The Victims of Communism Memorial, opened in the country's capital last Tuesday at a ceremony attended by the U.S. leader, has also provoked the ire of China. In his speech, President George W. Bush blamed Communism for the deaths of 100 million innocent people, and linked the ideology to terrorism.
Leonid Grach, a member of Ukraine's Communist Party, said Washington's move would please its "vassal," pro-Western Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko, but would not be appreciated by the Ukrainian people.
"In response to such a step by the U.S. administration, the Communist Party proposes establishing a museum commemorating victims of U.S. imperialism," he said.
"American imperialism, from the extermination of native Americans to war crimes in Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq, has caused substantially more deaths than the 'orange forces,' along with their masters over the ocean, blame Communism for," Grach said.
Since Viktor Yushchenko came to power in early 2005 following Ukraine's so-called 'orange revolution,' the leadership has tried to distance itself from the country's Soviet past. Moves to officially declare the Ukrainian famine of 1932-1933 a genocide on the part of the Soviet Union have been condemned by Russia as an attempt to politicize a historical tragedy.
In his dedication speech at the Washington memorial, President Bush spoke of the millions killed by "Communism's brutal hand," including "innocent Ukrainians starved to death in Stalin's Great Famine" and "Russians killed in Stalin's purges."
"It's important that we recall these lessons because the evil and hatred that inspired the death of tens of millions of people in the 20th century is still at work in the world. We saw its face on September the 11th, 2001. Like the Communists, the terrorists and radicals who attacked our nation are followers of a murderous ideology that despises freedom, crushes all dissent, has expansionist ambitions and pursues totalitarian aims," Bush said.