The fifth episode of ‘Radio Resilience. Conversations about our ability to adapt and respond to change‘ is about how food is once again being used as a weapon, and what we can do about it. For this exchange, held on 12 December 2022, we were joined by:
- Pierre Bascou, Director, DG Agriculture, European Commission
- Andrea Chalupa, journalist and author
- Michael Sawkiw, Chair, Holodomor Commitee
- Serhiy Tereshko, Deputy Head of Mission, Ukraine Mission to the EU
- Alice Stollmeyer, Executive Director, Defend Democracy (moderator)
You can listen to the conversation here, and read the transcript below.
Thank you for joining Radio Resilience. I’m very grateful that you found time in your busy schedules. Michael, since you can be with us only for the first half hour or so, I’d like to start with you. As the chairman of the US-based Holodomor Committee, can you tell us what the Holodomor is?
I do apologise that I have a meeting that I have to attend fairly soon. But it is an honour to be here and to discuss the topic of the Holodomor and its true relevance to today’s war of Russian aggression in Ukraine.
The Holodomor is not a singular act that just happened in Ukraine. It’s a culmination of events that emanated, obviously, from Moscow. It began in the 1920s with Lenin himself. Trying to form The Soviet Union, he said that Russia cannot be an empire without Ukraine. And with Stalin at the helm after Lenin’s demise, he took this truly to heart and understood that Ukraine has to be fully subjugated in order to control that vast territory. The aspects which culminated with the Holodomor included genocidal acts, such as the repression and the execution of the intelligentsia, of the clergy, of cultural entities in Ukraine. This helped to depress the national consciousness of the Ukrainian people. But what was left were the farmers.
Stalin gave very stark grain quotas for Ukraine specifically, closed the borders of the Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Socialist Republic, at which time, obviously, the grain was exported from Ukraine. And the people that were left to farm the countryside died of starvation. So this was a forced famine, as we say, and it was a genocidal famine because there are instances that show the intent of Stalin and the Communist Party.
In our [Radio Resilience] exchange, we’re talking about resilience. Well, this is what the Kremlin was trying to do: to break the national consciousness of the nation of Ukraine.
We see that happening again today, 90 years later. Food is being used as a weapon, where there is difficulty exporting grain due to a blockade of Russian forces in the Black Sea. So this is not a new concept. At that particular time, the phrase ‘food as a weapon’ emanated from the Soviet foreign Commissar Maxim Litvinov.
The Ukrainian famine itself killed between seven to ten million people. The food being used as a weapon in today’s world is affecting tens of millions of people. And let’s be mindful of this, that once again, the imperialistic opportunities of the Kremlin are trying to suppress the Ukrainian nation. And obviously, going back to Lenin in the 1920s, Russia cannot be an empire without Ukraine.
These numbers are incomprehensible in terms of the vastness of the Ukrainian Holodomor. And each of those victims had a story associated with them. So it’s not just the mere statistic. It’s the same thing 90 years later in today’s world, and there are stories associated with those tens of millions of people throughout the world that are affected by not having that Ukrainian grain. So every instance here is not so much a statistic as much as it’s a story. It’s a lifestyle of families that are affected, and obviously the world and society as a whole.
Absolutely, that’s what makes it even more difficult to fully grasp: that these are so many individuals and individual stories. It’s not just numbers…
Andrea, you wrote the biographical movie Mr. Jones, about the British journalist who uncovered the truth about the Holodomor. Can you tell us about the journalist and how he exposed the Holodomor?
Sure, one thing I wanted to ask Michael Sawkiw before he needs to leave. Michael, what is going on in Congress in terms of securing funding this year for Ukraine? Will it get passed before the new Congress comes in?
