KIEV, Ukraine, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko wants the world to recognize the famine that killed one-quarter of the population as Soviet-sponsored genocide.
On Saturday, the country plans to remember the famine by lighting 33,000 candles, the BBC reports. Millions of people died in Ukraine in the early 1930s, with hunger and disease killing an estimated 33,000 a day at the famine's height.
Officials have adopted Nov. 26 as an annual Day of Remembrance for what Ukrainians call the Holomodor, or murder by hunger.
Joseph Stalin, the Soviet dictator, has been blamed for the famine by forcing a policy of collectivization in Ukraine.
"The world must know about this tragedy," Yushchenko said Friday at a memorial exhibit.