Holodomor statue vandalized in Kyiv
Kyiv’s Holodomor museum memorial statue has been desecrated by unidentified vandals on the night of Aug. 21, the National Museum of the Holodomor-Genocide informed on their website.
The monument, also known as “Bitter Memory of Childhood,” is one of the main symbols in Kyiv memorializing the victims of Holodomor, a man-made famine in Ukraine orchestrated by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin that killed millions of people in 1932–1933.
There are existing replicas in Canada commemorating the starving girl statue, but the museum in Kyiv retains the original piece.
Olesya Stasyuk, the general director of the museum, has called the incident an “inadmissible offense against the memory of an entire nation.”
Stasyuk further reassured that the museum is doing everything in its power to return the statue back to its designated location. According to her, the sculpture has been dismantled for restoration purposes and there is no significant damage.
“This act of vandalism against the Holodomor sculpture in Kyiv is horrible, despicable, outrageous and is a tragic cowardly act against the millions of Ukrainians who were starved to death, under Stalin’s leadership, during the Holodomor, 1932-1933,” Morgan Williams, president of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council, a 200-member association that includes the Kyiv Post and that promotes U.S.-Ukraine relations,wrote in a statement on Aug. 22. “The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, should immediately speak out strongly against this act of desecration.”
Zelensky did not comment on the act of vandalism.
The statue was physically torn from its pedestal but remained untouched afterward due to its weight.
Although the police are still investigating the crime scene, Stasyuk believes this was a premeditated effort by three personas.
“They fooled our security by acting like drunkards,” she said in an interview with BBC, “but the statue was too heavy to be removed by hand, so a car was needed. They were most definitely not drunk.”
The act of vandalism comes just two days before Ukraine looks to celebrate its 29 years of independence.
“The memory of Holodomor is a part of every Ukrainian’s history, which we have no right to forget for the sake of our steadfast future,” said Stasyuk.
Despite this setback, the National Museum of the Holodomor-Genocide continues to expand its facilities with the help of public and private donors.