Legislature Approves Sen. Dodd’s Ukrainian ‘Holodomor’ Remembrance

Monday, February 26, 2024

SACRAMENTO – In conjunction with the second anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the California Legislature officially recognized and condemned an earlier atrocity perpetrated by the Soviet Union – a forced famine that killed millions of Ukrainians -- designating November as Holodomor Memorial Month.

“Ninety-two years ago, the Soviet government starved millions of Ukrainian people in an effort to destroy their national movement for independence,” Sen. Dodd said. “It was genocide, pure and simple, a systematic violation of human rights, denying an entire nation the freedom of self-determination. Today, violence against Ukraine continues as the Russians invade their sovereign land and wage a brutal and unjust war on its people. Bringing awareness to this history is important as we support Ukraine in its quest to maintain liberty.”

The Holodomor of 1932 - 1933 was orchestrated by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and the Soviet government in an attempt to break Ukraine’s resistance to collectivization and communist occupation. The Soviets deliberately confiscated grain harvests in a country known as the “breadbasket of Europe” and sealed Ukraine’s borders to prevent anyone from escaping or receiving international aid. It also barred journalists from reporting on it. Up to 7 million people died from the man-made famine.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 89, authored by Sen. Dodd, remembers the Holodomor and honors those who were lost. Further, it condemns the systematic violations of human rights, including the freedom of self-rule and freedom of speech, by the Soviet government. It also encourages dissemination of information regarding the Ukrainian famine in order to expand the world’s knowledge of this atrocity.

SCR 89 unanimously passed the Legislature, designating November as Holodomor Memorial Month, and November 23, 2024 as Holodomor Memorial Day.

“Honoring the memory of our fellow countrymen who fell victim to the Holodomor in Ukraine, it is noteworthy that the deliberate and purposeful starvation, resulting in the deaths of millions of Ukrainians, was yet another instrument of genocide against the Ukrainian people by Russian imperialism,” said Dmytro Kushneruk, consulate general of Ukraine in San Francisco. “This imperialism persists in its unchanged objective: the destruction of Ukraine and its people. We wholeheartedly welcome this historic recognition, considering it as a significant testament to the robust support from the United States, particularly California. It becomes even more crucial as we approach the second anniversary of the illegal and unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation.”

“We value the ongoing solidarity and commitment demonstrated by the United States, and we believe that such declarations contribute to raising awareness about historical injustices,” the consul general said.

"We of the Southern California Holodomor Genocide Committee have a mission of educating the public and our elected representatives of the tragic history of the Holodomor genocide in Ukraine in 1932-1933. This was the action of the Soviet Russian regime. It caused, in some historians' view, upwards of seven million deaths. In Senator Dodd and Senator Niello, we have gratefully found knowledgeable people who share our agenda," said Olga Popel, president of the Southern California Holodomor Genocide Commitee.



Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.