French MPs recognise Ukraine Soviet-era famine as 'genocide'

1 min 2Approximate reading time

The French parliament on Tuesday recognised as "genocide" the 1930s starvation of millions in Ukraine under Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, a move welcomed by President Volodymyr Zelensky.

In a resolution adopted by 168 votes to two, the French deputies called on the government to do the same, as the current Russian invasion in Ukraine revives memories of the atrocity meted out on the country in the 1930s.

Zelensky swiftly hailed the "historic decision," in a tweet thanking French MPs. Kyiv has urged the international community to declare the starvation a "genocide".

In December, the European Parliament approved a resolution describing the 1930s starvation in Ukraine as a genocide as did EU-member Bulgaria last month.

The text adopted in Paris on Tuesday recognises "the genocidal nature of the forced and planned famine by the Soviet authorities against the Ukrainian population in 1932 and 1933".

The French parliament condemned those acts and "affirms its support for the Ukrainian people in their aspiration to have the mass crimes committed against them by the Soviet regime recognised".

The 1932-33 "Holodomor" -- Ukrainian for "death by starvation" -- is regarded by Kyiv as a deliberate act of genocide by Stalin's regime with the intention of wiping out the peasantry.

Stalin's campaign of forced "collectivisation" seized grain and other foodstuffs and left millions to starve.

Moscow rejects Kyiv's account, placing the events in the broader context of famines that devastated regions of Central Asia and Russia.

The current conflict has fuelled fears that history may repeat itself. Russia's targeting of grain storage facilities and its blockade of Ukraine's Black Sea exports have sparked accusations that Moscow is using food as a weapon of war.