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Live Reporting

Louise Wilson and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holyrood Live today

    Tay Forest Park

    That's it from Holyrood Live this Tuesday 20 March 2018.

    MSPs unanimously voted to pass the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Bill, which will complete the full devolution of powers around forestry.

    The passage was not without extensive debate as opposition MSPs united to ensure Forestry Commission Scotland will not be made into a government department.

    Ministers must now bring forward plans to set up an executive agency or agencies to manage forest land, though the Scottish government has warned this may take some time as this option had not been previously considered.

    Opposition MSPs also united to remove the power for ministers to use compulsory purchasing powers for sustainable development purposes.

  2. Minister says for judiciary to designate Holodomor a genocide, but horror must never be forgotten

    International Development and Europe Minister Alasdair Allan
    Image caption: International Development and Europe Minister Alasdair Allan

    International Development and Europe Minister Alasdair Allan says he is no doubt this debate will increase awareness of this terrible event.

    Mr Allan welcomes the Urkainian ambassador and her team to the gallery.

    He says this "deplorable famine" could so easily have been avoided.

    Mr Allan says he understands the calls across the chamber to call Holodomor a genocide, but he says that is for judicial decision.

    He says this in no way lessens the government's horror at Holodomor.

  3. Labour MSP calls for Holodomor to be recognised as genocide

    Labour MSP Claire Baker

    Labour MSP Claire Baker says it is for politicians and historians to ensure messages of Holodomor are passed down the generations.

    Starvation is often a consequence of war but it can also be a man-made method of control, Ms Baker says.

    Since Holodomor was man-made, it should be recognised as a genocide she argues.

  4. Background: Eating horse skin 'saved our lives'

    Video content

    Video caption: Eating horse skin 'saved our lives'

    In the early 1930s, Nina Karpenko was a little girl living in a Ukrainian village when the Soviet Union's programme of enforced agricultural collectivisation brought famine and death to millions in the region.

    Now in her late 80s, Nina recalls the lengths her family had to go through to survive and says she considers herself lucky to be alive to tell the story.

    Original video produced by BBC Ukraine's Marta Shokalo and Albiy Shudrya.

  5. SNP MSP praises brave journalists for exposing Holdomor

    SNP MSP Clare Adamson

    SNP MSP Clare Adamson says she first heard bout the Holodomor atrocity from her friend, formerly of this parish, Stefan Tymkewycz.

    Mr Tymkewycz is in the gallery for the debate this evening.

    Ms Adamson praise the bravery of journalists like the Manchester Guardian's Malcolm Muggeridge for shedding light on the horrific genocide.

  6. Background: Holodomor: Memories of Ukraine's silent massacre

    Tamer Hassan played Russian soldier Sergei in Bitter Watch, a film set against the backdrop of Holodomor
    Image caption: Tamer Hassan played Russian soldier Sergei in Bitter Watch, a film set against the backdrop of Holodomor

    Over eighty years ago, millions of Ukrainians died in a famine that many label a genocide by the Soviet regime of Joseph Stalin.

    Ukrainians mark a Holodomor Remembrance Day every year on the fourth Saturday of November.

    Some historians, like Yale University's Timothy Snyder, who has done extensive research in Ukraine, place the number of dead at roughly 3.3 million. Others say the number was much higher.

    Whatever the actual figure, it is a trauma that has left a deep and lasting wound among this nation of 45 million.

    Entire villages were wiped out, and in some regions the death rate reached one-third. The Ukrainian countryside, home of the "black earth", some of the most fertile land in the world, was reduced to a silent wasteland.

    Read more here.

  7. 'We must not forget; we must remember them'

    Tory MSP Peter Chapman
    Image caption: Tory MSP Peter Chapman

    Tory MSP Peter Chapman admits until meeting the Ukraine Ambassador, he had never heard of Holodomor before.

    Now he knows, Mr Chapman says it is imperative to highlight to the world to brutality of the Stalin regime.

    Stalin systematically planned starvation and death in order to reclaim land, says the Tory MSP.

    The Soviet regime also forced people who tried to flee back to their home, knowing there was no food, he adds.

    The MSP notes that at its peak, 25,000 people per day died during Holodomor but the total death toll has never been known for sure.

