President Zelensky Remembers Holodomor With New Food Aid Program

In case anyone needed another reason to admire Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, on November 26, 2022, he hosted a summit in Kyiv to commemorate one of the darkest periods of Ukraine's history and did it in the most generous way possible. Reuters reported that Zelensky, joined both in-person and via video by the leaders of Belgium, Poland, Lithuania, Hungary, France, and Germany, announced a new food aid initiative that was timed to coincide with the Ukrainian commemoration of Holodomor.

Holodomor Remembrance Day, according to Britannica, is observed each year on the fourth Saturday in November. This year marks the 90th anniversary of the manufactured famine that killed millions of Ukrainians, and the solemnity is magnified this year, as it comes at a time when millions of Ukrainians are currently without heat or clean water due to the Russian invasion. The New York Times reported that Zelensky summed up the relationship between the famine Joseph Stalin engineered in 1932 and the current plight of Ukraine, saying, "Once they wanted to destroy us with hunger, now — with darkness and cold," adding, "We cannot be broken. Our fire will not go out. We will conquer death again."

Zelensky and allies announce 'Grain from Ukraine'

The Guardian reported that Zelensky announced a program called "Grain from Ukraine," which will send 60 Ukrainian ships loaded with grain to African countries currently suffering from devastating food shortages. The ships, headed for countries like Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen, are dependent on international subsidies for the grain, and Reuters notes that Ukraine raised more than $150 million from the E.U. and more than 20 other countries to support the food aid program.

Reuters shared a joint statement issued after the summit in Kyiv, which read, "We are convinced that we will jointly overcome the grave humanitarian and economic consequences of the global food crisis caused by Russia's aggressive war against Ukraine." The war in Ukraine, a vital grain producer for the world, has already had an impact on countries suffering from food insecurity. The New York Times quotes Poland's Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, succinctly connecting the history of Holodomor with current events, saying, "If we allow Putin to continue, he will become the Stalin of the 21st century."