Canterbury for Ukraine (C4U) is running a series of events to mark Holodomor – or ‘the Great Famine’ – the Russian induced famine which killed millions of Ukrainians in the 1930s.
As the current conflict continues, the commemoration takes on special importance as Ukraine continues to defy Russian aggression and affirm its commitment to peace and freedom.
The events at the end of November will include the showing of a landmark film, Mr Jones, which tells the story of Gareth Jones, a Welsh journalist, who travels to Ukraine in 1933 and uncovers the truth behind the famine in Ukraine.
The award-winning 2019 film, starring Edward Norton, Vanessa Kirby and Peter Sarsgaard, will be shown at the Gulbenkian on Thursday 23 November at 19:00. It has also been announced that students will be able to attend the screening free of charge thanks to a donation from Canterbury for Ukraine. To book your free student ticket, go to the Gulbenkian website. The ticket will show as £6 but once in the basket it will appear as £0 for students.
The commemoration will culminate in an inter-denominational service at All Saints Church, Military Road at 19:00 on Saturday 25 November. The service will bring together faith leaders, religious groups and many others from Canterbury and beyond to commemorate Holodomor but also to show solidarity with the more than 400 hundred Ukrainians who have settled in the area following the Russian invasion escalated in February 2022.
More than 6 million people have been forced to leave their homes as Russian forces have attacked major cities across Ukraine, including Berdyansk, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, Sumy, and the capital Kyiv. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights verified 9,614 civilian deaths to September 2023, but the number of civilian casualties in the occupied territory is as yet unknown.
Canterbury for Ukraine was set up in March 2022 to welcome and support the growing number of Ukrainian families being displaced to Canterbury and the surrounding areas.
Run and supported by local volunteers, supporters and businesses from both the UK and Ukraine, C4U has grown rapidly to provide a wide range of high-quality and much-needed services including a Welcome Hub, a Youth Hub, English language classes, a club for older age Ukrainians “Young Hearts”, the Canterbury for Ukraine Facebook group, a Choir, as well as awareness raising, public engagement and social events.
The Holodomor commemoration activities are a part of C4U’s continuing work to promote Ukrainian culture, language, history and heritage.
For further information please go to the Canterbury for Ukraine (C4U) website.