As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence, a testament to the spirit and the determination of the people of the Ukraine, we also remember the suffering they endured 78 years ago during the catastrophic famine, which has come to be known as the holodomor, the death by hunger.

This terrible tragedy created by the international seizure of crops and farms across Ukraine by Joseph Stalin was one of the communists’ greatest atrocities. Today Americans join with the people of Ukraine and Ukrainians around the world in remembering those who suffered and died senselessly as a result of this man-made famine. In the wake of this brutal and deliberated attempt to break the wheel of the people of Ukraine, Ukrainians showed great courage and resilience. They established a proud and independent Ukraine 20 years ago, which shows the remarkable depth of the Ukrainian people’s love of freedom and independence.

The United States values the friendship between our peoples and offers our deepest condolences on this solemn occasion as we remember this tragedy. We recommit ourselves and reaffirm our shared determination to prevent similar tragic acts from ever happening again. To secure our future, we should never forget out past.