For Immediate Release (Ottawa, 01 August 2013)
Canada’s Ukrainian community is denouncing plans by the Republic of Georgia to re-erect a statue to Josef Stalin.
“This is an ill-conceived, stupid, and harmful decision by pro-communist elements in the Georgian government,” said Roman Zakaluzny, chairman of the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association, paraphrasing Georgia’s president, Mikheil Saakashvilli, who also opposes this plan. “Imagine how outraged the world would be if Austria were to build a statue to its native son, Adolf Hitler.”
Stalin and his circle were responsible for the death and enslavement of many millions of people in the former USSR, including Georgians. “Stalin was not a good Georgian, nor a good man, by anyone’s account,” Zakaluzny said.
UCCLA has sent a letter of protest to the Embassy of the Republic of Georgia, and has asked Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada to raise this issue with his counterpart. “Ukraine lost millions of its citizens to Stalinism, particularly during the genocidal Great Famine of 1932-1933, known as the Holodomor. To think that a modern European state would even contemplate placing a monument to honour the villain responsible for this unparalleled crime against humanity beggars the imagination.”