Polish parliament blames Soviet regime for Ukraine Great Famine

15:39, 06 December 2006
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And calls it genocide

Polish lawmakers unanimously adopted a resolution Wednesday condemning the Soviet-era forced famine in Ukraine and the totalitarian regime responsible for what it said was "genocide", according to AP.

      In the resolution, Poland`s parliament, "joining in pain with relatives of the victims of the Great Famine in Ukraine, which cost the lives of millions of residents of the Ukrainian countryside from 1932-33, condemns the totalitarian regime responsible for the genocide."

      The famine, orchestrated by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, killed 10 million Ukrainians, almost one-third of Ukraine`s population at the time.

      The Polish resolution comes a week after the parliament in Kiev adopted a bill recognizing the famine as genocide, a move seen as a victory for Ukraine`s pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko.

      Moscow strongly opposes calling the famine a genocide, contending that it did not specifically target Ukrainians. Genocide is defined as the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political or cultural group. It is a crime under international law.

      The resolution also comes amid tense relations between Warsaw and Moscow.

      Poland, where memories of domination by Moscow during the Cold War are still fresh, angered Moscow with its support for Ukraine`s so-called "Orange Revolution," in which Yushchenko won election against a candidate backed by Moscow.

      Poland, which joined the European Union in 2004, has vetoed the launch of talks on a new EU-Russia partnership accord to protest a Russian ban on Polish meat and grain imports.

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