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(1)  Canada Participates as Ukraine Remembers the Holodomor

November 21, 2008 - Kyiv, Ukraine  A delegation lead by Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney is taking part in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor, the 1932-33 famine-genocide in Ukraine in which millions perished.
Joining Minister Kenney in Kyiv is Senator Raynell Andreychuk, the Honourary Chair of the Holodomor Committee of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Paul Grod, President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, and Eugene Czolij, President of the Ukrainian World Congress.
"This past year communities around the world participated in events commemorating the memory of the victims of this genocidal act.  The Ukrainian Canadian community is grateful to the Parliament of Canada for formally recognizing the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33 as an act of genocide, " said Paul Grod, UCC National President.  "Parliament passed legislation to establish Ukrainian Famine Genocide Memorial Day and November 22, 2008 will mark the first such official commemorative day in Canada."
"Our government is committed to remembering the victims of communism and heightening international awareness of genocide, and we are proud that our Conservative government recognized the Holodomor as a genocide, " said Minister Kenney.  "We take such actions to help ensure that similar atrocities never happen again."
The Minister and members of the delegation will participate in an international forum entitled "Ukraine Remembers, the World Recognizes."  The Memorial Week also includes the presentation of the National Memory Book, the opening of a documentary and art exhibit at Ukrainskyj Dim, documentary and film presentations, the premier performance of the Mourning Mother Oratorio, the unveiling of a new memorial to famine victims on Ivan Mazepa Street, a visit to the memorial sign in Mykhailivska Square, a liturgy at St. Sofia Cathedral and a candle light vigil across Ukraine and in countries around the world.
During their visits in Ukraine, Minister Kenney and Paul Grod will visit the Bykivnia Memorial, Babyn Yar and the Taras Shevchenko monument in Kyiv.   They will also attend a liturgy dedicated to the Holodomor at the Ukrainian Catholic Church of St. Vasyliya. 

(2)  Canadian Delegation Pays Tribute to the Victims of Soviet Oppression at the Bykivnia Memorial

November 21, 2008 - Kyiv, Ukraine  A Canadian delegation led by Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism and Paul Grod, President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress paid tribute to the more than 120,000 victims of Soviet oppression that were executed and buried in the Bykivnia Forest on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine. 
"Soviet Communist oppression was genocidal and methodical," stated Paul Grod. "The Bykivnia Memorial Compound is yet another example of the brutality and criminality of the regimes of Joseph Stalin and other Soviet rulers."

In 1936-1941, the Bykivnia Forest was used for mass burials of those repressed and executed by the NKVD (Soviet secret police) in Kyiv. In 1936, the construction of a special zone for secret burials officially began.  Until Kyiv's occupation by the Nazis, the victims of the Communist regime had been systematically buried in the woods near Bykivnia.  Also mass graves of WWII Soviet prisoners of the war and Ostarbeiters were found, who returned home from the German prison in 1941-1945. According to researchers some 120,000-130,000 people were buried in the Bykivnia Forest.  The Bykivnia Graves State Historical and Memorial Preserve is today a national historical site.  June 24, 2001, Pope John Paul II visited Bykivnia. 

Joining Minister Kenney and Paul Grod were Senator Raynell Andreychuk Honourary Chair of the UCC National Holodomor Commemoration Committee, Eugene Czolij, President Ukrainian World Congress, Mary Szkambara, President World Federation of Ukrainian Women's Organizations,  Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine, Daniel Caron, and Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada, Ihor Ostash.

UCC Media Contact
Darla Penner
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