Kyiv City Council has confirmed plans to name a street in the Ukrainian capital “Gareth Jones Lane” in honor of the British journalist whose courageous reporting helped expose Stalin’s genocidal Ukraine famine. The July 31 decision by the Kyiv authorities reflects the important role played by Jones in the long quest to reveal the truth about the man-made 1930s famine, which killed an estimated four million Ukrainians and is known today as the Holodomor (“Death by Hunger”).
The appearance of a Kyiv street honoring Gareth Jones is arguably long overdue. In that sense, it is very much in keeping with the delays and denials that have marked the wider struggle for greater public awareness of the famine, both in Ukraine itself and internationally. Despite a staggering death toll, the Holodomor has never achieved the kind of international infamy associated with the most notorious atrocities of the totalitarian twentieth century. Instead, almost 100 years on, it is still the subject of heated political debate and remains partially shrouded in Soviet disinformation.