    Mr Chapman labels Holodomor a genocide, adding "we must not forget; we must remember them."

  8. Background: Why did Holodomor happen?

    Stalin, Ukrainian women and remembrance artwork

    The "Holodomor" or "famine plague" as it is known in Ukraine, was part of Joseph Stalin's programme to crush the resistance of the peasantry to the collectivisation of farming.

    When in 1932 the grain harvest did not meet the Kremlin's targets, activists were sent to the villages where they confiscated not just grain and bread, but all the food they could find.

    The confiscations continued into 1933, and the results were devastating. No-one is sure how many people died, but historians say that in under a year at least three million and possibly up to 10 million starved to death.

    Just 16 countries have recognised Holodomor as an act of genocide, with most instead recognising it only as a tragedy.

  9. Here is the motion

    Tory MSP Peter Chapman's motion, which was originally lodged at the start of November, highlights Holodomor Remembrance Day which took place on 25 November 2017.

    Motion text
  10. DPO welcomes Urkrainian ambassador to the UK

    Ambassador of the Ukraine to the UK Natalia Galibarenko
    Image caption: Ambassador of the Ukraine to the UK Natalia Galibarenko

    Deputy Presiding Officer Christine Grahame welcomes the Ambassador of the Ukraine to the UK Natalia Galibarenko.

  11. Turning to the debate on Holodomor Remembrance Day 2017

    The Holodomor icon
    Image caption: The Holodomor icon

    Tory MSP will now lead a members' debate marking Holodomor Remembrance Day 2017.

  12. BreakingMSPs pass the Forestry Bill unanimously


    MSPs unanimously pass the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Bill.

    This followed a number of amendments from across the chamber being passed at Stage 3.

  13. 'Scotland's woods and forests are of enormous importance to our people'

    Rural Secretary Fergus Ewing
    Image caption: Rural Secretary Fergus Ewing

    Rural Secretary Fergus Ewing says he has found today's parliamentary process "stimulating; hyper-stimulating at times."

    The role of the national forestry estate has been extended since its inception to cover conservation, tourism and renewable energy, Mr Ewing says.

    For staff working in forestry, it is a calling rather than a job, he says, adding that we want to preserve and protect these traditions for the next 100 years.

    He says future work must focus on increasing the use of Scottish timber and responding to the challenge of climate change.

    Mr Ewing pledges to continue engagement with trade unions with biannual meetings.

    "Scotland's woods and forests are of enormous importance to our people."

  14. Tory MSP says parliament has delivered new forestry structure for Scotland

    Tory MSP Edward Mountain
    Image caption: Tory MSP Edward Mountain

    Tory MSP Edward Mountain says his party believes this Bill, as amended will work well for forestry.

    Mr Mountain welcomes improved planting tarets.

    He welcomes the new computer system and says "we are all praying that it works".

    The Tory MSP says, despite everyone not getting what they wanted, the parliament has delivered a new forestry structure for Scotland.

  15. 'Forestry's future is that of a growing sector'

    Labour MSP Claudia Beamish
    Image caption: Labour MSP Claudia Beamish

    Labour MSP Claudia Beamish says "forestry's future is that of a growing sector", but also of new challenges in terms of planting and sustainability.

    This parliament has made the right choices with the right structures for governance, she says.

    The MSP states there have been 100 years of success under current arrangements and it would not continue if it were under the influence of the "changeable whim" of ministers.

    Planting and subdividing land into smaller plots can empower local communities, Ms Beamish says.

    "I'm eager to support the Bill as amended," she concludes.

  16. Bill is example of 'parliament working at its best' says Lib Dem MSP

    Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles
    Image caption: Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles

    Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles says the amended Bill is an example of "parliament working at its best".

    He says the work really begins now to see the forestry sector grow.

  17. Green MSP cites very postive scrutiny of the Forestry Bill

    Green MSP John Finnie
    Image caption: Green MSP John Finnie

    Green MSP John Finnie says this has been very postive scrutiny of the Forestry Bill.

    Mr Finnie says he was happy to support Peter Chapman's amendments supporting the importance of cross-border cooperation on tree health.

    He says this is a dynamic sector facing challenges and sustainability is key.

    The Green MSP says forestry is an important sector that will require important scrutiny by this parliament.