What is Holodomor90?

Holodomor90 is an anti-genocide campaign to raise awareness for and commemorate the 90th Anniversary of the Holodomor, which was a man-made famine perpetrated by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin that killed millions of Ukrainians in 1932-1933.

Who is behind Holodomor90?

Holodomor90 is organized by the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium (HREC) at Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS) at the University of Alberta, with grant funding from private donors.

Who are the Holodomor90 Partners?

Leading organizations from the Ukrainian diaspora are among the founding partners of the coalition, including the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium (HREC), Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS), the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC), The U.S. Ukrainian Congress of America, the U.S. Holodomor Committee, Razom for Ukraine, and others. The campaign has support from the Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox churches and is adding new partners all the time.

Who can be a partner in Holodomor90?

Anyone or any group that shares a common desire to eradicate genocide is invited to join. Learn how to host an event here and learn ways to participate here.

What are the requirements of a Holodomor90 Partner?

There are no specific requirements for a Holodomor90 Partner; however, partners are asked to take anti-genocide actions during Holodomor Awareness Month in November 2023, the 90th anniversary of a genocide that killed millions of Ukrainians.

Actions can be as simple as adopting the Holodomor90 brand in your public presence, on your website, email signatures, social media accounts and collateral materials. Find those materials here.

Other actions can include raising awareness of the Holodomor on social media, in media interviews, or contributing to the Holodomor90 blog.

Organizational support is also crucial in creating a worldwide series of candlelight vigils in public squares on Holodomor Awareness Day, November 25, 2023. 

The Get Involved page offers an array of specific actions anyone can take.

What are some ways Partners can participate in the 2023 Holodomor90 campaign?

Partners can commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor in solidarity with other anti-genocide groups, including many of those from the global Ukrainian diaspora, by adopting the Holodomor90 brand, organizing candlelight vigils on Holodomor Memorial Day – the 25th of November and hosting Holodomor-related events, activities, rallies, marches, petitions, pledges, and protests.

Partners can support, promote and amplify other Holodomor90 partners on social media, in the media, and in other public forums.  

The campaign is making available an array of resources to help plan, organize and conduct local events and activities. In addition, the campaign provides promotional channels including the H90 blog and social media accounts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter/X, and YouTube.

How do I join Holodomor90 as an organization?

Organizations can email info@holodomor90.com to express interest. Please allow 24-48 hours for a response.

How do I join Holodomor90 as an individual?

Individuals can join Holodomor90 by making a personal pledge to take action this November. Consider making a public statement by adding the Holodomor90 brand to your social media, or email signature. Of course, we invite you to like and follow Holodomor90 on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter/X, YouTube and subscribe to the H90 blog. And, visit the Get Involved page to find other actions you can take.

Can I submit a blog post to the H90 Blog?

Yes, Holodomor90 accepts original manuscripts for publication on the H90 blog under the following editorial guidelines.

Can I donate to Holodomor90?

Yes, many of the official Holodomor90 campaign partners accept donations. The Holodomor90 donate page also provides recommendations for other charitable organizations that support Holodomor awareness, anti-genocide, and supporting and preserving Ukrainian culture in the modern era.

How do I get the branding materials for Holodomor90?

Please check our Get Involved page to download Holodomor90 website badges and other brand materials. Or email us at info@holodomor90.com with questions.

How should I install the H90 badge on my website?

The website badge can be downloaded from the Branded Materials page. Depending on how your website is designed, the badge can be placed in a prominent location to show your support for the Holodomo90 campaign. The badge should hyperlink to the Holodomor90 homepage. 

How do I add the H90 badge to my email signature?

The badge for the email signature can be downloaded from the Register an Event page. Instructions for adjusting your email signature depend on which program you use. Here are some common links for iOS, MS Outlook, Gmail, and others. 

How do I add H90 branding to my social media profile?

Please visit the Branded Materials page to find the graphic files designed for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. 

What are the brand guidelines for adding Holodomor90 to my collateral materials?

You can download the Holodomor90 Brand Guidelines on the Register an Event page.

What is #ShineALight on Holodomor?

