UCCLA, For immediate release (Toronto, 2 May, 2006)
The first-ever trilingual (Welsh-English-Ukrainian) plaque was unveiled today at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, honouring Gareth Richard Vaughan Jones, a journalist with The Western Mail. Traveling surreptitiously in Soviet Ukraine, in March 1933, Jones, who spoke Russian fluently, soon thereafter wrote a number of articles about the man-made famine orchestrated by the Stalinist government in what had been the "breadbasket of Europe." He then himself fell prey to a determined effort to discredit his reporting. Many millions of Ukrainians perished even as the Soviet authorities denied that a famine was raging, and continued to export grain. They were joined in their cover up by some Western journalists, including the now notorious Walter Duranty of The New York Times.
Commenting on the plaque unveiling, the UCCLA's director of research, Dr. Lubomyr Luciuk, said:
"Today we have hallowed the memory of the many millions of victims of a Stalinist crime against humanity, arguably the greatest example of genocide to befoul 20th century Europe. We have also paid tribute to a brave and honest journalist, Gareth Jones, who tried to expose the truth, only to fall victim to Stalin's men. He was, in some ways, the last victim of the Holodomor, the famine-genocide of 1932-33 in Soviet Ukraine. It is fitting that we could gather today in Wales, at the university where he studied, to honour a remarkable young man who paid such a heavy price for his commitment to being an honest reporter of the facts."