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This 1931 Ukrainian Poem Tells the Story of War There Today



A Ukrainian serviceman photographs a damaged church after shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, Thursday, March 10, 2022. (AP/Evgeniy Maloletka)
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The 1931 Ukrainian poem “Pamiatay” — “Remember” in English — by Oleksandr Oles is as relevant now as it was then.

In 1929,  communists working on behalf of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin forced peasants to relinquish their land, belongings, and sometimes housing to collective farms. The disruption resulted in less productive farming and food shortages.

By 1932, famine gripped Ukraine, with starvation deaths peaking in spring 1933. During that time, the Soviets refused to provide grain to alleviate the suffering. The mass starvation is known as Holodomor.

Acting on the suggestion of a local pastor, the Rev. Dr. Gregory Zubacz of St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Parish, GV Wire is republishing “Pamiatay.”

If you would like to donate to humanitarian relief in Ukraine, go to this link. Granville Homes, the parent company of GV Wire, is matching donations up to $20,000.

Poem read on Unfiltered


Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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