During the month of November, Holodomor90 advocates will #ShineALight on Holodomor by posting a video of themselves lighting a Holodomor candle, and inviting friends to do the same. The videos will be shared on social media and friends will be invited to do the same, creating a viral chain of videos and images across social media.

When does the #ShineALight initiative start?

The #ShineALight on Holodomor viral video initiative will begin on November 1, 2023, and continue throughout Holodomor Awareness Month, in November 2023.

How do I participate in #ShineALight?

To participate in #ShineALight on Holodomor, simply light a candle and create a selfie video on your mobile phone. Post the video to Instagram or preferred social media platform and be sure to tag at least two friends by name. Please also tag the Holodomor90 campaign on Instagram (@holodomor_90), Facebook (@Holodomor_90), Twitter (@Holodmor_90), or YouTube (@holodomor90), and include the #ShineALight hashtag.

How do I make a #ShineALight on Holodomor video?

You can use any recording device, including your mobile phone. First, light a candle in a safe location being sure to avoid any fire hazards. We recommend use of a flameless candle.
Next, put your camera in “selfie” mode and begin recording. State your name, your reason for supporting an anti-genocide, Holodomor Awareness campaign, and then invite at least two friends to do the same.
Once you have your video recorded, many social media platforms and apps can help you to edit and upload the video for publication to your network of friends.
Post the video after November 1, 2023, and be sure to tag your friends, the Holodomor90 campaign, and use the #ShineALight hashtag.
For more information, check out our blog post on how to make a #ShineALight video

How many people should I invite to make a #ShineALight video?

It is a good idea to invite at least two other people to make a video to make sure the campaign grows exponentially. But, there is no limit. The more people you can help reach, the better.

Who should I invite to make a video?

You can invite a friend or loved one, a work colleague, or an acquaintance. Consider inviting someone outside the Ukrainian diaspora or who has yet to learn about the Holodomor genocide. Try to invite someone you know personally as that will have the most impact.

When and where should I post my video?

Videos can be posted throughout the month of November 2023, to create a worldwide social media event. Videos can be posted at any time of the day. Videos can be posted to any social media channel including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or other locations where it can be seen by the public.

What is a Holodomor Memorial Day vigil?

The Holodomor90 campaign and its partners are working to organize memorial candlelight vigils in public squares around the world on Holodomor Remembrance Day, November 25, 2023. These events will bring people together in the community to commemorate the 90th Anniversary of the Holodomor in 2023.

How do I find a Holodomor vigil near me?

Please check the Holodomor90 Get Involved page for listings of local events near you. If you do not see an event listed now, please consider helping to organize an event in your area. Pease check back from time to time as the campaign is adding new events all the time. 

How do I host a 2023 Holodomor Memorial Day candlelight vigil?

Please see our guide for hosting a Holodomor Memorial Day candlelight vigil, and please contact the campaign if you have questions or need additional resources or advice.

How do I get my Holodomor vigil listed with Holodomor90?

If you are planning to host a candlelight vigil in your area, please contact the Holodomor90 campaign at info@holdomor90.com, or use the Register an Event page so it can be listed and publicized.

Do I need a permit to host a Holodomor90 candlelight vigil?

Depending on where you are hosting your event, it may be necessary to get a permit from a local authority. Typically, public spaces have rules and regulations for public gatherings, so check with the owner of the property several weeks in advance. 

Where can I find Holodomor candles for a vigil?

There is no designated Holodomor candle. We recommend use of a flameless candle for safety. However, all types of candles can be purchased in bulk online. We also encourage use of the Holodomor90 brand logo for custom printed commemorative candles from one of the many candle makers who can be found online on shops like Etsy. You can download the Holodomor90 brand materials from the Get Involved page. 

When should I host my vigil?

Saturday, November 25, 2023, Holodomor Awareness Day, starting at dusk, is a great time to host your candlelight vigil as there will be others around the world participating at the same time. The power of collective action will shine a light on the Holodomor.

Should I invite media to my Holodomor vigil?

Media coverage of a candlelight vigil can help spread awareness and recognition of the Holodomor as genocide. It is a good idea to research the media outlets in your area which cover local events. Often media outlets will publish a list of the reporters and journalists who focus on the relevant topic areas on their websites. Sometimes, contact information is available on the media outlet’s website. Many journalists appreciate news tips from readers. Anyone can invite a reporter to attend and cover an event. This is often done by email. If you are not sure who to contact, try calling the newsroom to ask for their directions on how to submit a news tip. This should be done several days or weeks in advance of the event.

