Ukraine honours two Poles for presenting truth about The Great Famine
Polish film director Agnieszka Holland and the American-Polish journalist and publicist Anne Applebaum have been honoured with high state distinctions by Ukraine for their work on portraying the truth about The Great Famine of 1932-33.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky awarded Holland and Applebaum with the Order of Princess Olga (3rd class). The state distinction is presented to women who have shown outstanding personal merits in matters of state, science, education, culture and in other social areas.
The decree by the head of state on the awarding of the state distinction to Holland and Applebaum was published on 23 November, the day on which Ukraine commemorates the victims of The Great Famine.
Agnieszka Holland is the director of 'Gareth Jones', a film which tells the story of a young Welsh journalist who in the 1930's was one of the first people to report on what was happening in Ukraine. The Ukrainian premiere of Holland's film will take place in Kiev on 28 November.
Anne Applebaum is the author of 'Red Famine: Stalin's War on Ukraine', a book in which she proves that The Great Famine was the second biggest act of genocide of the 20th century, second only to the Holocaust.
The Great Famine took place during peacetime in one of Europe's most fertile countries, while the Soviet Union exported huge amounts of cereal crops. In Ukraine the confiscation of cereals by the state was followed by the decision to confiscate all foodstuffs produced in the country.
According to various estimates between 4 and 8 million people lost their lives during the famine. During the worst period of the famine, 1932-33, up to 25,000 people were dying on a daily basis.