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RIA Novosti

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Russian lawmakers reject Ukraine's view on Stalin-era famine

20:03 02/04/2008
MOSCOW, April 2 (RIA Novosti) - Russian lawmakers adopted a statement Wednesday saying there is no evidence that Ukraine's 1932-1933 famine was an act of genocide, and urged Kiev not to use the issue for political goals.

In late 2006 Ukraine's parliament recognized the Stalin-era famine known as Holodomor, which claimed the lives of around 3 million people, an act of genocide by the Soviet authorities against the Ukrainian people, and urged other countries to do the same.

The statement adopted by Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, said: "there is no historic evidence that the famine was organized on ethnic grounds."

The lawmakers condemned the Soviet regime's "disregard for the lives of people in the attainment of economic and political goals", along with "any attempts to revive totalitarian regimes that disregard the rights and lives of citizens in former Soviet states."

Estimates vary widely as to the number of deaths in Ukraine in the early 1930s caused by forced collectivization, along with devastating purges of the Ukrainian intelligentsia, religious leaders and politicians under Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. Some sources cite figures over 7 million.

Moscow has consistently rejected Ukraine's interpretation of Holodomor.

Valery Loshchinin, Russia's envoy to the UN office in Geneva, told the seventh session of the UN Human Rights Council in early March: "We urge against political speculation on subjects related to the general, sometimes tragic, historical past, and against using this for a voluntary interpretation of the rules of international law."

The diplomat also said that Ukraine's Holodomor could not be recognized as genocide under the 1948 Convention on Genocide.

Since Ukraine's parliament declared Holodomor an act of genocide, 11 countries have followed suit.

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