Thank you, Andrea, for that question. The rest of my afternoon here in Washington DC is to secure that funding. That funding, as the request that came from the Biden administration of $37.7 billion for the next fiscal year, is absolutely critical and necessary for Ukraine. Even Putin himself said a few days ago that they are purposely targeting the electrical grid in Ukraine. We are targeting any type of energy sources in Ukraine. We are targeting hospitals, we’re targeting civilian senators. The 30 million people in Ukraine are facing no heat for the winter months, and we know the starkness of a Ukrainian winter. And therefore this is a true opportunity for the United States government and all of its allies in Europe as well, to help fund Ukraine when it comes to security assistance, as well as the necessary humanitarian aid that is necessary to get Ukraine through the winter months. We are hopeful that that particular request might actually increase before the budget goes through at the end of this week.
Thank you for that. Now, about Mr. Jones. Gareth Jones is a real life hero. He was in his late 20s, a rising star in British history. He was a foreign affairs adviser for David Lloyd George, who was the former World War One prime minister. He worked for a lot of illustrious people as just a brilliant researcher, writer, expert in all things foreign policy, he had his finger on the pulse of the world, because he was just brilliant. And he went to Cambridge, he spoke several languages fluently.
He talked his way onto a flight with the newly appointed Chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler and flew in Hitler’s plane, and made the accurate prediction that if that plane should crash, the whole history of Europe would be changed. And that’s extremely early days. Hitler had just become Chancellor.
So next, he was on his way to Moscow because he had heard rumours of a manmade famine. And given how charming and brilliant he was, he talked his way to the front door. He basically made the Soviets think that they were talking to Westminster, that they were talking to London by Gareth Jones being there. So they rolled out the red carpet for him and sent him on this trip into Ukraine to show off and look at their big factories in the Kharkiv area.
Gareth Jones was from a humble small town in Wales, he was raised by a wonderful family and was very deeply connected with the community and he was raised on values of community and mutual aid. Gareth Jones being Gareth Jones, he risked his life to sneak off of the train and elude his secret police escorts. He traveled for a very long period, by foot, to these ghost villages and interviewed survivors, people that were in the midst of living through Stalin’s genocide and famine. He gets out of the situation, and makes it back to the West to report on what was really going on there, being the very first to call it a man-made famine. Based on this shocking eyewitness report, it was a very big story for a hot moment in the world.
And then the powerful celebrity foreign correspondents based in Moscow, mainly Walter Duranty, who had just won a Pulitzer reporting for Moscow for the New York Times, got together and wrote articles in lockstep saying that Gareth Jones is lying, there is no famine. And they’re doing this against the background of the Brittney Griner-type story of the day, which was the fact that during the height of the famine, the Soviets arrested six British engineers. And they did this, as Gareth Jones pointed out correctly as a hostage situation, to try to shock and distract the world from what was really going on. Just like the Russians very likely took Brittney Griner as a hostage situation, to try to have some leverage over Washington and its allies.
So, Mr. Jones the film, is very much a case study in how history repeats. And unfortunately, this history is repeating today. The world cannot look away. The world cannot make excuses. The world cannot profit off of blood money from Moscow. There has to be forced accountability this time around. And the way you do that – and there’s no exception to this, or else we’ll be forced to go through this again and again – is you have to ensure that every single inch of Ukrainian land is liberated from Russian occupation and that every single Russian war criminal, including Putin, is brought to justice. If you don’t do this, you’re just kicking the can down the road.
Thank you, Andrea. Serhiy, you’re the deputy head of the Ukrainian mission to the European Union. Can you update us on the current situation in Ukraine and especially regarding the agricultural situation? Do Ukrainians see the Kremlin’s current weaponisation of food and hunger as a new Holodomor?
Much appreciation to the previous speakers who gave an excellent overview of the Holodomor issue. Unfortunately we have too few of such heroes in the West like Gareth Jones, as well as other people in the United States and in Europe who were talking about the Holodomor at the time it was happening, and unfortunately even less afterwards. So I believe if the democratic world had talked about Holodomor more openly and condemned Russia’s actions as genocide earlier and more clearly, probably nowadays, we would be more resilient and more prepared to the Russian atrocities across the world. So now we are learning very bitter lessons.
