Cross-country tour bringing awareness to Ukrainian famine stops in Winnipeg

A mobile awareness bus educates Canadians about the atrocities Ukrainians have faced against Russia and showcases how history can repeat itself. Alex Karpa reports.

By Alex Karpa

A mobile classroom on wheels is part of the national awareness tour teaching Canadians about the Holodomor.

It examines how Russia and the Soviet Union have used hunger as a weapon against Ukraine.

The mobile bus was in Winnipeg from Thursday to Sunday – parked outside the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

“What happened in the past can and is happening today,” said Roma Dzerowicz, the manager of the Holodomor National Awareness Tour.

In 1932 and 1933, Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin ordered food seizures aimed at starving Ukrainian peasantry, resulting in the deaths of millions of Ukrainians.

Dzerowicz says this act by Stalin was to eradicate, insubordinate, and squash independence and freedom from the Ukrainian people – a genocide which was denied and kept secret for decades.

“Food stocks were being taken away, grain quotas were being grazed,” she said. “So one-time farmers were keeping grain for their own use, were receiving less and less, until they were given nothing. The culmination, the height of the famine in 1933, people had everything taken away from them.”


It has been more than eight months since Russia invaded Ukraine. Dzerowicz says it’s hard not to make compare what Stalin was doing 90 years ago to what Putin is doing to Ukrainians now.

“The inhalation, the rumination of Ukrainians, Ukrainian artifacts, Ukrainian churches, anything Ukrainian. As Putin says, ‘I want to destroy anything that is Ukrainian,’ and he is doing that,” she said.

Dzerowicz says it’s extremely important to educate Canadians and people around the world about what happened in history and what is happening now. She says the mobile Holodomor National Awareness Tour bus offers that.

“It is an independent country, it always has been an independent country, and it will continue to be Ukraine.”

National Holodomor Awareness Week in Canada will take place at the end of November.

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