Do I need to do anything to prepare for the media who cover my candlelight vigil?

Professional media do not require any special arrangement, but helping them to find people to talk to, including the organizers of the event, and providing them with access to viewing areas for photography can be helpful in generating positive coverage. As an organizer of an event, it is a good idea to have a few points in mind that you would like to say. Remember that everything you say can be reported in the media, so be aware of the words you use and the context in which you say them. A Holodomor vigil is typically a solemn event.

What should I expect to happen at a Holodomor Memorial Day vigil?

Candlelight vigils can be a few people gathering or a large group. There is no specific formula or agenda that must be followed. Some groups will go to a Holodomor Memorial, if their city or town has one, at dusk. Hosts can provide candles, or flameless candles for safety, or ask participants to bring their own. It is a good idea to have an emcee who can direct and guide the group in the ceremony. Songs, prayers, and a moment of silence are all appropriate means to commemorate the loss of millions of Ukrainian lives. Typical events may last 1 hour, with additional time to prep and clean up afterwards. 

Do I have to host my Holodomor Memorial Day vigil on November 25, 2023?

No, but it is a good idea to hold the event during the month of November, “Holodomor Awareness Month,” to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor. And, many other events will be taking place on the 25th.

When exactly is the 90th Anniversary of Holodomor?

The Holodomor was a man-made famine that occurred in Soviet Ukraine from 1932 to 1933. Therefore, the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor began in the year 2022, and will conclude in 2023. The specific dates associated with the Holodomor can vary depending on how one defines its beginning and end, but it is generally recognized to have occurred during those years.

What is happening in 2023 to commemorate the Holodomor?

Ukrainian and anti-genocide advocates around the world will be holding events and promotional activities throughout the year to raise awareness of the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor. 

One of the culminating events in 2023, will be a viral social media initiative in November 2023, to #ShineALight on #Holodomor. As part of this initiative, social media users will light a candle and post a “selfie” video to their Instagram or preferred account, while inviting others to do the same. The initiative will begin on November 1, and culminate on Holodomor Awareness Day, November 25, 2023.

On Holodomor Awareness Day 2023, the 90th Anniversary will be commemorated with a series of in-person candlelight vigils worldwide, where participants can gather in the community to remember the millions of lives lost.

Please check the Get Involved page to find other specific events and activities being hosted by Holodomor90 partners and anti-genocide advocates.

When is Holodomor Awareness Day 2023?

This year, Holodomor Remembrance Day will take place Saturday, November 25, 2023. The tradition of commemorating those who died in the Holodomor on the fourth Saturday of November was established in Ukraine by presidential decree in 1998.

What are the traditional Ukrainian ways to commemorate Holodomor?

Ukrainians recognize the Holodomor, the man-made famine-genocide that occurred in Soviet Ukraine from 1932 to 1933, in various ways. Here are some of the ways Ukrainians traditionally observe and remember the Holodomor:

  • Holodomor Candlelight Vigils: Many Ukrainians light candles and gather in public places or near memorials on Holodomor Remembrance Day to commemorate the victims. The lighting of candles symbolizes hope and remembrance. 
  • Holodomor Memorial Services: Churches often hold special memorial services and Masses dedicated to the victims of the Holodomor. These services include prayers, hymns, and readings to honor the memory of those who perished.
  • Holodomor Museum Visits: Ukrainians may visit museums and exhibitions dedicated to the Holodomor, where they can learn about the historical facts and see artifacts and documents related to the famine.
  • Educational Programs: Schools and universities in Ukraine conduct educational programs, lectures, and discussions to educate students and the public about the Holodomor and its historical context.
  • Art and Cultural Events: Ukrainian artists, writers, and musicians create works that reflect on the Holodomor, contributing to the cultural remembrance of this tragedy. Art exhibitions, concerts, and theater performances related to the Holodomor are organized.
  • Moment of Silence: Ukrainians observe a moment of silence at a designated time on Holodomor Remembrance Day to pay tribute to the victims.
  • Wearing Ribbons: Some people wear blue-and-yellow ribbons, the colors of the Ukrainian flag, as a symbol of remembrance and solidarity with the victims of the Holodomor.
  • Community Gatherings: Communities may come together for public gatherings, discussions, or processions to remember the Holodomor and raise awareness about its historical significance.
  • Fasting: Some individuals choose to fast on Holodomor Remembrance Day, symbolically experiencing the hunger and suffering that the famine victims endured.
  • Lighting a Holodomor Memorial Candle: Lighting a memorial candle at home or in a designated public space is a common way for Ukrainians to individually or collectively remember the victims.
  • Sharing Stories: Families may gather to share stories passed down through generations about relatives who lived through the Holodomor, providing a personal connection to the tragedy.
  • Donations: Some individuals and organizations donate to charities or foundations that work to preserve the memory of the Holodomor and support initiatives related to famine research and education.