And I can tell you that situation is changing. For instance, this week, we expect the European Parliament to recognise the Holodomor as a genocide. We Ukrainians have expected this from every democratic country across the world for decades already, since the very first years of Ukrainian independence. It was difficult to persuade our partners in Europe, in the United States and other countries that the Holodomor was purposeful genocide of the Ukrainian people and nation.
So we expect the lessons of Holodomor have been learned well by the world by now. And, of course, it might show to the world that the Russian war against Ukraine right now is against the Ukrainian nation: not just against the Ukrainian state but against Ukrainian identity, against Ukrainian culture. This can be seen as a genocidal war, especially given the range of war crimes and human crimes committed by the Russian aggressor.
The situation in Ukraine right now is definitely critical and difficult. First of all, it’s a full-fledged war. Secondly, Russia significantly shifted its aggressive attention to the civilian infrastructure, to the civilian population. And now we have winter in Ukraine, a severe one as usual, and people are suffering from this war very personally. So the war is ongoing not only in the battlefields, but in every flat, in every house in Ukraine.
At the same time, I have to say that we all have to commend the Ukrainian farmers and the Ukrainian agriculture sector, who, despite the war, by unbelievable efforts, managed to secure not only food security for Ukraine itself, but are also doing their best to stabilise the global food market, and to save from starvation other countries across the globe. Given the circumstances there was a relatively successful harvest, it could be way better, but given the full-fledged war, given the lack of fuel, permanent shelling, mine fields, occupied territories of the rural regions of Ukraine, the harvest is a relative success. So as of now, Ukraine has harvested around 45 millions of tonnes of grain. It is less than we usually harvest but it’s still very significant.
We appreciate the international assistance in providing seeds and fuel, for instance, for Ukrainian farmers. However, we are faced with another problem, and that is that Russia has blocked, in fact, their traditional routes of Ukrainian grain exports to the globe. And it appears that we can only rely on our land border with our European neighbouring countries. At the beginning of the war, this land border appeared not really prepared for such a quantity of the usual Ukrainian grain exports. But we really commend and appreciate the joint effort of the European Commission and neighbouring member states to ensure a very significant amount of export of Ukrainian grain, and oils, soy and rapeseed as well, but primarily grains, corn, wheat, through so-called ‘solidarity lanes’. These were initiated by the European Commission and have been implemented jointly by the European Commission and member states and Ukraine. These solidarity lanes allowed us to export more grain and more food products than by the ‘grain corridor’. Since they were introduced, Ukraine exported more than 18 million tonnes of agricultural products via solidarity lanes.
And in addition to this, of course, we appreciate that the efforts of the United Nations and Turkey and support of the European Union this allows us to launch our grain corridor initiative. And via our grain corridor, more than 13 million tonnes of food left the Ukrainian ports of great Odesa to 43 countries of Asia, Africa, and to a lesser extent Europe. Overall, as of now, almost 550 vessels left Ukraine with food products for export to the countries that are most in need. However, we can see that this is not sufficient, we still have capacity to export more. And moreover, we could never trust the sustainability of the grain corridor for obvious reasons. It depends on Russia’s potential willingness to sustain it. So we keep developing the solidarity lanes, we are introducing new corridors. We are developing new rail lines, we are trying to build the new routes towards the Baltic Sea and towards the Adriatic. We are building new projects to connect Ukraine and the European Union as strongly as possible, keeping in mind the need of agricultural export.
Many thanks, Serhiy. We’ll get to a European Union perspective soon, but since Michael needs to leave in a few minutes: Michael, this year, Ukrainians are commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor. And you told me that much is being planned around the world to promote awareness about the Holodomor, can you tell us a bit more?
The 90th anniversary is being commemorated from November 2022, last month, throughout the entire year until November of 2023 with a culminating forum in Washington DC. Our theme for the 90th anniversary is quite stark, but it’s realistic to what is happening today: ‘Holodomor then, genocide now, justice when?’ It ties into exactly what Andrea had mentioned earlier, in that Ukraine should not give an inch of its territory to the aggressive state, that obviously Ukrainian territory has to be whole, complete and viable. And that for all of the Russian war crimes which are happening in Ukraine, eventually justice has to be done to the Russian soldiers in Ukraine, the generals that are giving the orders, as well as the first and foremost orders coming from the leader of the Kremlin himself, Putin.
