Ukraine marked the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor famine on Saturday, as thousands across the country remained without electricity due to Russian airstrikes.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy remembered the victims of the 1932-1933 famine, which occurred under Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.
Holodomor is Ukrainian for “death by starvation.” In 1932, Stalin ordered authorities to seize all grain and livestock from newly collectivized Ukrainian farms to deliberately devastating effect on the population.
“Ukrainians went through very terrible things,” Zelenskyy said in a video posted on social media. “Once they wanted to destroy us with hunger, now — with darkness and cold,” he added.
“We cannot be broken,” Zelensky noted.
Millions starved to death during the Holodomor, regarded by Kyiv as a deliberate act of genocide.
The leaders of Poland, Belgium and Lithuania also traveled to Ukraine to mark the anniversary and renew their pledges of support amid power cuts across the country.
On Twitter, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry compared Ukraine’s history with the current situation.
“Anyone can see the terror that Russia is inflicting on the Ukrainian people,” the Defense Ministry wrote, adding, “This time, the theft and destruction of grain is causing famine outside of Ukraine’s borders, in some of the world’s poorest countries.”
Here are the other main headlines from the war in Ukraine on Saturday, November 26:
Over 1 million Ukrainian refugees live in Germany
According to the German Interior Ministry, as of November 21, 1,027,789 Ukrainian refugees were living in Germany, the newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported. That is almost nine times as many as in France.
The chairman of the EPP group in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber, called for more European solidarity in the accommodation of Ukrainian refugees.
“If more Ukrainians are forced to flee the Russian bombing and attacks in winter, then Western Europe will have to take more responsibility,” he told the newspaper. “This unprecedented challenge must be borne by all EU countries in solidarity.”
Russian shelling kills 32 in Kherson region since liberation
At least 32 people in the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson have been killed by Russian shelling since the liberation of the region two weeks ago, the head of Ukraine’s police said.
Russian forces completed their withdrawal from the city of Kherson on November 11 after an almost nine-month occupation. They are now positioned on the eastern bank of the Dnieper River, from where they have been shelling the city regularly.
“Daily Russian shelling is destroying the city and killing peaceful local residents. In all, Russia has killed 32 civilians in the Kherson region since the deoccupation,” National Police chief Ihor Klymenko said in a Facebook post.
Klymenko also said investigators had recorded a total of 578 of what he described as war crimes committed by Russian troops and their accomplices in the region. Moscow routinely dismisses allegations its forces have abused civilians.
Russian strikes on Dnipro kill 13
Missile attacks on the Ukrainian industrial city of Dnipro killed at least 13 people on Saturday, officials said.
Among the victims is a 17-year-old, the military governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region, Valentyn Reznichenko, said on Telegram.
Ukrainian authorities said a total of seven residential buildings were damaged in the missile attacks. A warehouse was also destroyed in the city, which is the fourth-largest in Ukraine.
The number of dead and wounded could still rise, as several people are believed to be trapped under the rubble of the damaged buildings.
Ukraine launches grain program in bid for Africa, Asia support
The Ukrainian government announced the creation of an international food aid program to provide deliveries to the poorest countries.
Under the “Grain from Ukraine” program, 60 ships will be dispatched from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports to deliver food to countries in dire need of grain deliveries, such as Yemen, Sudan or Somalia. The shipments are expected to be completed by the middle of next year.
“Ukraine has always been and will remain the guarantor of world food security, and even in such harsh conditions of war, the Ukrainian leadership works for the sake of global stability,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Saturday.
Countries including Germany and Belgium will help finance the deliveries.
“This initiative allows us to prevent possible problems with food supply in certain African countries,” Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo said, speaking alongside Zelenskyy in Kyiv.
In addition to benefiting Ukraine’s economy, the program seeks to garner support from Asian and African countries, which have been hit hardest by the global food crisis and targeted by Russian disinformation campaigns to deflect attention from Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine.
Tens of thousands remain without power after Russian strikes
In the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, some 130,000 people are still without electricity following a wave of Russian airstrikes targeting critical infrastructure.
Kyiv’s military administration said it expects the final repairs to be completed within the next 24 hours.
All heating systems in the city of 3 million should then work again.
The city’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, urged calm and warned the electricity cuts could spark political unrest.
“We must continue to work together to defend the country and protect the infrastructure,” he said, adding that a solution was being sought at “record speed.”
During a barrage of attacks by Russian forces on Wednesday, power, water and heating failed in Kyiv and many other parts of the country — which is facing frigid temperatures as winter gets underway.
UK: Russia using ‘aging cruise missiles’ in Ukraine
In its latest intelligence briefing, the British Defense Ministry said Russia is “likely removing nuclear warheads from aging cruise missiles” and using the unarmed missiles to strike Ukraine.
“Whatever Russia’s intent, this improvisation highlights the level of depletion in Russia’s stock of long-range missiles,” the British Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The ministry added that the unarmed cruise missiles would not cause major damage on their own, but could serve to distract Ukrainian missile defenses.
Germany on track for year-end oil embargo, says Scholz
Despite questions about Germany’s oil supplies, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the country would stick to its timetable of banning Russian oil deliveries via pipelines.
At the end of the year, European Union member states are set to enact an embargo on Russian oil deliveries. The ban will take effect starting January 1.
Oil deliveries to one refinery in the eastern state of Brandenburg are set to stop, although it remains unclear whether alternative oil sources are in place.
“We are working intensively on creating the technical conditions for more possibilities for oil deliveries through Rostock, but also at the same time through Poland,” Scholz said at a party conference for his center-left Social Democrats.
Germany is also negotiating with Kazakhstan about potential oil deliveries.
Germany has faced criticism from European partners over its reliance on Moscow for oil and gas. Prior to the war, over a third of oil that was refined in Germany came from Russia.
Germany pledges food aid to Kyiv
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged an additional €10 million ($10.3 million) in support to help accelerate grain shipments from Ukraine. Speaking on the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor famine which killed millions in Ukraine, Scholz said “hunger must never again be used as a weapon.”
The move comes as the world faces a food crisis partially brought on by Russia’s war in Ukraine.
“We cannot tolerate what we are witnessing: The worst global food crisis in years with abhorrent consequences for millions of people, from Afghanistan to Madagascar, from the Sahel to the Horn of Africa,” Scholz said.
More coverage of the war in Ukraine
The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution calling on Russia to pay reparations to Ukraine for the destruction caused by its war of aggression. But it is not binding. DW examines whether Russia could be held liable.
Russian forces occupied Kherson for months. Earlier this month, Ukraine regained control. DW’s Ihor Burdyga hails from the city. Here, he describes life in his liberated hometown.
rs/ar (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)