13:06 GMT +321 November 2018
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    Historian says 'genocidal' Ukrainian famine theory born in U.S.

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    The theory that the Stalin-era famine in Ukraine was aimed against the Ukrainian people alone was developed in the U.S. as an anti-Russian propaganda tool, a Crimean legislator and historian said on Monday.

    SIMFEROPOL, November 24 (RIA Novosti) - The theory that the Stalin-era famine in Ukraine was aimed against the Ukrainian people alone was developed in the U.S. as an anti-Russian propaganda tool, a Crimean legislator and historian said on Monday.

    "The theory that the famine was aimed against the Ukrainian nation was born in the United States in 1984 during the fight against the Soviet Union, 'the empire of evil'," said Anatolyi Zhilin.

    He added that "Russophobe" Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served as an adviser to Kennedy and Johnson administration officials during the 1960s, and the current wife of Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko were involved in creating the myth, designed to "unite the Ukrainian nation in the face of a 'common enemy' - Russia and the Russians."

    Yushchenko's wife, Kateryna Yushchenko, is a former U.S. State Department official who was also a White House employee under Reagan. She also worked at the U.S. Treasury and was on the staff at the U.S. Congress. She became a Ukrainian citizen in 2005.

    Zhilin expressed his worries that the Ukrainian security services, "not professional historians," were currently beefing up public interest in the topic by unearthing archival data.

    The legislator also said most residents of Crimea, a predominantly Russian-speaking area of Ukraine, refused to treat the Holodomor as an act of genocide against Ukrainians.

    "The theory that Russians starved Ukrainians in the 20th century is absolutely unacceptable for the majority of the Crimean population," Zhilin said.

    Most residents of Crimea abstained from attending official events last Saturday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor in Ukraine.

    Kiev has been seeking international recognition of the 1932-1933 famine as an act of genocide. So far, 12 countries have declared they share the official Ukrainian position.

    Russia says the famine cannot be considered an act that targeted Ukrainians, as millions of people from different ethnic groups also lost their lives in vast territories across the Soviet Union, in the North Caucasus, the Volga region, central Russia, Kazakhstan, west Siberia, and the south Urals.

    The famine was caused by forced collectivization. Estimates as to the amount of victims in Ukraine vary greatly, with some 2 million being the lower end of the scale.

    Speaking at a ceremony to unveil a memorial in a village in western Ukraine, one of the areas hardest hit by the early 1930s famine, Yushchenko said last week, as quoted by his press service that "Ukraine does not blame any nation or state for the great famine." Yushchenko said "the totalitarian Communist regime" was to blame for the Holodomor.

    Ukraine's ambassador to Russia, Konstyantyn Hryshchenko, said on Saturday Kiev did not blame either Russia or its people for the Holodomor.

    "We do not think that Russia and the Russian nation, which suffered great losses itself and which also was a victim of Stalin's terror and lost millions of people, are somehow to blame for the tragedy," Hryshchenko was quoted by the UNIAN news agency as saying.

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