So this is an aspect of the 90th anniversary that in terms of its historical perspective, there has to be historical justice as well. The prime and key component of our commemoration for this year, is to try to get as many countries throughout the world to recognise Holodomor the Holodomor as genocide. Because obviously, if you don’t learn from your past, you’re bound to repeat those mistakes in the future. And as the EU representative of Ukraine has mentioned, if countries had recognised Holodomor, maybe we might not be in this particular situation of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. So first and foremost is the recognition of Holodomor as genocide.
There are 10 stages of genocide. There’s classification, symbolisation, discrimination, dehumanisation, organisation, polarisation, preparation, persecution, extermination and denial. If you think about those 10 elements, they are obviously happening right now in Ukraine. And those same 10 elements happened 90 years ago during the Holodomor. We need that historical justice both then and now.
Another project is with regards to the journalists that did not tell the truth about the Holodomor, in particular Walter Duranty. In 1932, he received the Pulitzer Prize, the highest in terms of journalistic ethics in the United States, for his writings about Stalin’s five year economic plan, and other aspects of Stalin’s reign of power in the Soviet Union. And we as a Ukrainian community, whether it’s in the United States or worldwide, are looking to help to revoke Walter Duranty’s Pulitzer Prize. There have been revocations of Pulitzer Prize of other correspondents as well, so there are precedents for this.
Education is extremely important. As was mentioned earlier, if knowledge about the Holodomor was more widespread, maybe the present situation in Ukraine would be a different story. So education when it comes to curriculum in high schools, but also college campuses, at universities.
Another focal point is the Holodomor Descendants Network that we have formed. These are the descendants of Holodomor survivors, they could be their children or their grandchildren or their great-grandchildren, but forming a network of these descendants. Because they have not just surviving Holodomor in common, but obviously there’s trauma associated with going through the genocidal acts that have occurred. We see the trauma that is existing right now, for the average Ukrainian citizen, as they have gone through the war for almost 10 months. It is important for the members of the descendants network to interact, and have them be part of that promotional activity, as well, of what is Holodomor, how it has affected my story. We’re not talking just about statistics, but we’re talking about lives of individuals.
And another big aspect is polarisation exhibits, promoting Holodomor through the arts, not necessarily through history books, not necessarily through lectures at universities, but promoting Holodomor through the arts, through various multimedia displays. One of the prime ways of Holodomor in the arts is Andrea Chalupa’s marvellous film, Mr. Jones. We are very proud to be one of the original sponsors of Mr. Jones. It truly depicts how the Holodomor was given its prominence 90 years ago. So that’s just a quick summary of some of the aspects and details of the 90th anniversary, culminating in Washington DC with a Holodomor forum at the beginning of November of 2023.
Many thanks Michael, and thank you for the work that you’re doing. And I’m very, very happy that you could find the time to join us today. My next question is to Pierre from the European Commission. You work with DG Agriculture. What are the implications of the current agricultural situation in Ukraine, not just for Ukraine, but also for the rest of the world?
The implication for Ukrainian agriculture and for agriculture in the rest of the world, and also in the EU are huge. One primary reason is that Ukraine has become one of the world’s major grain producers. Just to quote a few figures, to illustrate this properly: Ukraine mainly grows and exports wheat, corn and barley, and Ukraine accounts for 10% of the world wheat market, 15% of the corn world market and 13% of the barley market. And if you look at the oil seed sector, with more than 50% of world trade, Ukraine has also become a major player on the sunflower oil market. So Ukraine has become a major agricultural powerhouse at world level.
