A poignant statue will soon be added to the grounds of the provincial legislature as part of a project to raise awareness of the Holodomor, the forced mass starvation of people in Ukraine in the 1930s.

On Thursday, during a memorial service for victims of the Holodomor, the statue — a replica of one erected in Kyiv — was unveiled in Regina.

The province's Deputy Premier, Ken Krawetz, was on hand when representatives of the Ukrainian community presented the statue, called "Bitter Memory of Childhood", by Petro Drozdowsky.

The Holodomor was a forced famine imposed by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. An estimated 7 to 10 million people died of starvation.

At the ceremony Thursday was Olena Shyian whose grandparents lived through the genocide, surviving on grain they managed to hide from soldiers.

"This is a difficult process to return all of those memories," Shyian said, adding she is pleased that what happened is being recognized in Saskatchewan, which has a vibrant Ukranian community.

The original statue is located near the entrance of the National Holodomor Museum in Kyiv, Ukraine.

The Saskatchewan copy will stand on an actual millstone, just as the original does.

The aim is to create public awareness about the Holodomor and provide a gathering place for people to reflect and learn about the tragedy.

The Regina branch of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress led the statue project.