Russia "will pay" for a Soviet-era famine that killed millions of Ukrainians in the 1930s, as well as for its current war in Ukraine, a top Kyiv official said on Saturday.
"The Russians will pay for all of the victims of the Holodomor and will be held responsible for today's crimes," Andriy Yermak, the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, wrote on Telegram.
Saturday marks the 90th anniversary of the 1932-1933 Holodomor, or Terror Famine. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin engineered the famine by removing food stocks from Ukrainian peasants, leading to the deaths of millions of people.
Other leaders around the world — including US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni — have marked the anniversary.
Meloni's office released a statement on Saturday, saying: “On the day of the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor, the starvation of millions of Ukrainians by Stalin's Soviet regime, our thoughts turn to the millions of Ukrainians, mostly elderly and children, deprived of electricity, water and heating in the middle of winter from the Russian bombings that are deliberately attacking civilian infrastructures.”
United States Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget A. Brink said in a video on Twitter that "Russia continues to weaponize food as it seeks to subjugate the descendants of Ukrainians who survived the forced famine."