It is also important to underline that the production of grains in Russia has increased significantly over the last decade as well. So the Russian aggression over Ukraine has put a very strong strain on the functioning of the world market commodity. In 2021, either the Russian Federation or Ukraine or both ranked among the top three global exporters of wheat, barley, maize, rapeseed, rapeseed oil, sunflower seeds and oil. This war as provoked by Russia has inevitably disturbed the trade flows from this region, as already alluded to by Serhiy.
The current global food security situation, which was already quite tight and quite tense due to the impact of climate change, various conflicts in the world, and also the recovery from the COVID crisis, has been dramatically worsened by destabilising effects of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, and also the Kremlin’s policy. The war affects the capacity of Ukraine to supply world and EU markets with agricultural goods in two ways. First, I think Ukrainian farmers are operating in very difficult condition, the agricultural area is either partly occupied, with grain being stolen by Russia, or partly in the conflict area. And throughout Ukraine the farmers are affected by the bombings over the infrastructure, and in particular, the energy infrastructure. The second element which has affected the capacity of Ukraine to supply the world market is the blockade by Russia of Ukrainian Black Sea ports until the conclusion in July of this Black Sea Grain Initiative under the leadership of the UN, and since then the uncertainty over this agreement and the war situation in the Black Sea.
So critically, the situation in Ukraine is very difficult and its contribution to the world food security is really under strain. The EU has many initiatives to address that. The first element is that the EU supports Ukraine and its farmers to continue operating through our Production Support Grant scheme. This is absolutely necessary and fundamental. The EU has granted more than 550 million euro in order to support the small farmers to continue operating. We also are also facilitating the delivery of the necessary inputs, like the seeds, like the energy generators, etc. And this is particularly important if we want a Ukrainian farmers to continue producing and playing a role in ensuring global food security. For example, 2 million hectares of maize remained unharvested in Ukraine, mainly due to the high cost of drying the grains, which is the result from Russia’s attack on the energy infrastructure in Ukraine. There’s also concerns relating next year’s crops, because many farmers are hesitant to continue planting, with low domestic prices coming from the high costs of transport and fertilisers. This will have an impact on the global grain availability, the grain that will be harvest seed in summer 2023.
In the long term Ukraine will need to recover from the destruction by Russia. Billions of euros and years of investment will be needed, so that when the war is over, Ukraine can really express its agri food potential. We have also developed the ‘solidarity lanes’ as an alternative route to the Black Sea export for Ukrainian goods. And I think the solidarity lanes are very important because this Black Sea Grain Deal only focuses on agricultural goods and fertilisers. So through the solidarity lanes, I think the Ukraine has been able to export more than 18 million tonnes of grain which is absolutely major, added to the 14 million tonnes of grain being exported under this Black Sea Grain Deal. The coalition has mobilised 1 billion euro in order to improve, repair and develop the capacity of the solidarity lanes.
One last element which is worth mentioning is that last summer the Commission granted Ukrainian products with temporary one year duty free and quota free access to the EU market. And this is very important. And it means that for cereals and all seeds, the increase of Ukrainian exports to the EU has been more than 100% as compared to the same situation in 2021. We have also drastically increased the level of poultry exports from Ukraine to the EU, the export of eggs, etc. We have done as much as we could in order to support the Ukrainian agricultural sector.
That’s a lot of actions from the European Union to help not only Ukraine, but also Europe and other countries that are feeling the impact of this… genocidal hunger weapon. This is such a big topic and I’m really very grateful to all of you. I hope our listeners are learning a lot; I’m learning a lot.
I’d like to return to Andrea. As this is the year in which we commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor, will the film Mr. Jones be touring the cinemas again? And didn’t you have plans to publish the movie as a book?
Hopefully next year a graphic novel adaptation of the screenplay of Mr. Jones will be published. I was also contacted by the Ukraine embassy in Washington DC, and they’re working on an initiative to try to get Mr. Jones into schools across the country. So I think that’d be a great initiative, obviously, for Ukrainian embassies around the world to get Mr. Jones in the classrooms. And obviously, Michael Sawkiw’s group could work on that as well, and our diaspora communities.
