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A Ukrainian man kneels before a Holodomor memorial in Kiev A Ukrainian man kneels before a Holodomor memorial in Kiev  (ANSA)

Pope Francis recalls Ukraine Holodomor famine

Pope Francis recalls the ‘Holodomor’ genocide inflicted upon Ukraine by the Soviet Union in the early 1930’s, and prays that such horrors never happen again.

By Devin Watkins

Following the Angelus prayer on Sunday, Pope Francis remembered the man-made famine that struck Ukraine in 1932-1933 and the anniversary of the event which occurred on Saturday.

The famine is known as ‘Holodomor’ in Ukrainian, which means “to kill by starvation”.

Pope Francis called it “a terrible famine instigated by the Soviet regime which caused millions of people to die.”


Though the final death toll is unknown, most estimates put the number of people killed between 3.3 and 7.5 million, most of whom were ethnic Ukrainians.

The Vatican City State is one of 16 countries to consider Holodomor an act of genocide carried out by the Soviet government.

“The image is painful,” the Pope said. “This terrible wound of the past is an appeal for all people to ensure that these tragedies never happen again.”

Pope Francis invited the faithful to pray for Ukraine “and for its long-sought-after peace.”

25 November 2018, 14:52