These ways of recognizing the Holodomor are important for preserving the memory of this tragic event, acknowledging its historical significance, and ensuring that future generations remember the suffering and loss endured by Ukrainians during that period.

Why do Ukrainians light a candle in November to remember the Holodomor?

The tradition of lighting a candle on the fourth Saturday of November is part of the observance of Holodomor Memorial Day. Holodomor Memorial Day is a day of remembrance and reflection dedicated to the victims of the Holodomor, the man-made famine-genocide that occurred in Soviet Ukraine from 1932 to 1933. This day is observed to honor the memory of the millions who perished during the famine and to raise awareness about this tragic event.

The lighting of a candle on Holodomor Memorial Day is a symbolic gesture to remember the victims and to shed light on the Holodomor, which perpetrators sought to conceal. Candles are often used in memorial ceremonies to represent hope, remembrance, and solidarity with those who suffered.

Ukrainians and Ukrainian communities around the world use this day to participate in various commemorative activities, including lighting candles, attending memorial services, and sharing stories about the Holodomor.

The candle lighting tradition serves as a poignant and solemn way to ensure that the memory of the Holodomor is preserved and that the victims are never forgotten. It also symbolizes the ongoing commitment to truth and remembrance regarding this tragic chapter in Ukrainian history.

Why is November “Holodomor Awareness Month?”

This year, the Holodomor90 campaign designated November 2023, to be “Holodomor Awareness Month” to recognize and commemorate the 90th Anniversary of the Holodomor. This month, Ukrainian and anti-genocide advocates are taking additional steps to call for official recognition of the Holodomor as genocide and to raise public awareness for the atrocity committed 90 years ago. These memorial actions are important in helping to prevent future genocide. 

What is the Holodomor?

The Holodomor was a man-made famine and genocide in Ukraine during 1932 and 1933. It was carried out under the direction of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and led to the death of millions of Ukrainians. 

Was the Holodomor a genocide?

The Holodomor meets all of the United Nation’s criteria for a genocide.

The United Nations (UN) defines genocide in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. According to Article II of the Convention, genocide is defined as any of the following acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group:

  • Killing Members of the Group: Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.
  • Causing Serious Bodily or Mental Harm: Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group.
  • Imposing Measures Intended to Prevent Births: Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part by imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.
  • Forcibly Transferring Children: Transferring children of the group to another group.

Key elements of this definition include:

  • Intent: Genocide must be committed with the specific intent to destroy, in whole or in part, one of the protected groups mentioned (national, ethnical, racial, or religious).
  • Acts: The Convention outlines specific acts that, when committed with the requisite intent, constitute genocide.
  • Groups: Genocide can be directed against a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group.
  • In Part: Genocide does not require the complete destruction of the group but may target a significant portion of it.

The 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide is an essential legal instrument that seeks to prevent and punish acts of genocide. It has been ratified by numerous countries and is considered a foundational document in the field of international human rights law. Genocide is recognized as one of the most serious international crimes and is subject to prosecution by international tribunals, such as the International Criminal Court (ICC), and national courts under the principle of universal jurisdiction.

To note, while the Holodomor occurred prior to the UN designation, scholarly consensus shows that the Holodomor meets the modern criteria for genocide.

Is the Holodomor related to the Holocaust?

