A ceremony was held last month at Aberystwyth University to honour the journalist Gareth Jones who exposed the famine in the Soviet Union in the 1930s following Stalin’s forced collectivisation policy. The famine is estimated to have killed up to 10 million people.
This report from the University web site:
“Deputy Ambassador of Ukraine to the UK has placed a wreath in memory of former Aberystwyth University student Gareth Jones who exposed the Ukraine famine of 1932-33.
Minister-Counsellor Andriy Marchenko travelled to Aberystwyth on Thursday 23 November for the wreath-laying ceremony at the University’s Old College.
The delegation from the Ukrainian Embassy in London wanted to honour Gareth Jones as part of the 85th anniversary of Holodomor, the Great Famine which killed between 7-10 million people in Ukraine.
Gareth Jones was one of the first journalists to expose Stalin’s policy of deliberate starvation and is widely considered a hero in Ukraine.
Speaking at the Old College, Mr Andriy Marchenko said: “The 85th anniversary commemorations of the Holodomor, the Great Famine in Ukraine in 1932-1933 will officially commence this year on 25 November. Today we pay tribute to the brave young Welsh journalist, the Aberystwyth University alumnus Gareth Jones. Despite the risks to his life, he played a significant role in disclosing the crime of the Holodomor starvation to the rest of the world and struggled for truth at the time when most others publicly denied it.
“Today, seventeen nations including Canada and the US have officially recognized the Holodomor in Ukraine as genocide. It is our sacred duty to the millions of victims of the Holodomor and the brave Gareth Jones to remember them and to make their story known to the world as one of the most tragic pages in the history of the twentieth century.”
The Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, Professor Elizabeth Treasure, said: “Gareth Jones was a talented linguist and a man of principle who accomplished much in his short life. We are privileged to acknowledge him as a student of this University and we honour his bravery in speaking out about the policies which led to the deaths of millions of ordinary people in Ukraine.”
Staff, current students, members of Aberystwyth’s Old Students Association and local dignitaries gathered at the Old College for the commemoration service led by the Ukrainian Embassy deputation, as wreaths were laid in memory of Gareth Jones.
The great nephew of Gareth Jones, Nigel Colley, joined the University and the Ukrainian delegation in laying a wreath beneath the plaque in his memory in the Quad of the Old College.”
Full report at this link:
Gareth Jones was allegedly killed by ‘bandits’ while reporting later from Inner Mongolia in 1935. It is rumoured his death was orchestrated by the Soviet NKVD the successor organisation to the OGPU which had a strong presence in the area at the time having invaded neighbouring Xinjiang in 1934.
It is thought that Jones reporting of the famine which was networked globally by media angered Stalin and the Soviet leadership.
Image: Gareth Jones who exposed the 1930s Soviet Famine/
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