TEL AVIV, February 7. /TASS/. The Russian Embassy in Tel Aviv has expressed regret due to preparation by Israel’s Knesset parliamentary member Akram Hasson for the Kulanu party of a draft law on recognition by Israel of the Holodomor - a Soviet-era famine - as genocide of the Ukrainian people.
"Unfortunately, our colleagues from the Knesset [MP Hasson among them] have recently drafted a law on the Ukrainian Holodomor that is distorting history," the Russian embassy said in a statement that TASS received on Wednesday. "We strongly urge all relevant Israeli officials, including Hasson, to take a closer look at the historical facts," the diplomats added.
The diplomatic mission reiterated that "the famine that was sparked by a severe drought and forced collectivization in the early 1930s struck Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Volga region, North Caucasus, Western Siberia and the Southern Urals, with the death toll estimated from 2 to 8 mln."
"This famine was a common tragedy for the Russians, Ukrainians and Kazakh and other Soviet peoples, as well as the largest humanitarian disaster in the country," the Russian embassy said. "So, representation of these events as a deliberate policy aimed to destroy the Ukrainian nation runs counter to historical facts and is a cynical usage of the memory of the millions of victims on political grounds."
Following the establishment of independence in the early 1990s, Ukraine’s politicians, especially nationalist ones, started manipulating facts about the famine that struck some parts of the Soviet Union in the 1930s. In 2006, under Viktor Yushchenko’s presidency, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the law "On the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine," in which it recognized the famine of this period as genocide of the Ukrainian people. Russia slammed these actions as political gambling and attempts to rewrite the history. On December 7, 2016, Verkhovna Rada MPs adopted a statement in which they called on the global community to recognize the 1932-1933 famine in the Soviet Union as an act of genocide of the Ukrainian people.
The document, supported by some Israeli MPs, suggests declaring December 6 in Israel as "Remembrance Day of the Ukrainian Genocide (Holodomor)" with an official ceremony and memorable events to be held in educational facilities, Jerusalem Post reported.