November 24 is Ukraine’s National Holodomor Memorial Day, dedicated to the victims of the man-made famine of 1932-1933, which is believed to have taken the lives of 4-7 million Ukrainians. The Ukrainian government, and a number of other countries – including the United States and some of its individual states – consider the famine an act of genocide. Other official bodies, including the European Parliament, have officially recognized the famine as a crime against humanity, but not genocide. Because the famine was caused by actions of the Soviet government in Moscow, it has been a major source of contention between Russia and Ukraine, particularly over the claim that the famine could be considered genocide against Ukrainians.
On November 25, the official Twitter account of the Russian Embassy in Canada (a country with a large Ukrainian diaspora) tweeted an infographic claiming that the Soviet famine of the 1930s was a “common tragedy for Ukrainians, Russians, Kazakhs, other Soviet people.” It denounced the use of the term Holodomor, claiming that Soviet dictator Josef Stalin did not target Ukrainians due to their nationality. While the infographic contains some truth, its message is misleading for a number of reasons.