A press release by the United Nations on November 21 reveals that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield made a comparison between Russian dictator Vladimir Putin”s weaponization of food resources in Ukraine and the atrocities of Joseph Stalin during the Holodomor.
During a UN Security Council meeting, Thomas-Greenfield equated Putin’s use of food as a weapon of war to Stalin’s actions during the Holodomor, referring to it as a “cautionary tale about what happens when we let cruelty and tyranny go unchecked.“ The Holodomor, a man-made famine, resulted in an estimated 3.5 to 5 million Ukrainian deaths and occurred during Stalin’s time as General Secretary of the Soviet Union.
A report published on November 16 by the human rights law firm Global Rights Compliance presented evidence that Putin had planned to starve Ukrainians and target food infrastructure ahead of the February 2022 invasion.
Matthew Hollingworth, the World Food Program’s Ukraine Country Director, addressed the Security Council via videoconference regarding the food crisis and stated that one in five Ukrainians are facing food insecurity, with people encountering barriers to food access in 40% of front-line settlements. This situation is expected to intensify throughout the winter months.
Russia’s bombardment of Ukraine’s port and grain infrastructure has also posed a threat to global food supplies. According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, 31 documented Russian attacks on essential grain facilities have been reported since Russia withdrew from the Black Sea Grain Initiative in July.
Thomas-Greenfield further highlighted that food production in Ukraine has decreased by 35% compared to prewar levels. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Sergiy Kyslytsya, announced that Ukraine will commemorate the victims of the Holodomor on Nov. 25. He emphasized that Russia once again seeks to break the will of Ukrainians to resist, as it did 90 years ago.
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