian educational institutions and Ukrainian in Israel and a number of other documents on cooperation between the two governments.