Ukraine marked the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor famine on Saturday as thousands of people across the country were left without power due to Russian airstrikes.
President Volodymyr Zelensky paid tribute to 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 with deliberately devastating effect on the population.
“Ukrainians have been through very terrible things,” Zelenskyy said in a video posted to social media. “Before they wanted to destroy us with hunger, now with darkness and cold,” he added.
“We cannot be broken,” Zelenskyy noted.
Millions of people starved to death during the Holodomor, seen by Kyiv as a deliberate act of genocide.
Polish, Belgian and Lithuanian leaders also traveled to Ukraine to mark the anniversary and renew their pledges of support in the face of power cuts across the country.
On Twitter, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry compared Ukraine’s history to the current situation.
“Everyone can see the terror Russia is inflicting on the Ukrainian people,” the Defense Ministry wrote, adding, “This time the theft and destruction of grain is causing famine outside Ukraine’s borders, in some of the poorest countries in the world”.
Here are the other headlines from the war in Ukraine on Saturday, November 26:
More than one 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 sunday picture reported. This is almost nine times more than in France.
The president of the EPP group in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber, called for more European solidarity in welcoming Ukrainian refugees.
“If more Ukrainians are forced to flee Russian bombings and attacks in the winter, then Western Europe will have to take more responsibility,” he told the newspaper. “This unprecedented challenge must be taken up by all EU countries in solidarity.”
Russian shelling kills 32 in Kherson region since liberation
At least 32 people in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine have been killed by Russian shelling since the area was liberated two weeks ago, Ukraine’s police chief said.
Russian forces completed their withdrawal from the city of Kherson on November 11 after an occupation of almost nine months. They are now positioned on the eastern bank of the Dnieper River, from where they regularly bombard the city.
“Daily Russian shelling destroys the city and kills peaceful local residents. In total, Russia has killed 32 civilians in the Kherson region since the disoccupation,” National Police Chief Ihor Klymenko said in a Facebook post.
Klymenko also said investigators recorded a total of 578 of what he described as war crimes committed by Russian troops and their accomplices in the region. Moscow regularly rejects allegations that its forces have abused civilians.
Russian strikes on Dnipro kill 13
Missile attacks on Ukraine’s 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 Ukraine’s fourth largest.
The number of dead and injured could rise further, as several people are believed to be trapped under the rubble of damaged buildings.
Ukraine launches grain program to support Africa and Asia
The Ukrainian government has announced the creation of an international food aid program for deliveries to the poorest countries.
Under the “Grain from Ukraine” program, 60 ships will be sent from Ukrainian Black Sea ports to deliver food to countries that urgently need grain deliveries, such as Yemen, Sudan or Somalia. Shipments are expected to be completed by the middle of next year.
“Ukraine has always been and will remain the guarantor of global food security, and even under such difficult war conditions, Ukrainian leaders are working for the sake of global stability,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Saturday.
Countries such as Germany and Belgium will participate in financing the deliveries.
“This initiative allows us to avoid possible food supply problems in some African countries,” Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo said alongside Zelenskyy in Kyiv.
In addition to benefiting Ukraine’s economy, the program seeks support from Asian and African countries, which have been hardest hit by the global food crisis and targeted by Russian disinformation campaigns to divert attention from the Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine.
Tens of thousands left without power after Russian strikes
In the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, some 130,000 people are still without power 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 be working again.
The city’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, called for calm and warned that power 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”.
In a flurry of attacks by Russian forces on Wednesday, electricity, water and heating broke down in Kyiv and many other parts of the country – which is facing freezing temperatures as the winter begins.
UK: Russia uses ‘aging cruise missiles’ in Ukraine
In its latest intelligence briefing, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said Russia is “probably removing nuclear warheads from aging cruise missiles” and using the unarmed missiles to strike Ukraine.
“Whatever Russia’s intention, this improvisation highlights the level of depletion of Russia’s stockpile of long-range missiles,” Britain’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement.
The ministry added that unarmed cruise missiles would not cause major damage on their own, but could be used to distract Ukraine’s missile defenses.
Germany on track for year-end oil embargo, says Scholz
Despite questions over Germany’s oil supply, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the country would stick to its schedule of banning Russian oil deliveries through pipelines.
At the end of the year, the Member States of the European Union are expected to decree an embargo on the supply of Russian oil. The ban will take effect from January 1.
Oil deliveries to a refinery in the eastern state of Brandenburg are expected to stop, although it remains unclear whether alternative oil sources are in place.
“We are working intensively to create the technical conditions for more possibilities for oil deliveries via Rostock, but also at the same time via Poland,” Scholz told a party conference for his center-left Social Democrats.
Germany is also negotiating with Kazakhstan over possible oil deliveries.
Germany has been criticized by its European partners for its dependence on Moscow for oil and gas. Before the war, more than a third of the oil refined in Germany came from Russia.
Germany pledges food aid to Kyiv
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has pledged an additional 10 million euros ($10.3 million) in support to help expedite grain shipments from Ukraine. Speaking on the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor famine that killed millions in Ukraine, Scholz said “hunger must never be used as a weapon again.”
The move comes as the world faces a food crisis partly caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine.
“We cannot tolerate what we are witnessing: the worst global food crisis in years with dire consequences for millions of people, from Afghanistan to Madagascar, from the Sahel to the Horn of Africa,” said Scholz.
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)