So there’s a couple of big things we’re working on since it’s the 90th anniversary. We will have a very big year next year (2023), and plant some really powerful seeds to make sure that the Holodomor is increased in curriculum, in classrooms, including universities. Hopefully these initiatives will increase and include several screenings of Mr. Jones. If you, wherever you’re listening to this, want a screening of Mr. Jones, in your city in your town, just email me and we’ll see what we could do. The best thing you could do to organise this, is contact a local theatre, see if they’d be willing to host a screening. You’ll pay for the costs and have a ticket fee that’s a donation to an incredible Ukrainian humanitarian group or so. You could also call an art centre, you could also just have it in a simple projection in a classroom. So do what you can whoever’s listening to this, to organise a screening of Mr. Jones, where you live, it’s not that hard. You could also get a group of friends together and host a screening in your home, or do a screening over Amazon Prime. In the meantime, we’re doing our darnedest to do some really big events next year and plant some powerful seeds for Ukraine.
Wonderful, thank you Andrea. And Serhiy, I think this is something that Defend Democracy could do together with the Ukrainian mission to the EU. Let’s organise a screening of Mr. Jones.
Indeed, great idea Alice. Let’s elaborate on this, definitely.
Great. Serhiy, how is Ukraine dealing with Russia using food and hunger as a weapon? Have your farmers found unexpected ways to protect their fields? Do you use creative solutions to export grain and other foods?
Traditionally, Ukraine is very strong agricultural country with very powerful land roots, their main instruments and their societal way to ensure food security and stability in Ukraine and globally, is just winning the war supporting our army. So, the more territories Ukraine liberates the more possibilities for secure and safe agriculture. Our farmers are fully supportive of this national cause. So, our farmers are trying to be, well, just fearless and tireless, and personally finance the demining for instance. They simply keep selling grain despite it being very unprofitable for them. In fact, more than half of their grain price consists of logistic costs, but they receive less than they should.
We are trying to use every opportunity to increase exports of our grain. For example, Ukraine has a tiny portion of the Danube River. And since Russia blocked the sea routes for Ukrainian grain export, Ukrainian ports and venues along the Danube really became life vests for Ukrainian export of grain. We rearranged our logistics of exporting grain to the Danube, using possibilities to reach, for instance, Romanian ports in the Black Sea, but allowing our grain to leave the country via the Danube.
Another interesting initiative is a very recent one, directly related to the Holodomor. Just two weeks ago, during the days of commemoration of the Holodomor in Kyiv, there was a big food security summit. And that was dedicated to the launch of president Zelenskyy’s initiative called ‘Grain from Ukraine.’ This initiative is directly linked to the Holodomor memory that we are aware of what hunger is. We need the world’s help in minimising the threat of a new Holodomor. That is why the President of Ukraine came up with an initiative, which as of today is supported by approximately 30 international organisations and countries globally, just to finance, Ukrainian grain and to finance shipping of this grain to the countries in need in Africa and Asia. On the one hand, as humanitarian aid to ensure relief for the countries in hunger across the world, on the other hand to allow more opportunities for Ukrainian grain to be brought out of the country.
EU Commissioner von der Leyen, participating in the summit, pledged the intention of the European Commission to finance I believe 40,000 of tonnes of grain and already there are support ships being prepared for departure to Somalia, Ethiopia. But of course, next year could be even more critical and more difficult for our farmers, we may face a drop the level of grain harvests. That is why our farmers need support in terms of, for instance, energy equipment, or seeds, provision of fuel provision. And in this regard, we still rely on our European partners.
Thank you, Serhiy. I’m glad to hear that Ukraine gets support. I’m also glad to hear that Ukrainians are resilient and are trying to find solutions and are adapting, be it via logistics or other many other initiatives to deal with this situation.
Pierre, what else is the European Union doing to help prevent hunger in Ukraine and the rest of the world?
