Category Archives: uk

Weekend watching: Holodomor featured on UK game show

The Gareth Jones memorial website run by his great nephew Nigel Colley posted a clip last week from a popular game show University Challenge last week that asked participants “killed in 1935, the Welsh journalist Gareth Jones was posthumously awarded which country’s medal of freedom award in 2008 for his efforts in publicizing the Holodomor, a famine of 1932 and 33 during which several millions died as a result of policies instituted by Stalin”


Unfortunately no one got the answer correct. Laughably upon hearing the word ‘Stalin’ one participant quickly buzzed in his answer of ‘Russia’, but I don’t think there is a single case of Russia awarding anyone any sort of decree for their work denouncing Stalin – especially since Russian schools are now being equipped with new textbooks justifying his millions of murders and praising the dictator.

Weekend Listening: BBC Documentary – Useful Idiots

For your weekend listening pleasure, the BBC has published a two-part documentary podcast on ‘useful idiots’ – a phrase coined by Lenin about Westerners who endorsed the Soviet Union and its Communist ideologies, usually in the press.

Part One – 22 minutes

The Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw and American journalist Walter Duranty were some of those people who also visited the Soviet Union. They mingled with political leaders, were escorted into the countryside by Joseph Stalin’s secret police, and returned home to speak and write of ‘a land of hope’ with ‘evils retreating before the spread of communism’.

However as stories mounted of mass murder and starvation in parts of Russia and the Ukraine, reporters such as Gareth Jones and Malcolm Muggeridge investigated and reported on ‘the creation of one enormous Belsen’. Duranty responded with an article in the New York Times headed ‘Story of the famine is bunk’, and got an exclusive interview with Stalin.

Soon after, Jones died and Muggeridge’s career nose-dived. Duranty was awarded a Pulitzer.

How can intellectual curiosity transform into active promotion of a dangerous lie? Why so many ‘useful idiots’?

Part Two – 22 minutes

BBC – Useful Idiots

Huddersfield exhibition on the horrors of the Ukrainian genocide [Article]

From the Huddlesfield Examiner:

A talk and exhibition about the Holodomor of 1932 and 1933 was brought to the town this week.

It was a tragedy which claimed the lives of millions of people; some estimates put the death toll as high as 14m.

“The famine in Ukraine was brought on to decrease the number of Ukrainians and replace the dead with people from other parts of the USSR and kill the slightest thought of any Ukrainian independence.”

Read the rest of the article

The Holodomor has not yet been recognized in the UK federally, despite passing resolution in Keighley and Rochdale Borough last year.

[Huddlesfield Examiner]

True extent of Ukraine famine revealed in British journalist’s diaries [Article]

From the Times Online:

Millions of peasants were starving. Children were turned against adults as they were recruited to expose people accused of hoarding grain. Stalin sealed the border between Russia and Ukraine to ensure that news of the famine would not spread, but one journalist was able to break through to discover the truth.

Gareth Jones, who revealed the story of the forced famine that claimed the lives of four million people in Ukraine in the 1930s, recorded the words of Stalin’s victims in his diaries, which he then used to prepare his dispatch.

The public can see the diaries for the first time today as they go on display at the University of Cambridge.

One entry from March 1933 describes how Jones illegally sneaked across the border from Russia to interview peasants. “They all had the same story: ‘there is no bread; we haven’t had bread for two months; a lot are dying’,” he wrote.

Despite his first-hand account of the starvation, the story of what has become known as the Holodomor (Ukranian for “the famine”) was not widely followed because it was disputed by other Western journalists based in Moscow who wished to placate their contacts. Walter Duranty, a British-born correspondent for The New York Times, opined that Jones’s judgement had been “somewhat hasty”. He suggested that Jones had a “keen and active mind” and that his 40-mile trek near Kharkov had been a “rather inadequate cross-section of a big country”.

Jones’s relatives, who discovered his diaries in the 1990s, believe that his kidnap in China may have been arranged by Soviet spies. David Lloyd George, who consulted Jones on foreign affairs after he stepped down as Prime Minister, hinted that Jones was killed because of something he knew. The diaries, which are on display at the Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge until mid-December, lay forgotten for more than 50 years.

Read the rest of the article

Scans of his diary are available online at his memorial website. More from the University of Cambridge:

Now, for the first time, the diaries that Jones kept as he trekked across Ukraine and used as the basis of his reports are being put on display by Trinity College, University of Cambridge, where he was a student.

The documents have been kept by his family and are going on show to coincide with a new, feature-length documentary about Jones and the famine by the director Serhii Bukovs’kyi. The film, called “The Living”, will receive its British premiere on Friday (November 13th) as part of the Second Annual Cambridge Festival of Ukrainian Film, organised by the University’s Department of Slavonic Studies.

“These diaries are the only independent Western verification of what was arguably Stalin’s greatest atrocity,” Jones’ great nephew, Nigel Linsan Colley, said.

“Jones was the only journalist who risked his name and reputation to expose Holodomor to the world,” Rory Finnin, Lecturer in Ukrainian Studies at the University of Cambridge, added. “His diaries are a stirring historical record of an often forgotten tragedy of the 20th century.”

Gareth Jones’ diaries will be displayed at the Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge, from November 13th to mid-December. The library is open at specific times during the week. For details, visit:

Read the rest of the article

Much of Gareth Jones’ life has been documented online at his memorial site and is a great resource with lots of information. As we are approaching Holodomor Memorial day, please take some time to read about the works of his 29-year old life and it’s great importance to Ukrainians and the Holodomor.

UK: Helping to feed Ukraine’s tunnel children

From the Telegraph:

At night, they emerge to steal, forage and earn money from prostitution; by day, they cuddle up to the giant hot water pipes that serve public buildings. These are the street children of Kharkiv, eastern Ukraine.

Many parents, unable to care for their children, consign them to orphanages. Twelve-year-old Artom is one among thousands to have chosen to live on the streets. He says that he never knew his father, his mother drinks and his stepfather is “not kind”. He was put in the orphanage three years ago. He escaped to live underground where he was found by Father Vitaliy, a Catholic priest working for the Depaul Foundation, a UK charity working with street children.

These children’s first need is food. With the help of the Scottish charity Mary’s Meals, founded in 2002 to provide the world’s poorest children with a free daily meal at school, Fr Vitaliy has been able to lure children into some semblance of a normal life. Every night, a minibus tours the city, dispensing free meals. Each stop appears to be in the middle of nowhere, but out of the darkness they appear, first checking for police, then sneaking into the dining area.

Mary’s Meals is one of three organisations benefiting from the Telegraph Christmas Charity appeal. The closing date for donations – currently at £625,000 – is next Saturday, January 31. To make a last-minute donation, click here