Art by Yousef Amairi

Art by Yousef Amairi
the struggle continues

March 12, 2010


Posted by: "cccp_3a_cccp" cccp_3a_cccp
Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:05 am (PST)">

Legal precedent in Ukraine: journalist allowed to doubt Holodomor as genocide

A court in east Ukraine has created a legal precedent, ruling that a local journalist has the right to doubt that the 1932-1933 Holodomor famine was an act of genocide of the Ukrainian nation, the Party of Regions reported Thursday.

Ukrainian nationalists say that Russia, as the legal successor of the Soviet Union, should bear responsibility for the famine in which more than 3 million people perished in Ukraine. Russia says the famine cannot be considered an act that targeted Ukrainians, as millions of people from different ethnic groups also lost their lives in vast territories across the Soviet Union.

The court in the Donetsk Region refused to grant a lawsuit by Vasily Kovalenko, a Ukrainian businessman, against Rodnoye Priazovye newspaper editor Sergei Shvedko over an article on Holodomor in which Shvedko said it was not genocide.

Kovalenko asked the court to rule the article was against the law and that it humiliated national dignity and insulted the memory of Holodomor victims. However the court ruled on Tuesday that the article contained assessments and the personal viewpoint of the author and does not violate the law in any way.

Shvedko said: "The fact that the court sided with the journalist who voiced his civil position confirms once again that in a democratic state, viewpoints and thoughts of a person cannot be an illegal act regardless of how much certain forces would want that."

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said during his presidential campaign that Kiev's attempts to blame Russia for Holodomor were unjust. Under former president Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine, which says over 3.9 million people died during the famine, was seeking international recognition of the famine as an act of genocide.

Yanukovych, who headed the Party of Regions until he was forced to suspend his membership following his election as president, is supported in Ukraine's southern and eastern regions.

In January, a court in Kiev found Bolshevik leaders, including Joseph Stalin, guilty of genocide against Ukrainians during Holodomor, but dropped criminal proceedings "due to the suspects' deaths."

DONETSK, March 11 (RIA Novosti)

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