I would like to add a word concerning the rest of the world because clearly, many countries are facing high levels of food insecurity. And it is primarily countries which are highly dependent on import from Ukraine and Russia. And this includes primarily countries in North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and the Middle East. The EU must take action, together with the international community, through UN-led global crisis response group, through the G7 Global Alliance for Food Security, through the US-led Roadmap for Global Food Security, the EU solidarity lanes and the recent ‘Grain from Ukraine’ initiative. The EU is supporting global food security along four main strands of action, which are backed by a significant financial support of around 8 billion euros until 2024. Out of these 8 billion euros 4.5 billion would be dedicated to Africa. We are stepping up our humanitarian aid, especially for those populations that are most at risk, but we have also increased our short term response with actions to support food affordability and macroeconomic stability.
We also support production activity, and it is important to boost local food production as part of the transition to a resilient and sustainable food system. And for this, we allocated 3.4 billion euro from the EU and also 4 billion additional euros in loans from the European Investment Bank.
Another strand of action is to take measures to keep the markets open. In global trade, it is important to fight unjustified trade restriction and calm down the global food prices, by getting Ukrainian grain and food products on the world market.
And the final strand of innovation is that we are working on the basis of multilateralism. We are working with partners to promote a coordinated multilateral solution, and a comprehensive and timely UN-led response to this crisis.
It is absolutely paramount to support Ukraine in order to avoid a global food crisis. In 2022, the UN estimated that 222 million people were in great difficulty and they were food insecure. And I think this is a number which is intolerable. And we need to do our utmost to address this issue, this danger and this risk.
Thank you Pierre. And many thanks to all our speakers. Is there anything, Serhiy or Andrea or Pierre, that you would like to say as a final thought?
I want to thank you for organising this and everyone who attended. It’s so important that we engage in these conversations in the years ahead. Because one of the ways we got here was Russia’s genocidal imperialism. It’s a war on historical truth. And we need to basically help Russia confront history as it happened, the facts of history. So thank you so much for raising awareness of this history and continue to engage and promote events like this, because Russia will not be a democracy ever, unless it atones for its history. And that requires Russians of all backgrounds confronting that history and learning from it. If you want to watch Mr. Jones, it’s on most streaming sites. And you can contact me if you want to try to do some sort of screening where you live. Thank you.
Thank you very much. I am pleased that the discussion puts the Russian war in the context of the Holodomor which proves not only the unjust character, the illegal character, but the genocidal character of this Russian war against Ukraine, which for the Ukrainian nation is a repetition of the Russian genocide crimes 90 years ago.
Russia is trying not only to directly weaponise food security, Russia also uses this food security issue in its propaganda, communication, especially with African and Asian countries. So I believe we have to mobilise our efforts in conveying true messages of the reasons for this food crisis globally, and what our common efforts are to prevent it, and who is actually responsible for all the problems which the world food market is facing right now – which is Russia.
Thank you Serhiy, it’s very important indeed that disinformation and narratives are also very much related to this topic. In fact, the third episode of Radio Resilience was about the information war.
Pierre, is there anything you would like to say to wrap up?
Thank you for your invitation to discuss this very important and unfortunate topic, because it is clear that we would not be having this discussion and the food crisis if Russia had not launched its illegal aggression against Ukraine. Just to say that the EU is supporting Ukraine and all these partners in coping with food insecurity and trying as much as possible to mitigate the consequences of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. And we are at the forefront of global efforts to address food insecurity that is affecting once again, hundreds of millions of people in the developing countries. The EU will continue to do our utmost to address this food insecurity both in Ukraine and in the rest of the world, and let’s hope that this situation will come to an end as soon as possible. But clearly, even if the war ends very soon, we will need years to get the agri food sector in Ukraine back up to full speed.
Thank you Pierre, and once again, thank you to all our speakers. Thank you to all our listeners. We all stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes. But let’s hope that it will be over soon, this horrible war of aggression against Ukraine, not only as a nation, but also against civilians. Let’s keep supporting Ukraine. Thank you everyone for standing with Ukraine. And hope to see you again at our next episode. Thank you.