Russian aggression against Ukraine is nothing new. In 1932 and 33 million Ukrainians starved to death in a man-made famine called the Holodomor. Joseph Stalin, the Soviet Union’s dictator, wanted to turn his country into an industrialized, Russian-led, communist world power. To do that he collectivizes family farms, meaning farmers no longer worked from themselves but had to give their crop to the government for redistribution throughout the entire country. The led to widespread starvation. Some believe the famine was deliberate to crush any Ukrainian aspiration of independence from the Soviet Union.
At the corner of North Capital Street and Massachusetts Avenue, near the Capitol, those who perished in the Holodomor are remembered.
Ukraine is often called to as the breadbasket of Europe, so it makes sense that wheat is the focal point of the Memorial. At this end the wheat starts off full and plentiful but as you move down the wall it slowly starts to disappear representing how the Ukraine’s abundant harvest is destroyed under Soviet rule.
From the Soviet Union starving the Ukrainians in the 1930s to Russia’s unprovoked war of today, the historic parallels are clear. Today the memorial is a focal point for those supporting Ukraine which again faces the horrors of Russian aggression.