U.S. Public Delegate
New York, New York
November 19, 2022
Thank you to the organizers of this important event. It’s a real honor to be here with you today.
Each November, we solemnly honor and pay tribute to the millions of innocent men, women, and children in Ukraine who suffered and perished during the Holodomor—“death by hunger.” This year’s commemoration on the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor is set against the backdrop of yet another tragedy against the Ukrainian people. It is especially important to reflect upon the history of manufactured, unnecessary suffering as Vladimir Putin continues his full scale, unprovoked war against Ukraine and its people. It is perhaps no coincidence that Putin has taken pains to rehabilitate the brutal legacy of Stalin.
90 years ago, we saw a complete disregard for human life and the weaponization of food. Today, we see the same. Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine continues to result in devastating human costs – thousands of civilians killed or wounded, 13 million Ukrainian citizens forced to flee their homes, historic cities literally pounded to rubble, food shortages, and skyrocketing food prices around the world.
90 years ago, the Holodomor included deliberate acts to impose suffering and repress dissent. And today, we see the Kremlin create the exact same misery and deploy policies to suppress the ability of Ukrainians to express their separate identity and attempt to impose “Russification” and annexation.
Atrocities committed by Russia’s forces are horrific. Reports from liberated Kherson show even more evidence of Russia’s brutality.
The United States condemns Russia’s relentless attacks against Ukraine’s cities and civilian infrastructure, including energy infrastructure. This creates needless hardship for thousands of people as winter nears. We call on Russia to respect its obligations under international humanitarian law, including protecting civilians and civilian objects, and to refrain from using the starvation of civilians as a method of warfare.
This barbarism is hard to put into words. And although the evil is still unfathomable, it remains critical that we commemorate tragic history, such as the Holodomor. The bravery and the indomitable spirit of the people of Ukraine has been demonstrated time and again throughout history.
The United States stands with the people of Ukraine and all those across the world and across generations who have needlessly suffered at the hands of repressive rulers.
As we honor the sacred memories of the victims of the Holodomor, the United States also reaffirms our commitment to ensuring that today’s atrocities are not forgotten and that those who are responsible for them are held to account.
Thank you again for the honor and the opportunity to be here with you today.