Both the Holodomor and the Holocaust are considered genocide. But, the similarity in the names of the two genocides is merely coincidence. The two words have different histories, origins, and meanings. 

How do you pronounce Holodomor?

Please see our pronunciation guide.

Who perpetrated the Holodomor?

The Holodomor, a man-made famine that occurred in Soviet Ukraine from 1932 to 1933, was perpetrated by the Soviet government under the leadership of Joseph Stalin and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The policies and actions of the Soviet government caused the deaths of millions of Ukrainians during the Holodomor. These included forced collectivization of agriculture, punitive grain requisition quotas, the confiscation of food from Ukrainian peasant farmers, the closing of Ukraine’s borders that prevented the starving from finding food elsewhere, and the Soviet government’s refusal of offers of international aid.

Here are some key elements of how the Soviet government’s actions contributed to the Holodomor:

  • Forced Collectivization: In the early 1930s, the Soviet government implemented policies that forced Ukrainian peasants to give up their individual farms and join collective farms (kolkhozes). This disrupted traditional farming practices and caused widespread resistance among Ukrainian farmers.
  • Grain Requisition Quotas: The Soviet government imposed unrealistic grain requisition quotas on Ukrainian farmers, demanding that they surrender large portions of their harvests to the state. These quotas were often impossible to meet, leaving peasants with insufficient food for themselves.
  • Confiscation of Food: Soviet authorities aggressively confiscated grain and other foodstuffs from Ukrainian households, leaving peasants without enough food to feed their families. They even conducted searches and seizures in homes, taking away any hidden food.
  • Blockades and Travel Restrictions: The government established blockades and travel restrictions to prevent the movement of food and people within Ukraine, exacerbating the famine conditions.
  • Refusal of Aid and Denial: The Soviet government denied the existence of the famine, suppressed information about it, and refused offers of international aid. This denial further exacerbated the crisis.

The combination of these policies and actions resulted in a devastating famine that led to the deaths of millions of Ukrainians. The Holodomor in many countries and by various international organizations is recognized as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people. However, the Soviet government’s role in perpetrating the famine was denied by the Soviet authorities during their rule. It was only after the collapse of the Soviet Union that information about the Holodomor became more widely accessible, and its historical significance was more openly discussed and recognized.

How many people died in the Holodomor?

Historians continue to debate the total number of deaths which occurred during the Holodomor. All credible estimates place the numbers in the millions, with four million as a conservative estimate. Others believe the numbers to be two or three times greater.

Where can I get more information on the Holodomor?

To gain a comprehensive understanding of the Holodomor, you can consult a variety of sources, including academic books, documentaries, archives, and reputable websites. You can find a list of top Holodomor books to read at our blog. Here are some of the best sources of information on the Holodomor:

Holodomor Academic Books:

Holodomor Documentaries:

Holodomor Archives and Primary Documents:

Holodomor Museum Exhibitions:

  •  Visit museums and exhibitions dedicated to the Holodomor, such as the Holodomor Museum in Kyiv, Ukraine, and other museums with collections related to Ukrainian history.

Academic Journals:

  • Research articles published in reputable academic journals that focus on Soviet history, Ukrainian studies, and famine studies.

Holodomor Websites and Online Resources:

  • Explore websites created by institutions and organizations dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holodomor, such as the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium (HREC) and the Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Centre (UCRDC).

Holodomor Educational Courses and Lectures:

  • Enroll in online courses or attend lectures on the Holodomor offered by universities or institutions specializing in Ukrainian studies.

Holodomor Survivors’ Accounts:

  • Read or listen to personal accounts and memoirs of survivors of the Holodomor, which provide firsthand insights into the experiences of those who lived through the famine. Check out Holodomor Survivors’ Oral Histories.

Scholarly Holodomor Conferences and Seminars:

  • Keep an eye out for academic conferences and seminars dedicated to the Holodomor, where experts present research and discuss various aspects of the famine.

Holodomor Books by Eyewitnesses:

  • Some individuals who survived the Holodomor have written memoirs and personal accounts that offer valuable insights into the period.

When using online sources, it’s important to ensure they are from reputable organizations or academic institutions to ensure the accuracy of the information. Additionally, cross-referencing information from multiple sources can help you develop a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the Holodomor.