Bradford City Council has formally acknowledged the Holodomor of 1932-33 as a genocide inflicted upon the Ukrainian nation.
This formal acknowledgement is the culmination of a campaign by the Bradford Branch of AUGB, lead by its chair Mrs Orysia Chymera, which started with the visit of the Holodomor Torch to Bradford in June 2008. After the commemoration of the Holodomor in London and in Bradford over the fourth weekend in November 2008 the Bradford Branch presented a petition to the City of Bradford Council. In her presentation of the petition to the meeting of the Council on 2nd December 2008 Mrs Chymera asked the City Council to acknowledge the death of at least 7 million Ukrainians as an act of genocide. The Council unanimously referred the petition for detailed consideration by the Council’s executive. The executive considered a report about the Holodomor on 3rd February 2009 when Mrs Chymera again addressed the meeting explaining the significance of the Day of Sorrow annually in November and the importance to the Ukrainian nation of Her Majesty’s Government's acknowledgment of the Holodomor as genocide.
Finally, on 27th February in a letter to the Ukrainian communities in Bradford and Keighley the City Council acknowledged the Holodomor was an act of genocide against the Ukrainian nation. The City Council also promised to support future commemorations on the Day of Sorrow and to ensure that formal recognition is given to the Holodomor genocide during the City Council’s Holocaust event which takes place annually in January. Intriguingly the letter also refers to the Council having taken steps 25 years previously “…to recognise the genocide with the erection of a plaque”. The Torch had been taken to the “Ukrainian Grove” where the plaque is sited.
Speaking afterwards on behalf of the Ukrainian community in Bradford, a delighted Mrs Chymera said that "...the City Council’s formal recognition of the Holodomor genocide and its renewed commitment to continue working with the Ukrainian community in Bradford is the result of a lot of hard work by members of the community in organising events to raise public awareness of the Holodomor and during negotiations with City Council members and officers before the decision was announced. The whole Ukrainian community is now looking to Her Majesty’s Government to accept the growing weight of evidence about the causes of the Holodomor and to acknowledge that it was an act of genocide.”.